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Uta Hagen

In addition to her work as a Tony Award-winning actor, Uta Hagen was a beloved teacher at New York’s Herbert Berghof Studio and authored the best-selling “Respect for Acting” and “A Challenge for the Actor.” Her popular technique emphasizes realism and truth above all else; “substitution” (or “transference”) encourages actors to substitute their own experiences and emotional recollections for the given circumstances of a scene.


As part of her long and legendary teaching career, Hagen developed the talents of Matthew Broderick, Sigourney Weaver, Jack Lemmon, and many others, and was even a vocal (and accent) coach to Judy Garland.

Hagen's approach is very practical, not perfumed with flowery abstractions. The techniques of Uta Hagen such as physical destination have been adapted by Coach Richard for the modern film and television actor to be combined with principles of Neuroaesthetics, Behavior and Movement and Practical Aesthetics to embolden the actor to create interesting and real characters no matter how close to or far from their own personality the character may be. By exploring honest self-observation and the wielding of the actual and not the abstract Uta Hagen's techniques can be a boon to the modern actor.

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