Master Class of Uta Hagen Technique Concludes Successfully


The 10-day Master Class of Uta Hagen Technique concluded successfully at the Shanghai Theatre Academy recently.

Uta Hagen Technique is named after Ms Uta Hagen. Uta Hagen is the author of “Respect for Acting” and “A Challenge for the Actor” and the founder of a set of training methods designed to help actors conduct thorough self-analysis. In 1945, she helped her husband to establish the Herbert Berghof Studio, a professional theatre acting school with a strong reputation at Broadway in New York City, which has trained a galaxy of outstanding actors.

For this master class, Herbert Berghof Studio (H-B Studio)’s training specialists, Francesca Ferrara and Snezhana Chernova, were invited to teach the Uta Hagen technique to 46 trainees and 50 theoretical researchers. The trainees and theoretical researchers attending the master class included first-tier professional actors and well-known directors, as well as teachers and PhD and Master's degree students from Shanghai Theatre Academy, Beijing Film Academy, Peking University and other universities.

Francesca Ferrara (left) & Snezhana Chernova (right)

In the course of the master class, the training specialists used the basic target training as well as such training methods as "three ways of appearing on stage", "directness", "the fourth wall", "empowerment" and "actions of characters in the play" to help actors strengthen their self-awareness and knowledge of the prescribed situation, and to create roles and portray characters in their actions.

Under the guidance of Uta Hagen Technique, the trainees rehearsed a number of excerpts from Chekhov's famous plays, polished and refined them under the guidance of the training specialists, and gave a wonderful reporting performance before the conclusion of the master class.

Lin Gengxin, Trainee

Yang Jia, Trainee

He Yan, Host of Master Class

The theoretical researcher will also systematically sort out the contents of the ten-day course to prepare for the subsequent in-depth theoretical research, so as to produce a valuable documentation on Uta Hagen Technique in the domestic performing arts circle.

After ten days of training, the trainees said that through the master class, they have initially grasped a training technique which is "like a magnifying glass to help the actor to find the real self-feeling and find the commonality between the self and the role", and a training technique that can be used by an actor for the rest of his life.

Group Photo of Master Class of Uta Hagen Technqiue

Xiao Ying, Wang Xueming and Zhu Feng and other party and administrative leaders of the Department of Acting of Shanghai Theatre Academy, attended the closing ceremony of the master class and expressed their gratitude to the training specialists. Professor He Yan, the host of the master class and head of the International Performing Arts Research Centre, said that this is the first time that Shanghai Theatre Academy has held the "Master Class on Uta Hagen Technique". This year, the Shanghai Theatre Academy will also introduce Stella Adler Technique and Lee Strasberg Technique, and compile Suzuki Tadashi Method into a book to be published in China. These well-known actor’s training methods are a useful reference and observation for actor’s training and education in China.

Group Phote of Acting Department Teachers and Two Training Specialists

On the basis of the success of this master class, the International Performing Arts Research Centre will continue to devote itself to introducing influential actor’s training systems and methods of the twentieth-century, constantly expanding the actor’s education and teaching, enriching the theory of performing arts, and deepening the practice of performing arts.