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HB Studio and Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts Establish International Partnership

HB Studio is pleased to announce that we have teamed up with Barcelona-based drama school Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts to establish a student exchange and a joint devised theater ensemble with select students from both institutions.

Following our transition to virtual training, HB Studio sought to take advantage of opportunities to build bridges among the international community and establish a mutual exchange of work in the online space. HB Studio is also formalizing plans to partner with other international organizations, including Institut Ramon Llull, Drama School Mumbai, and the Rose Bruford School in London.

Teatro Eolia en Barcelona

About Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts

Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts was founded in Barcelona in 2000 and is associated with the theater companies Tricicle, Dragoll Dagom, and The Galilei Project.
Eòlia is closely connected to both the national and international theatre arts scene and has professional training programs for actors, singers, playwrights, dramaturges, producers, dancers and musicians. These programs incorporate current and cutting-edge artistic techniques and are taught by renowned faculty active in the professional performing arts world. Alumni of Eòlia include many professional actors, dramaturgs, and directors working in Spanish and Catalan TV, film, and theater.

Eòlia is more than a theater school, it’s a living project—a space that offers students room to grow and an outlet for discovery, whether they are future professionals, professionals that seek to hone their skills, or people who don’t plan to go on to a career in the Performing Arts but seek to grow, learn, and have fun in the areas of theatre, dramaturgy, playwriting, singing or dance.

An alumna of both Eòlia and HB Studio, Spanish actress and HB Studio teaching artist Maria Fontanals initiated the partnership between the organizations.

“Art knows no boundaries,” said Fontanals. “As a fluent speaker of Spanish, Catalan, French, and English, I have come to understand the value of a multilingual and multicultural worldview. Having this partnership will build a strong artistic community that knows no borders.”

About the Devised Theater Ensemble

Two teaching artists and two students from each institution will collaborate together on a mentored, student-directed devised theater project that will culminate in a performance showcase. Eòlia faculty members Alexandre Fons and Mariona Esplugues and students Clàudia Hernández and Sara Font joined HB faculty members Paul Pryce and Ben Mehl and students Meytat Zehavi and Jandel Camilo to begin work on the project last month.

Josep Galindo, director at Eòlia, envisioned the project as an opportunity for artists to develop material that is uniquely personal through unimpeded creative freedom and generous mentorship.

“We want to give plenty of space for ideas to unfold,” said Galindo. “We don’t know where this journey will take us, rather we will discover it along the way.”

Through the process of sharing and generating together, the ensemble will shape a creative work and present it to audiences from both institutions when the artists feel it is ready.

About the Student Exchange

In addition to the devised theater project, HB Studio and Eòlia have established a free international exchange among five students. HB Studio students Chase Ramsey, Anna Cherkezishvili, and Gem Nelson began participating in a virtual 14-week directing class conducted by Galindo with other students from the Barcelona-based school, on Feb. 11.
The class proposes a process of preparation for a director beginning work on a play, exploring stage languages and systems of analysis. Students choose a play and design a staging for the project. The three were selected among a group of 20 students at HB Studio that had applied for the opportunity.

Students selected from Eòlia include Adriana Galicia and Mariona Esplugues. The two students will participate in a multilingual devised theater performance lab with 14 students from HB Studio. The lab is a collaborative and contemporary reimagining of Henrik Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE with HB Studio instructor Pablo Andrade, which ends in a virtual presentation of their completed work.

Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio

Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio with Institut Ramon Llull

HB Studio collaborates with Institut Ramon Llull to present a series of Catalan plays with artist talks beginning in May

HB Studio is pleased to partner with Institut Ramon Llull to present Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio, a special showcase of select Catalan plays followed by discussions with the artists, hosted by HB Studio.

Institut Ramon Llull was founded with the purpose of promoting Catalan language studies at universities abroad, the translation of literature and thought written in Catalan, and Catalan cultural production in other areas like theatre, film, circus, dance, music, the visual arts, design and architecture.

Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio will feature screenings of three select plays, including English subtitles, followed by in-depth discussions with the artists about their work and creative process.

A.K.A. (Also Known As) play

Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio Kicks Off with an HB Public Conversation on A.K.A. (Also Known As)

Institut Ramon Llull and HB Studio bring together artists from the award-winning play A.K.A. for a discussion about their intentions and creative process. Join us!

The talk will feature: Daniel J. Meyer (playwright), Montse Rodríguez Clusella (director) and Lluís Febrer (lead actor). Moderated by HB Teaching Artist Maria Fontanals.

Saturday, May 22, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET / 8:00 P.M. CET

RSVP

A.K.A. (Also Known As) by Daniel J. Meyer

A.K.A. tells the story of Carlos’ adolescence and invites you to play the role of judge as well as audience member. We are transported to a moment in which, through no fault of his own, his foundations, his roots, his identity begin to break down. Carlos was adopted through a, let’s say, less than legal process. Being adopted is not a problem for him because he feels local, he is local. But the critical eyes of others make him question his true identity. Maybe he is not totally who he has decided to be. Are we what we feel we are or what other people think we are? This is the question we explore in A.K.A. by revealing how these seeds take root in the life of Carlos.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

  • 2 MAX Awards (emerging theatrical text, lead actor)
  • 2 MAX nominations (direction, short play)
  • 4 Butaca Awards (theatrical text, short play, direction, lead actor)
  • 3 Barcelona Teatre Awards (theatrical text, short play, direction)
  • 1 Critics Award (best actor)
  • Audience Award: MIT RIBADAVIA, Galicia
  • Audience Award: Teatre del Mar, Mallorca
  • SGAE Foundation Express Theater Award

Daniel J. Meyer, playwright

Daniel J. Meyer is a theater director from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He completed Acting and Theater Direction at COSATYC/ANDAMIO in Argentina, courses at L’Obrador de la Beckett, Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, and a postgraduate degree at the UB for Production. He is the author of the award-winning play A.K.A. (ALSO KNOWN AS) which has been translated in English, German, French, Greek, and will be translated in Polish, Romanian, Italian and Hindi.

He has directed and written all the works from Descartable Teatre: FUSELLS (an adaptation of SEÑORA CARRAR’S RIFLES by Bertolt Brecht), ABANS, and HISTORIA DE UNA REVENTADA ARGENTINA, among others. Other credits include: HISTORIA DE UNA REVENTADA (Versus Teatre, 2018); ABANS (Maldà Teatre, 2016 & Villarroel Teatre 2019); FUSELLS (Almeria Teatre, 2016); NESTEA CON VODKA (Café Salambó, 2013); COLA CON ANÍS (Café Salambó, 2013); DEFLACIONABLE (Nau Ivanow, 2012); DAIAN & GIGGY LIVE SEX (Fora de Temporada, Girona, 2011); DESCARTABLE (Nau Ivanow, 2011).

He has been the Assistant Director of Àngel Llàcer and Manu Guix for the last 10 years in musicals (SINGING IN THE RAIN, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, LITTLE PRINCE, GERONIMO STILTON, and more). He has also worked with Rosa Novell and Alexander Herold, among others.

A dramatic reading of his play SHOÀ was directed by Helena Pimenta at Sala Berlanga in Madrid. He is now writing and preparing three new plays to be released over the next year.

Montse Rodríguez Clusella, director

Montse Rodríguez Clusella is a theater director and actress with a degree in Dramatic Art from the Theatre Institute of Barcelona. In theater, she has performed in ¿BAILAMOS? and ESPERANTO with Sèmola Teatre; FIGURES D’AIGU, RINCONETE Y CORTADILLO by Cervantes, RETALLS DEL TER, LA CELESTINA by Fernando de Rojas, ENTREMESES by Cervantes and Lope de Rueda, PRECIPICI by Monse Albàs, and COR by Montserrat Mas with CorCila Teatre; NITS DE SERRALLONGA by Marc Angelet with Agraïts d’Aguantar-nos; AVI RAMON and SOMNIS D’ALÍCIA by Víctor Borràs with Theatre Nu; DIES IRAE; EN EL RÉQUIEM DE MOZART with Marta Carrasco; TRANUITES CIRCUS and NÀUFRAGS/LA CASA DE L’ÀNIMA by Lluís Danés with Lluís Danés; (SIN) PECAT with Víctor Borràs; and DANCE TO DEATH by Alberto Velasco with La Caldera.
In visual arts, she worked in DELINCUENTES TORPES by Ángel de la Cruz; CUBICLES by Jair Domínguez and Sergi Prat; EL SUEÑO DE ELANOR and TRANUITES CIRCUS by Lluís Danés; LA CONJECTURA and CON UN SEIS Y CON UN CUATRO by Xevi Vila, to name a few.
She directed A.K.A. by Daniel J. Meyer; ANTÍGONES 2077 by Aina De Cos Estrada; CAIXES by Marc Artigau; RICHARD DE 3RD by À trois teatre; NOÈ HAC, #LIKE_UNFOLLOW, SÓC UNA MÀQUINA and SALVEU LES NOSTRES ÀNIMES by Gerard Guix; PUNXES A LA SORRA by Jordi Roca; and RETALLS DE TER by herself.

Lluís Febrer, lead actor

Lluís Ferbrer is an actor and model born in Menorca. He speaks English, as well as Spanish and Catalan. His TV credits include MERLÍ, COM SI FOS AHIR and MAS DE 100 MENTIRAS. In 2020, he was part of the cast of the international feature film AMERICAN CARNAGE by Diego Hallivis, shot in English. Over the past year he was cast as a new member of A.K.A. (winner of two Max Theatre Awards) which allowed him not only to act in Barcelona but to go on a Spanish tour. He is still on the project, working to explore new frontiers with his performance.
His training as an actor began at the early age of 15 at the Escuela de Arte Dramático de Menorca and the Universidad de Arte Dramático de las Islas Baleares. At the age of 17, he moved to Barcelona where he began to use his training as an actor for his first professional jobs. He studied in different schools such as Laura Jou Estudi per a l’Actor and Nancy Tuñon. He continued his training in Madrid at the Escuela Internacional del Gesto and Work in Progress.

He has also been part of several theater companies such as Assaltem l’Escenari, where he performed three shows at the Teatre Tantarantana or the improvisation company Impromagia.

Fontanals, Maria

TEACHING STATEMENT:

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”
Oscar Wilde

“The best way to teach anything is to make it fun and involve as many of the five senses as possible. The class is guided by the joy we all experience when acting and living in discovery. I believe in being patient with the process, having joy in the experience and celebrating being a human being and awakening to each moment of our existence. I am passionate about teaching and the performing arts. I believe in the power of integrative approaches for personal and professional growth. I enjoy working with people, and helping them grow through acting. As a fluent speaker of Spanish, Catalan, French and English, I have come to understand the value of a multilingual and multicultural worldview.”

BIO:

Maria Fontanals is a Spanish actress and faculty member at HB Studio where she teaches Uta Hagen’s technique. She is also the cofounder of Corezon, a successful and independent theatre and audiovisual company based in NYC.

Maria was born and grew up in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Theater has been in her blood since early childhood. Her earliest memories began as a child doing in-home dramatic presentations with her three brothers for their parents. Maria understood instinctively what Oscar Wilde said best.

Maria began her career working in corporate finance followINg her graduation with a Bachelors in Science in Economics from the world renowned Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. However, her interest in theater never waned. While working, she nurtured her acting avocation by earning a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Barcelona’s Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and performing in several theater productions in Barcelona.  Ultimately, her inner voice nagged relentlessly prodding her to leave the security of her corporate post and pursue her passion for acting in earnest. She set out for New York’s prestigious HB Studio, to pursue the Core Training program in acting (awarded for a scholarship). Once immersed in the HB Studio’s intensive study of acting, and exhilarated by the inspirational professionals teaching the experiential curriculum, she finally found her groove! She was part of the HB Ensemble and is proudly part of the Hagen Institute alumni.

As an actress, Maria has worked with renowned theaters such as The Brick, Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, Teatro Círculo, Russian Arts Theater, IATI, HB Playwrights Foundation, Teatro SEA, to name a few. She has an extensive experience on stage in the United States and Europe. Select theater credits include: TIERRA DEL FUEGO, EL ESPACIO ENTRE MEDIAS, CITY GIRLS AND DESPERADOES (co-starring with Austin Pendleton and Julie Atlas Muz), EL DIVÁN (winner of a Latin ACE Award for Best Drama Actress), SEIS (winner of five FUERZAFest Awards including Best Play and Best Actress and three HOLA Awards 2017 including Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor), OLEANA, BRILLIANT TRACES (one of the first HB Rehearsal Space Residency projects), BALM IN GILEAD (at HB Playwrights Theatre), KING LEAR, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, and MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.

Recent TV/film includes: SIX DEGREES OF MURDER (ID Discovery Channel) – DISTANT INTERIORS – THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE (winner of the Royal Film Award 2018) – LATINER (2015 Selected Official for the Latino Short Film Festival) – SUPER WINGS: BARCELONA BIRDHOUSE (voice over).

Within the past year, she has been awarded the national Latin ACE Award 2019 for Best Drama Actress – HOLA Award 2018 and 2017 for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor – ATI Award 2018 for Best Actress – FUERZAFest Award 2017 for Best Actress – Latin ACE Award 2017 for Best Comedic Actress.


Maria Fontanals es una actriz a caballo entre dos ciudades: Barcelona, donde nació, y Nueva York, donde creció como actriz. Aunque su infancia está marcada por la danza y el piano, ya desde muy pequeña se siente atraída por el teatro. Esta pasión no la abandona nunca, ni cuando inicia sus estudios de Economía en la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona, carrera que compagina con las clases nocturnas de arte dramático en Eòlia, Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Barcelona. Por exigencias del guión, al finalizar su carrera de Economía se incorpora a una gran empresa, trasladando esta dualidad estudiantil a la vida laboral: economista de día, actriz de noche. Al cabo de unos años, dice adiós a su carrera en el ámbito corporativo para centrar todos sus esfuerzo y energía en el teatro.

Su personalidad – curiosa, entusiasta, optimista y algo aventurera – la lleva a poner rumbo a Nueva York. Becada por la prestigiosa escuela HB Studio, inicia dos años de formación que suponen un reconocimiento a su talento. Actualmente forma parte del profesorado de HB Studio donde enseña la técnica Uta Hagen en español, junto a Pablo Andrade.

Maria tiene una larga trayectoria profesional en los Estados Unidos estando involucrada en importantes compañías como Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, Teatro Círculo, Russian Arts Theater, IATI, HB Ensemble Theater, Teatro SEA, entre otras. Sus principales trabajos en teatro incluyen: City Girls and Desperadoes (co-protagonista con Austin Pendleton y Julie Atlas Muz), El diván, Acuérdate de mí, Seis (obra ganadora del Festival Fuerza Fest 2017 y actualmente en tour), Oleanna (estrenada en Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), Brilliant Traces, Balm in Gilead, El rey Lear y Sueño de una noche de verano entre otros.

En film destaca su participación en la película The Middle of Somewhere, actualmente en distribución, su papel en el corto Latiner ganador al Mejor Corto en The Official Latino Short Film Festival (OLSFF) y, recientemente, terminó de grabar el corto Distant Interiors en Syracuse.

En TV, Maria obtuvo el papel protagonista de la serie de crímenes Six Degrees of Murder del canal Investigation Discovery Channel.

Maria ha sido recientemente galardonada con el prestigioso premio de la Asociación de Criticos del Espectáculo de New York (ACE Award) 2019 como Mejor Actriz de Drama, también ha recibido el Premio HOLA 2018 como Actriz Destacada, Premio ATI 2018 como Mejor Actriz de Microteatro, Premio Fuerza 2017 como Mejor Actriz, Premio HOLA 2017 como Actriz Destacada, Premio ACE 2017 como Mejor Actriz de Comedia.