I’m wondering if any drama educators, actors or theatre practitioners reading this post have seen Method Man, the 1997 documentary about acting teacher Lee Strasberg?
In 2003, I taped Method Man off the History Channel and have been showing it to my senior drama students ever since. Immediately after teaching realistic acting and the system developed by great Russian teacher Constantin Stanislavski, I default to the Americanisation of this system, The Method.
Method Man is a wonderful 60-minute documentary about the life and career of Lee Strasberg, the acting teacher credited with the initial explosion of Method Acting in America. It covers in detail his work at The Actors Studio, New York, in the 50s and also his involvement in the Group Theatre in the 30s, as well.
Students of acting can learn a great deal from watching Method Man. It discusses Strasberg’s skill as an acting teacher, his ruthlessness, his ego and his sheer dedication for his craft. Along the way we see Pacino, Brando, McQueen and many other students of Strasberg, including Marilyn Monroe. Most interesting is footage of Strasberg in rehearsal with actors at The Actors’ Studio.
Strangely, I’ve never met anyone who has seen this documentary. Better still, I would love for someone to tell me where I can purchase this doco on DVD? Even the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in NY and LA don’t have a copy for sale. My old VHS tape is wearing out. Might be time to transfer my copy to disc.