“June marked the centennial of actress, activist and teacher Uta Hagen’s birth. Her stage performances were legendary — she created the role of Martha in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and starred in Othello with Jose Ferrer and Paul Robeson, which featured the first interracial kiss on Broadway. But because of her activism, she was blacklisted by Hollywood, so there are relatively few examples of her work in film.
Beyond her acting, her greatest legacy may be how she influenced generations of actors, teaching at HB Studio and writing two books that are popular with acting students across the globe. Reporter Jeff Lunden speaks with some of those former students and colleagues, including F. Murray Abraham, Mercedes Ruehl and David Hyde Pierce, about what made Hagen such an important figure in the history of American theater.
The goal, Hagen said, was to learn ‘how to be a human being on stage. And that never stops. You never stop learning about that. And not look like an actor, but look like a human being onstage and still have total communication with that audience. That’s the real craft and that’s bottomless.'”
On Monday, June 10, HB Studio held their Uta at 100 Gala, which celebrated actor Uta Hagen’s centennial birthday and honored actors Marlo Thomas and John David Washington and HB Studio supporter Alexander Bernstein. The gala was hosted by Tony winner David Hyde Pierce and Katie Finneran, and saw Tony winner Elaine May, Phil Donohue, Victor Garber, Helen Gallagher, Debra Monk, Caroline Aaron, Lonny Price, Scott Ellis, Stephen Bogardus, Gus Solomons jr., Laila Robins, Mark Blum, Jamie Bernstein, and surviving members of Hagen’s family in attendance.
Proceeds from the gala went to support HB Studio’s training and development programs for professional and emerging theatre artists.
If there was ever an age to celebrate with a blowout party, it would be 100. And while the actress and activist Uta Hagen passed away in 2004, her 100th birthday was cause for a big celebration on June 10, when nearly 250 guests attended the HB Studio Gala held in her memory. A crowd including Elaine May, Phil Donohue, Victor Garber, and three generations of Hagen’s descendants joined hosts David Hyde Pierce and Katie Finneran to celebrate Hagen and honor a group including Marlo Thomas (who won the Uta Hagen Legacy Award), John David Washington (who won the HB Next Generation Award), and Alexander Bernstein (who won the HB Community Leader Award). Proceeds from the evening will support HB Studio’s training and development programs for actors, playwrights, and directors. Read the article.
Uta Hagen at 100 will mark a season-long celebration of the centennial of the Tony Award-winning actor, activist, and HB Studio master teacher.
Beginning April 1, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will display materials from Hagen’s archives. The exhibit, Actress + Activist: Uta Hagen at 100, will be on display on the third floor of the Lincoln Center branch through July 31, where viewers can examine readings of her unpublished diaries and mementos from her many theatrical performances, as well as objects related to the period in the 1950s when she was blacklisted for suspicion of being a communist sympathizer. The records come from the Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Division, which houses three major collections related to Uta Hagen: the Uta Hagen/Herbert Berghof Papers, the HB Studio Records, and the HB Playwrights Foundation Records.
The centennial will also include events, beginning with classes and demonstrations during an HB Studio Residency April 8–11. Learn more about the NYPL for the Performing Arts events.
HB Studio, one of New York’s original acting studios, has announced Uta Hagen at 100, a series of special events and workshops celebrating the centenary of its master teacher, the legendary actress and activist Uta Hagen. Uta Hagen at 100, honoring the three-time Tony Award winning actress and her legacy as a pioneering theater artist, activist and master teacher of HB Studio, will kick off on Monday, February 25 with a series of centennial events. The celebration will culminate on Monday, June 10 with a centennial gala honoring the actress, whose 100th birthday is Wednesday, June 12.
“Do you want to ask me about acting?” Mercedes Ruehl said, holding her water bottle. “I also take questions on faith and morals.”
On a wet Wednesday afternoon, Ms. Ruehl, the Oscar– and Tony-winning actress who stars in the Broadway revival of Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song” (now in previews), had just exited her apartment on West 42nd Street and was marching toward the Hudson River.
Flanking her, with the full-body adoration usually reserved for pet dogs or cult members, were two of her longtime acting students: Francesca Ferrara and Nick Feitel…read more
HILARY HOWARD, “…HB Studio owns its three West Village properties, all bought in the 1950s and ’60s. It, too, has undergone some belt tightening. Founded by the actor Herbert Berghof, who was joined later by Ms. Hagen, the school and theater collective established a reputation for quality acting classes (its alumni list includes Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange) at famously low rates. Continue reading →
HB Studio, home of Uta Hagen’s legendary acting classes, holds its first Spanish-language acting class. Award-winning actors of Hispanic theater, Pablo Andrade and Maria Fontanals, will teach the course, which will be conducted entirely in Spanish. The class is scheduled to start January, 2017.