The Art of Transformation

All classes at HB Studio will be held online via Zoom Conferencing until we are able to resume classes at the Studio. 

Sign up for either Part A or Part B independently (5 weeks each), or join both for the full 10 week term. You may join Part B without taking Part A.  


Instructor: Janice Orlandi

WINTER 2021: Chekhov on Chekhov
The Playwright and the Actor: Anton and his nephew Michael
(Part A: Jan 6 – Feb 3 | Part B: Feb 10 – March 10)

Using monologues from the major plays and short stories of Anton Chekhov as our texts, this class explores creating a Chekhovian character utilizing Michael Chekhov’s “psycho-physical” approach to acting as outlined in his book, TO THE ACTOR. Monologues from Anton Chekhov plays will add a classical period speech to your arsenal of audition selections.

Each class begins with a warm-up specifically designed to develop the organic connection between your inner life, creative imagination and expressive body. Through the rigorous practice of Chekhov’s core principles and exercises you explore: Radiating and Receiving, Archetypes, Imaginary Centers, Imaginary Body, Character Atmospheres, Character Portrait, Overall Scenic Atmospheres, Qualities of Movement, Expansion & Contraction, Imaginary Palace, and Character Archetypal Gestures. We explore scoring the overall and scenic atmospheres of the play, character atmospheres and archetypes, leading to the character’s Psychological Gestures.

We will also incorporate Williamson Technique to explore Period Character and Movement, including deportment, silhouette, manners, protocol, period costumes and period props, in order to set the Chekhovian characters in the era or period of the play.

Michael Chekhov and Williamson techniques consists of a wide variety of effective acting tools, which can inspire endless exploration and possibilities for ensemble building and enlarging the actor’s physical ease, creative imagination, transformation and artistic expression. The actor can then bring this sensibility to the creation of a character, exploration of the text, the acting ensemble in rehearsal, and inspired performance.


SPRING 2021: What is the “Dusa Blush?” A Psychophysical Response to Imaginary Circumstances
The physical exploration and study of the science of emotion in drama
(Part A: March 17 – April 14 | Part B: April 28 – May 26)

This online class introduces the actor to Psychophysical Methods of acting, including Michael Chekhov Technique, Rasa and Emotions, Overlie Presence Work, Williamson Technique and Hagen Character Conditions. Psychophysical methods of acting engage the actor in processes of imagining through the body, raising consciousness of the body’s and mind’s reactions to physical sensations and stimuli. Through physical imagining, with attention to movement, breath, vocal release and sensation, you forget your sense of ‘self’ and allow the embodied imagination to transform you into the mind, body, world and circumstances of the character. From Roman gestures to Delsarte, from Indian Drama to Michael Chekhov tools, we explore character transformation and qualities of movement, emotion and sensations that inspire transformation into character.  

We practice and apply psycho-physical tools for creating characters using texts from “Spoon River Anthology,” by Edgar Lee Masters, and speeches of historic characters from autobiographies, film and plays. Using these texts, we create physical scores for characters and explore character through qualities of movement, protocol & style. You are introduced to tools for building and “creating a character” with emotional freedom and range, and for processing images, sensations and emotions. 

Topics explored include: 

  • Activating the body for acting practice & warmups
  • Creating the imaginary body of a character and world of the character 
  • Atmospheres of character: personal, environmental & scenic 
  • Atmospheres of the play: emotion, time and place 
  • Archetypal and psychological gestures 
  • Activating sensation & emotion with sound, gesture and movement 
  • Activating the five senses and creative imagination 
  • Awakening inner and outer images or objects 
  • 8 Rasa emotions in Indian drama and music 
  • Archetypal emotions, mask, breath and posture in Indian drama 
  • The science of emotion 
  • Alba Mask, breath and posture explorations
  • Imagining the world and dreams of the character 
  • Awakening radiant presence

You may join Part B without taking Part A:

Current and Upcoming