Building a Character is one of the three volumes that make up Stanislavski's The Acting Trilogy.
An Actor Prepares explores the inner preparation an actor must undergo in order to explore a role to the full. In this volume, Sir John Gielgud said, this great director "found time to explain a thousand things that have always troubled actors and fascinated students."
Building a Character discusses the external techniques of acting: the use of the body, movement, diction, singing, expression, and control.
Creating a Role describes the preparation that precedes actual performance, with extensive discussions of Gogol's The Inspector General and Shakespeare's Othello. Sir Paul Scofield called Creating a Role "immeasurably important" for the actor.
These three volumes belong on any actor's short shelf of essential books.