December 3, 2019
This #GivingTuesday, we ask you to support the HB Scholarship Fund to give more artists the gift of opportunity.
Since HB Studio first opened its doors 75 years ago, 150,000 artists have found a stimulating and encouraging place to learn and practice within its walls. In our studio classrooms on Bank Street, creative freedom is the rule and creative risk is always championed. Each year brings a new wave of startling talent and urgent new voices.
At HB, an artist of any means can find both their footing and their wings. Annually, we strive to provide over $165,000 of support through the HB Scholarship Fund because we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive space where any artist with desire and commitment is welcomed.
Through the support of our alumni, colleagues and friends, the HB Scholarship Fund offers nearly 400 scholarships each year, providing actors, playwrights, and directors with the resources they need to hone their skills for a challenging field.
On #GivingTuesday, every dollar HB Studio earns through donations will go to the HB Scholarship Fund, allowing us to lift financial barriers and empower more artists to give expression to the stories and questions of our time.
If you believe in HB’s commitment to providing opportunity and affordable training for artists, we hope you will support the HB Scholarship Fund this #GivingTuesday. It is only through your help that we can continue to make a difference!
Giving Tuesday nationally celebrates the transformational work of non-profit organizations. On this day, all donations to HB Studio will benefit the HB Scholarship Fund, in tribute to the students who are the heart and soul of our mission. Thank you for your generous support on December 3, 2019!
November 27, 2018
HB Studio Hosts a Memorial Tribute to Earle Hyman (1926-2017)
Photo courtesy of Femi Sarah Heggie
New York, NY (Dec. 18, 2017) – HB Studio, one of New York’s most venerable institutions for theater training and practice, will host a Memorial Tribute to Earle Hyman. Formerly of HB’s acting faculty, Mr. Hyman was a longtime HB friend. A brilliant actor, teacher, and mentor, Mr. Hyman’s career broke many boundaries, both in the United States and abroad. HB takes pride in honoring his legacy and invites friends, family, students, colleagues, and admirers to celebrate his life.
EVENT: Memorial Tribute to Earle Hyman (1926-2017)
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 14th, 2018 at 3:00pm, reception to follow.
LOCATION: HB Playwrights Theatre (124 Bank Street in Greenwich Village, NYC).
November 28, 2017
For #NYGivesDay, 2017 we asked you to remember when a performance has brought you hope, delight or deeper understanding. In troubled times, we need to support the growth of the artists who become our nation’s storytellers.
HB Summer FUNdraising Bash
August 24, 2017 | 7:00 pm
Help HB reach our summer FUNdraising goal!
Celebrate end-of-term with HB friends, faculty and staff, hanging out in the HB Playwrights Theater and garden on a warm summer night. Enjoy free food, cash bar, and LIVE MUSIC with
Thursday, August 24
124 Bank Street | NYC 10014
Doors open at 7:00 pm
By supporting the Summer FUNdraising Bash, you directly help HB Studio continue to be one of the best artistic homes for actors, playwrights, and directors in the heart of New York City. Through the loving support of our community, we have trained hundreds and thousands of artists over 70 years. Let’s keep it going for 70 more!
All proceeds directly support HB’s training & development programs, performance opportunities & productions, support for building improvements throughout the year, the Hagen Institute and the HB Scholarship Fund.
Want to volunteer at HB’s Summer FUNdraising Bash? Contact Sara Kuntz, Audience and Development Coordinator, at 212-989-6540 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions or concerns? Contact Megan Foehr, Development Manager, at 212-675-2370 ex. 39 or email@example.com
GHOSTLIGHT PROJECT – HB OPEN MIC NIGHT
January 19, 2017
HB Studio proudly joins The Ghostlight Project next Thursday, January 19th, 2017 at 5:30pm.
Bringing together over 500 participating organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, groups across the U.S. will be holding “be a light” events as a collective, simultaneous action to reaffirm our commitment, as theater people, to protect values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone — regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Inspired by the theatrical tradition of keeping a “ghost light” on in a darkened theater, we create light for the challenging times ahead.
For HB Studio, this means a reaffirmation of our legacy as a “safe space” that welcomes and supports all artists in their effort to give authentic and relevant expression to their experiences, in context of our times. In our search to connect with our own voices as artists, we affirm the importance of supporting all voices to be heard.
Join the collective action!
EVENT: HB Studio’s “Ghostlight” Open Mic
FEATURING: HB Studio community of theater artists
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 19 at 5:30pm
LOCATION: HB Playwrights Theatre (124 Bank Street in Greenwich Village, NYC).
TICKETS: Free and open to the public
Bring a bright white light to shine (your phone’s flashlight is perfect!), weather appropriate clothing, and an open heart.
We will unite in our common goal of inclusivity … followed by a casual Open Mic in the theater, where we can share our voices with one another!
January 19, 2017
THE GHOSTLIGHT PROJECT – Opening Remarks from Executive and Artistic Director, Edith Meeks:
Eric Bentley’s Brecht-Eisler Song Book quotes this from Brecht’s Svendborg Poems cycle (credit is due here to Karyn Levitt, who uses this quote as the title for a wonderful cabaret of the Brecht-Eisler songs):
In the dark times, tell me, Will there still be singing?
Yes, there will be singing: About the dark times.
–Motto of part two of the Svendborg Poems cycle –Bertolt Brecht. 1939
We are here tonight as representatives of HB Studio. I’d like to share with you some ideas about the commitment HB represents and must uphold, and the commitment we make going forward.
We are here because we understand the danger of reaction. We are concerned that something has been unleashed among us. Our founder, Herbert Berghof, was a refugee, and we know he understood firsthand what it means when those who feel their opportunities are shrinking are given license to hate.
HB was founded as a safe space for creative souls. It was a sanctuary for artists of all backgrounds; it provided shelter from McCarthy’s blacklist; it offered opportunity to those who lacked the means or circumstances to make a start in the theater. Its hallmark was, and is, creative freedom.
HB as a safe space for artists is only meaningful if as artists we translate that privilege into sustaining safe, illuminated, brave spaces in our world for all.
A mission is only as vital as our commitment to realize it in action. We must continue to examine its relevance and its relationship to our changing circumstances. As artists we are sensitive, but we can’t afford to be fragile. We are intuitive, but we can’t afford to wait to be told what to do. We must make a commitment to be actors, to translate our feelings into beautiful, meaningful actions. We have beautiful tools to use to translate our experience into expressive form.
Whose experience are we expressing, and what meaning does it have for someone else? What gives it meaning for someone else? What listening do we have to do, what seeing, to answer that question?
We have been fortunate to work this past December with Russell G. Jones through his Blind Spot project. We make a deep commitment to continue to examine our own awareness, to acknowledge and to face our blind spots.
At HB we know we have a diverse community but we also know that we do have our limited frameworks, our comfort zones, and that we are not a particularly diverse institution. We acknowledge this because acknowledgement is a place to start. And we refuse to protect our interests by turning a blind eye to someone else’s need, a deaf ear to other voices. HB is a place that was founded by refugees, and part of its conception is that it should be a sanctuary where creative freedom is a primary value. We affirm our commitment to support and protect those who are excluded or suspected, who are refugees, who are still seeking a home in this world. That means we honor all voices – that in seeking to recognize the power of our own voices we necessarily are enlisted to protect and support other voices as well, and to be willing to take risks in protecting and supporting others. Not by being a savior or by “owning” other voices, but by stepping aside to let them be heard. Handing them the mic.
Martin Luther King, in his Strength to Love, writes about the story of the good Samaritan. Most people, he says, when they see a man in trouble, will say, what will happen to me if I stop to help him? (Will I lose my standing? Will I too be beaten?) King says, we must ask, what will happen to this man if I do not stop to help him? And I think we must also ask what happens to our world when we become people who do not stop to help.
I invite you to consider these commitments that I make for myself and for this institution. They are personal, out of my own awkwardness and attempts to learn. I invite you to elaborate in your own fashion:
- Begin anywhere
- Overcome inertia or reluctance
- Acknowledge my blind spots
- Commit to growing awareness
- Risk outside my comfort zone
- Recognize that I do see color, that I do see difference, that I instinctively “sort” other people by categories like race and ethnicity — but also acknowledge that a person’s color or race or gender really doesn’t tell me enough about who they are to know anything, and that I should always want to know more;
- I commit to become more curious about other people’s circumstances
- I accept, and strive to earn, the forgiveness another doesn’t yet know how to give me, so we can move on together, difficult as that may be
- I commit to knowing my own frame and its sources, and I recognize that I am using one, or using several
- We will take responsibility for noticing that there are stories that aren’t being told
- We all know that connections and relationships help people succeed. We commit to being a connection, and not just for those who reinforce our own certainties.
- I commit to creating a space next to my own at the table, wherever I am privileged to have a seat
- I give myself dignity, and so have enough to give that dignity to someone else
This is real doing, not “acting like doing,” that we are seeking here, and real action takes searching and deep work on ourselves. As artists, we know how to do this work.
For those who are interested, we will be organizing a series of monthly lunchtime roundtable discussions in our new faculty greenroom on the second floor of 122 Bank Street. Together we’ll be looking at questions like what it means for HB to be a safe space; the legacy and possibilities of that; and what it means for a safe space to also be a brave space. We’ll be looking at implicit bias, and observing where it may live in our institutional structures and ways of working or doing business. We will be gently but actively probing these questions and seeking further actions we can commit to together. We invite you to join us. Whether you are able to sit at our table with us, or send us your thoughts and input virtually, we’d love to have you along.
One of our immediate, small actions, one small step forward in our thinking, is to create a new scene list for HB Studio that gives representation to the experience of all members of our community, and also to those who may not yet feel welcome here. If you’d like to take part in that project, please get in touch with Catrin Lloyd-Bollard or with me.
Edith Meeks, Executive and Artistic Director