Stella Adler on Acting: Amanda Wingfield and Blanche Dubois


When Stella Adler was teaching, she make specific notes in order to be sure she touched on key aspects she wanted to impart.

I used to make notes too, but they were more bullet points that In would go over before class to make sure I delivered the elements I needed to in the right sequence.

Stella’s notes are interesting because are more a narrative that reveal something of the actor’s mind; she is trying to “understand” the characters of Blanche and Amanda in the context of Williams’ work by comparing them. Her cross-outs and underlines show which aspects were crucial to her.

What is useful here is the idea that her thinking about Amanda and Blanche continued to evolve over time, and her thinking about them required reconsideration and re-examination. This is after she had already established herself as a great artist and great teacher.