Lynn- Noël Coward’s HAY FEVER

Presented by Jonathan Lynn.

An Uta Hagen Centennial Master Class: An Actress’ Beginnings

As a 15 year old high school student, Uta Hagen made her first appearance on stage as Sorel in Noël Coward’s farcical comedy of manners, HAY FEVER. In honor of her historic career, as part of the Uta Hagen at 100 celebrations, Director Jonathan Lynn leads an advanced scene study class focused on scenes from HAY FEVER.

“My brother acted in the summers and somehow, when I’d turned fifteen, he convinced the other actors at the University to let me play his sister in HAY FEVER. I’m not so sure what Noël Coward would have said, but with the local people there, we had a great success. In Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin I started to believe, perhaps I was an actress.”
Uta Hagen

In this workshop for professional performers, delve into elements of high farce, satire, and heightened language you as you examine and play the outlandish members of the Bliss family and their weekend guests. Scenes from HAY FEVER are explored through table work, text analysis and discussion, and then rehearsed for presentation in class for critique and development. Using the specifics of language, action, subtext, circumstance, and relationships the goal is to connect with the work at the deepest most personal level, finding truth and presence while performing farce and satire.

“…all the characters are drawn with wit and insight, and the writing is an object lesson in farcical comedy. The most galling thing about the play is that Coward wrote it in three days at the age of 24. He was, of course, a genius.
– Jonathan Lynn, Antaeus Diary

Jonathan Lynn’s film directing credits include the cult classic CLUE (he also wrote the screenplay), NUNS ON THE RUN (also written by Mr Lynn), MY COUSIN VINNY, THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN, SGT. BILKO, GREEDY, TRIAL AND ERROR, THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS (NAACP Image award) and most recently, WILD TARGET. For television, Lynn has acted in and written dozens of episodes of various British comedy series, including YES MINISTER and YES, PRIME MINISTER, created and co-written with Antony Jay … After receiving a law degree from Cambridge University, Lynn’s West End theater debut, aged 23, was as Motel the Tailor in the original London cast of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Subsequent London directing credits include: THE GLASS MENAGERIE working with Tennessee Williams; SONGBOOK (Best Musical: Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award); ANNA CHRISTIE (RSC, Stratford and the Donmar); Joe Orton’s LOOT, PASS THE BUTLER by Eric Idle, Shaw’s ARMS AND THE MAN and David Wood’s THE GINGERBREAD MAN (Old Vic, twice) … read more


Required: For first day of class, acquire a copy of, and read in full, Noël Coward’s HAY FEVER. (Available for purchase at HB Studio’s Registration Office, 3rd floor of 120 Bank St)


This workshop is made possible with the generous support of the Noël Coward Foundation.

Current and Upcoming