HB Studio is Celebrating its 75th Anniversary

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HB Studio is Celebrating its 75th Anniversary

HB Studio, one of New York's original acting studios, will celebrate its diamond jubilee year with a series of programs and special events which will not only honor its storied 75-year past, but also highlight its role in developing the talent of today and the future.

The series of events scheduled to celebrate HB Studio's 75th Anniversary year include a tribute to HB Founder, actor and director Herbert Berghof, focusing on his role as a social critic of his time; a story-telling evening featuring HB alumni about their relationship to the Studio inspired by "The Moth"; and programs in collaboration with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center for the Arts and the Actors Fund Research Center for Arts & Culture. The celebration will culminate on Monday, June 8 with the HB Studio's 75th Anniversary Gala at the Tribeca Rooftop.

Broadway actor and director Herbert Berghof founded the HB Studio in 1945. Born in Austria, Berghof was a protégé of the German realist director Max Reinhardt. He fled to New York in 1939 as a refugee of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, where he soon joined a community of immigrant artists and then-outsiders interested in bringing the classical training of the European theatrical tradition into practice in the still burgeoning American theater scene. Berghof was accustomed to a state theater system in which the artist was constantly engaged in practice and performance. He conceived HB Studio as a place where artists at all stages of their careers could continue to work and practice between jobs with the support and challenges of their more experienced colleagues in a space free from pressures related to commercial success.

In 1945, Berghof met the celebrated actress Uta Hagen and invited her to join him in teaching at the studio. The two artists married 10 years later. Together, Hagen and Berghof trained some of the most noted actors of the American theater. HB Studio's long list of alumni include such names as Al Pacino, Anne Bancroft, Nancy Marchand, Earle Hyman, Judd Hirsch, Charles Grodin, Geraldine Page, Ellis Raab, Doris Roberts, Eva Marie Saint, Liza Minnelli, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Lemmon, Debbie Allen, F. Murray Abraham, Rita Gardner, Steve McQueen, Amanda Peet, Marlo Thomas, Jerry Stiller, Charles Nelson Reilly, Cynthia Nixon, Katie Finneran, and Hal Holbrook.

Today, under the direction of Executive and Artistic Director Edith Meeks,-HB Studio continues to support vigorous, lifelong practice in the theater, based on a solid foundation of practical training. The Studio offers a variety of classes and workshops for actors, directors, and playwrights. Through the Uta Hagen Institute, HB Studio offers intensive acting training programs with the Hagen Core Training, the Hagen Summer Intensive, and the Hagen Teacher's Lab. As the Studio's production and performance space, the HB Playwrights Theatre offers artists in residence and students of the Studio a safe, creative space to perform and develop their works. The HB Studio faculty is comprised of practicing theater artists recognized for their professional work on and off the stage and screen. Its students, faculty, and alumni form a vibrant community of actors, playwrights, and directors, active in all aspects of the performing arts.

Following is a list of HB Studio's 75th Anniversary events and programs:

Monday, February 3: "Herbert Berghof: The Yearning Gaze of a Poet"

This evening, devised by HB Studio board member Alan Pally, will showcase Berghof as a social critic of his time with readings by HB students and faculty of his career highlights Waiting for Godot (director, 1956), The Andersonville Trial (1959), his role as the Fool in King Lear at the New School (1940), along with his letters and other memorabilia.

7pm - HB Playwrights Theatre, 124 Bank Street

Saturday, February 15: HB Stories: A 75th Anniversary Valentine"

Inspired by such story-telling shows as "The Moth," "RISK" and "The Story Collider," this evening, directed by Larry Rosen of 'The Moth," will feature such HB alumni and current students as Vincent Pastore, Reza Salazar, Black-Eyed Susan, Danusia Trevino, Carol Rosenfeld, Nadia Diamond, and Zach Wynecoop sharing personal stories about their experiences at the Studio and the impact it has had on their lives.

7pm - HB Playwrights Theatre, 124 Bank Street

Tuesday, February 18: "Beethoven, the Bard, and the Boards"

Beethoven loved theater. In honor of the great composer's 250th birthday and his great love of theater (Beethoven's personal journal is littered with quotations from his favorite plays, and he often wrote music inspired by his favorite characters and scenes), HB Studio actors will perform scenes from Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, plus Goethe's Egmont, and Klinger's Sturm und Drang,. The scenes, which will be performed table-side in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Café, will be interspersed with recordings of related Beethoven piano sonatas, string quartets, and overtures.

7pm - Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Library for the Performing Arts Café, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza

Monday, March 2: "Cabaret Journey"

HB actors perform an evening of recitations, scenes and commentary tracing the evolution of Christopher Isherwood's "Berlin Stories" to the legendary director-producer Harold Prince's award-winning musical adaptation, the now classic Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret, in conjunction with the library's current exhibition celebrating Prince's unparalleled career. With special guest Joel Grey.

6pm - Bruno Walter Auditorium, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza

Monday, March 9: Public Conversation and Video Presentation from the Performing Arts Legacy Project of the Actors Fund Research for Arts & Culture

HB artists Robbie McCauley, Lenore Loveman, Barbara Irvine, Marion McCorry, and Katherine O'Sullivan will share their experiences with the Performing Arts Legacy Project, an initiative of the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) and The Actors Fund. This online platform helps older professionals in the performing arts document their careers. Visitors to the website, at performingartslegacy.org, can now explore a national legacy of performing arts and entertainment professionals' work and older performers can begin the creative journey of documenting their performing careers.

7pm - HB Playwrights Theatre, 124 Bank Street

Monday, June 8: HB Studio 75th Anniversary Gala - Tribeca Rooftop

For information on all the above events visit hbstudio.org.


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