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Uta Hagen

Uta Hagen
De Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Uta Hagen

actriz, directora, maestra de actores

José Ferrer (1938-1948)Herbert Bergdorf (1957-1990)
Hijo/s Leticia
Uta Thyra Hagen (12 de junio de 1919, Göttingen- 14 de enero de 2004, Nueva York) fue una legendaria maestra de actores y actriz tres veces ganadora del Premio Tony de origen alemán naturalizada estadounidense. Hija del historiador de arte Oskar Hagen y la cantante de ópera Thyra Leisner, su familia emigró a Estados Unidos en 1924. Creció en Madison (Wisconsin) y en 1937 se estableció en Nueva York. Debutó en 1937 como Ofelia de Hamlet en Dennis, Massachusetts en la compañía de Eva Le Gallienne seguida por Nina de La gaviota de Antón Chéjov y Santa Juana de George Bernard Shaw. En Broadway fue Desdémona para el Otello de Paul Robeson junto a su marido de entonces José Ferrer como Iago. Por su relación profesional y personal con Paul Robeson integró la lista negra de Hollywood y su carrera cinematográfica se vio severamente afectada. No obstante, fue en teatro que conquistó la fama y originó el papel de Martha en 1963 en la premiere de Broadway de Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? de Edward Albee y posteriormente en Londres. Encarnó a Blanche DuBois de Un tranvía llamado deseo sucediendo a Jessica Tandy en la gira dirigida por Harold Clurman junto a Marlon Brando y luego Anthony Quinn. En 1951 ganó el Premio Tony por The country girl de Clifford Odets y en 1963 por Quien le teme a Virginia Woolf?. En 1999 recibió su tercero en homenaje a su larga carrera. Desde 1947 se destacó como maestra de actores en el Estudio HB en Greenwich Village de Nueva York, entre sus alumnos se cuentan Matthew Broderick, Christine Lahti, Jason Robards, Sigourney Weaver, Liza Minnelli, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Lemmon, Debbie Allen y Al Pacino. Escribió dos libros fundamentales en las técnicas de actuación Respect for Acting (1973) y A Challenge for the Actor (1991) y también un libro de cocina Love for Cooking en 1976.
En 2002, fue condecorada con la Medalla de las Artes por el presidente George W. Bush en la Casa Blanca. Originados en las técnicas actorales de Stanislavski, Uta Hagen es considerada una de las grandes profesoras de actores contemporáneos junto a Michael Chekhov, Lee Strasberg y Stella Adler.

Vida personal
En 1938 se casó con José Ferrer con quien tuvo su hija Leticia (Lettie) Ferrer. Se divorciaron en 1948 supuestamente por su relación con Paul Robeson. Se casó en 1957 con el actor y maestro de actores Herbert Berghof con quien permaneció hasta la muerte de él en 1990.

The Other - 1972
The Boys from Brazil - 1978
A Doctor's Story - 1984
Reversal of Fortune - 1990
Limón: A Life Beyond Words - 2001

Victory - 1945
A Month in the Country - 1959
The Day Before Sunday - 1970
Seasonal Differences - 1987
The Sunset Gang - 1991


Brestoff, Richard (1995). The Great Acting Teachers and Their Methods. Smith & Kraus. ISBN 978-1-57525-012-0.


Port of New York, passenger list of the S.S. Luetzow, September 4, 1924, sheet 41.
"Lady Invincible", Wisconsin Academy Review, vol. 46, issue 4, Fall 2000.
«HB Studio in New York».
Hagen, Uta 1991. A Challenge for the Actor. New York: Scribner's. ISBN 0-684-19040-0
Interview in playbill.com
«YouTube - Uta Hagen's Acting Class».
[Brestoff, Richard (1995). The Great Acting Teachers and Their Methods. Smith & Kraus. ISBN 978-1-57525-012-0].

Versión en Inglés

Uta Thyra Hagen (12 June 1919 – 14 January 2004) was a German-born American actress and drama teacher. She originated the role of Martha in the 1963 Broadway premiere of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee (who called her "a profoundly truthful actress"). Hagen was on the Hollywood blacklist, in part because of her association with Paul Robeson, and this curtailed film opportunities, focusing her to perform in New York theaters. She won the Tony Award three times. She later became a highly influential acting teacher at New York's Herbert Berghof Studio and authored best-selling acting texts, Respect for Acting, with Haskel Frankel, and A Challenge for the Actor. She was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.

Life and career

Early life

Born in Göttingen, Germany, Hagen and her family emigrated to the United States in 1924, when her father received a position at Cornell University.[3] She was raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She appeared in productions of the University of Wisconsin High School and in summer stock productions of the Wisconsin Players. She studied acting briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1936.[4] After spending one semester at the University of Wisconsin, where her father was the head of the department of art history, she left for New York City in 1937.[5] Her first professional role was as Ophelia opposite Eva Le Gallienne in the title role of Hamlet in Dennis, Massachusetts in 1937.

Hagen was cast, early on, as Ophelia by the actress-manager Eva LeGallienne. From there, Hagen went on to play the leading ingenue role of Nina in a Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull which featured Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. It was 1938; Hagen was just 18. This experience left an indelible mark on the young actress, as she later reflected, "My next job was Nina in The Seagull, [her Broadway bow] with the Lunts, on Broadway. That sounds incredible, too. They were an enormous influence on my life." She admired "their passion for the theatre, and their discipline. It was a 24-hour-a-day affair, and I never forgot it—never!" The New York Times' critic Brooks Atkinson hailed her Nina as "grace and aspiration incarnate". She would go on to play George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan (1951) on Broadway, and Desdemona in a production which toured and played Broadway, featuring Paul Robeson as Shakespeare's Othello and her then-husband Jose Ferrer as Iago. She took over the role of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire for the national tour, which was directed not by Elia Kazan who had directed the Broadway production but by Harold Clurman. Hagen had had a revelatory experience when she first worked with Clurman in 1947. In Respect for Acting, she credited her discoveries with Clurman as the springboard for what she would later explore with her husband Herbert Berghof: "how to find a true technique of acting, how to make a character flow through me". She played Blanche (on the road and on Broadway) opposite at least four different Stanley Kowalskis, including Anthony Quinn and Marlon Brando. Through interviews with her and contemporary criticism, the report is that Hagen's Blanche refocused the audience's sympathies with Blanche rather than with Stanley (where the Brando/Kazan production had leaned). Primarily noted for stage roles, Hagen won her first Tony Award in 1951 for her performance as the self-sacrificing wife Georgie in Clifford Odets' The Country Girl. She won again in 1963 for originating the role of the "I-wear-the-pants-in-this-family-because-somebody's-got-to" Martha in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. (An original cast recording was made of this show.) In 1981 she was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame and in 1999 received a "Special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award".
Hagen considered the period between 1938 and 1947 as the transitional years of my career, during which I lost my way and a love of acting until I finally regained it to begin a true life in the theater." Although she appeared in some movies, because of the Hollywood blacklist she had more limited output in film and on television, not making her cinematic debut until 1972. She would later comment about being blacklisted, "that fact kept me pure". Although Hagen played a character with a German accent in one of her best-known Hollywood films, The Boys from Brazil, in which her scene is with Laurence Olivier, and a Russian accent in The Other, she had simply assumed the accent for those roles (Hagen was raised in Wisconsin). She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" for her performance on the television soap opera One Life to Live. She taught at HB Studio, a well-known New York City acting school on a cobblestone, tree-shaded street in the West Village. She began there in 1947, and married its co-founder, Herbert Berghof, on January 25, 1957. Later in her life, Hagen undertook a return to the stage, earning accolades for leading roles in Mrs. Warren's Profession (1985), Collected Stories, and Mrs. Klein. After Berghof's death in 1990 she became the school's chairperson.

Hagen was an influential acting teacher who taught, among others, Matthew Broderick, Christine Lahti, Amanda Peet, Jason Robards, Sigourney Weaver, Liza Minnelli, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Lemmon, Charles Nelson Reilly, Manu Tupou, Debbie Allen and Al Pacino. She was a voice coach to Judy Garland, teaching a German accent, for the picture Judgment at Nuremberg.[citation needed] Garland's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination. She also wrote Respect for Acting (1973) and A Challenge for the Actor (1991), which advocate realistic acting (as opposed to pre-determined "formalistic" acting). In her mode of realism, the actor puts his own psyche to use in finding identification with the role," trusting that a form will result. In Respect for Acting, Hagen credited director Harold Clurman with a turn-around in her perspective on acting: "In 1947, I worked in a play under the direction of Harold Clurman. He opened a new world in the professional theatre for me. He took away my 'tricks'. He imposed no line readings, no gestures, no positions on the actors. At first I floundered badly because for many years I had become accustomed to using specific outer directions as the material from which to construct the mask for my character, the mask behind which I would hide throughout the performance. Mr Clurman refused to accept a mask. He demanded ME in the role. My love of acting was slowly reawakened as I began to deal with a strange new technique of evolving in the character. I was not allowed to begin with, or concern myself at any time with, a preconceived form. I was assured that a form would result from the work we were doing." Hagen later "disassociated" herself from her first book, Respect for Acting. In Challenge for the Actor she redefined a term which she had initially called "substitution", an esoteric technique for alchemizing elements of an actor's life with his/her character work, calling it "transference" instead. Though Hagen wrote that the actor should identify the character they play with feelings and circumstances from their (the actor's) own life, she also makes clear that
"Thoughts and feelings are suspended in a vacuum unless they instigate and feed the selected actions, and it is the characters' actions which reveal the character in the play."
Respect for Acting is used as a textbook for many college acting classes. She also wrote a 1976 cookbook, Love for Cooking. In 2002, she was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President George W. Bush at a ceremony held at the White House.
In 2001, Hagen released a video entitled Uta Hagen's Acting Class, a two-part set that captures her master classes.

Personal life

She married José Ferrer in 1938, with whom she had a daughter, Leticia (Lettie) Ferrer, an actor in New York City. They divorced in 1948 partially because of her affair with her Othello co-star Paul Robeson, an affair which was long concealed. She was married to the actor and teacher and director Herbert Berghof from 1957 until his death in 1990. At his death, she said, "You know, we were partners in our work, in everything. We did everything together. Very few people understand what that kind of a loss is like."

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