My first post (August, 2011) expressed concern that although some aspect of the technique Group Theatre members (Adler, Meisner, Strasberg, and by extension, Hagen) used from Stanislavski is still taught today, I rarely see it in current professional performances. Since then, more than one influential Hollywood agent has told me that they think American actors are not well trained. Ouch!
Is this point of view known where actors go to be trained? Most colleges and universities have Theatre Arts departments where a student can obtain an advanced degree in the art of acting, and where at least one of the points of view of the Group Theatre members is taught. In addition, there's the Strasberg Institute, the Actors Studio, the several Stella Adler academies, Meisner studios, the HB Studio, and hundreds of coaches who either studied with one of these masters, or coaches who studied with one of the coaches who studied with one of these masters!
I think that "disciples" (June, 2012 post) who stubbornly pursue the specious argument between Adler and Strasberg, Meisner and Adler, or Strasberg and Meisner, turn words into fetishes, and no longer stress the basic elements of the technique is precisely why we see so much "indicated" acting from graduates of reputable institutions.
None of the teachers from the Group Theatre disagreed on the criteria that constitute a good performance. They disagreed, somewhat, on how to achieve it and sometimes created their own exercises to achieve it. To speak of a "Meisner" technique, a "Strasberg Method" an "Adler" technique, or the "personalization" of Hagen (ludicrous if it weren't so insulting) is to not understand the basic, fundamental elements of the technique that all of them attributed to Stanislavski.
I suggest that the various camps gather in a symposium, be willing to face each other with their divergent points of view, and look into the possibility that there is no substantive difference between imagination and life experience, that they are instead paying homage in a worshipful rather than critical way to these masters, the very masters who taught us so well about the contradictions, the complexities, of character.