Uta Hagen Centennial Celebration to Take Place at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts | Playbill

Industry News Uta Hagen Centennial Celebration to Take Place at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts A series of events, plus a display of her archives at Lincoln Center, will mark what would have been her 100th birthday.
Uta Hagen Martha Swope/New York Public Library

Uta Hagen at 100 will mark a season-long celebration of the centennial of the Tony Award-winning actor, activist, and HB Studio master teacher.

Beginning April 1, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will display materials from Hagen’s archives. The exhibit, Actress + Activist: Uta Hagen at 100, will be on display on the third floor of the Lincoln Center branch through July 31, where viewers can examine readings of her unpublished diaries and mementos from her many theatrical performances, as well as objects related to the period in the 1950s when she was blacklisted for suspicion of being a communist sympathizer. The records come from the Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Division, which houses three major collections related to Uta Hagen: the Uta Hagen/Herbert Berghof Papers, the HB Studio Records, and the HB Playwrights Foundation Records.

READ: 7 Highlights of the Jerome Robbins Exhibit at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center

The centennial will also include events, beginning with classes and demonstrations during an HB Studio Residency April 8–11.

On April 10, Austin Pendleton will lead a master class with actors Ethan Hawke and Jessica Hecht titled Respect for Acting: An Uta Hagen Master Class with Austin Pendleton. Additional talent will be announced later.

On May 13, an evening of semi-staged readings and commentary about Hagen’s famous Othello appearance, in which she starred opposite Paul Robeson and shared the first interracial kiss on Broadway will, take place with Loved Well (Not Wisely): Paul Robeson and Uta Hagen’s Othello.

Finally, on June 3, Alan Pally will lead a lecture titled Uta Hagen: A Participant in Society. The talk will feature images from the Library’s collections and rarely seen footage of Hagen, her work, and her colleagues, including unpublished excerpts from Hagen’s diary read by her daughter Leticia “Letty” Ferrer and granddaughter Teresa Teuscher. Director William Carden and actor Laila Robins, who both collaborated with Hagen, will appear.

Registration is required for all three events.

Hagen made her Broadway debut in 1938 with The Seagull and appeared on Broadway 22 times in her career. She starred as Desdemona in the aforementioned 1943 revival of Othello and replaced as Blanche Du Bois in the original production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1947. (She later reprised the role in the 1950 Broadway revival.) The actor earned her first Tony Award for her performance in The Country Girl in 1950. Other credits include Joan in Saint Joan as well as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which earned her her second Tony Award. She was awarded the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999 before passing in 2004.

For more information regarding Uta Hagen at 100, including registration, visit NYPL.org.

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