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Uta Hagen's Acting Class: The DVDs

4.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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(Apr 06, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Actors, directors, and teachers now have the opportunity to study with the legendary actress and teacher Uta Hagen for the first time on DVD. Shot over the course of two years, the interaction between Ms. Hagen and the actors and audience puts the viewer right in the room. All ten of her celebrated Object Exercises are clarified and performed. Jack Lemmon, Whoopi Goldberg and Christine Lahti, among others - all former students - recall their classes with Ms. Hagen and her enduring influence on their work. As Ms. Hagen herself states, "When I believe that there is a human being in action up there, in that moment, alive - right there - then I get spellbound. When you really achieve that understanding of human nature, the ability to place yourselves in the shoes of another human being and reveal that life onstage, is to me the ultimate experience." 2 DVDS, 200 MINUTES TOTAL! Uta Hagen has received the Tony and Drama Critics Awards for her roles in Odets' The Country Girl and Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. She won an Obie Award for her role in Mrs. Klein and was awarded a Tony for Special Lifetime Achievement and the National Endowment for the Arts Medal of Honor. "Because I love the theater, and believe it to be not only the actor's training but testing ground, it is with great pleasure that I recommend this set." - Meryl Streep "Here is Ms. Hagen at her extraordinary best - witty, compassionate, inspired and inspiring. Will watching this make you a better actor, director or teacher? Yes, yes and yes!" - David Hyde Pierce "How fortunate that Hagen's teaching has been captured on film ... This is an important work." - Library Journal "It is absolutely required viewing." - Richard Brown, Professor of Humanities, New York University

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Applause Books
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001Z3IHG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,036 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ericsater Christoffer on July 19, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a young actor in Europe, Sweden and I got Uta's books, Respect for Acting and, A Challenge for the Actor previously to my purchase of the DVD, Uta Hagan's Acting Class. So, I had already read through her books when I got the DVD which I felt when viewing the DVD is a must to understand the DVD.

The DVD is not a technical help tool to show you how to warm up or prepare for a play a role or audition as I thought it would have been.

Instead it is a quite amazing thing because you will from the very first minute of the DVD walk straight into the HB Studio's classroom and view everything as if you were doing a sit in for a course you might be interested in.

One will then watch her students first get some instructions about each exercise that she has and then they will based on the chosen exercise go up on stage and play dialogues against each other. After some minutes she will stop the students and instead of telling them what they did wrong ask them If there is something they could criticize about what they just did, and why they believe it to be so?

After that the students have talked about their understandings she will fill in with her own and give a very honest answer to everyone. It is obvious that she knows what she is doing and her feedback is always based on how the students have reached the goal of the exercises or not.

I would say that it is worth buying if one is serious about acting but if one live close to NY I would say that you are better off saving those money and instead go down to her studio, the HB studio and use those money for classes!
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Very grateful that the acting classes of the great actress and teacher, Uta Hagen, are captured on video and that one can "take" -- well sit in on -- Uta Hagen's Acting Class covering two semesters including all of her acting exercises and scenes from Simon to Shakespeare, also comentary from former students such as Whoopi Goldberg and Amanda Peet. We may no longer be able to see Hagen on stage BUT we have her teaching and her wonderfully entertaining stories.
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Of all the great teachers of acting around, none are as clear and true as Uta Hagen. These two dvds cover a condensation of two semesters of her acting classes. Pretty much all the points mentioned in her books(if you decide to invest in this dvd, you might also consider purchasing her newest book: "Challenge For The Actor", which is essentially a revision and expansion of her first book: "Respect For Acting")are covered, if you pay close attention. No matter what your level of ability may currently be, you should benefit from watching this. In addition, you may find it entertaining! All performing artists should find this enlightening.
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These dvd's are a great tool for actors AND directors. Too often, directors (especially in film) neglect to study the acting discipline in sufficient depth to communicate well with their primary collaborators. DVDs like this can help do that without going through a lengthy and expensive class. Also recommended are the Sanford Meisner DVDs, called Sanford Meisner Master Class.
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Uta Hagen is one of the greatest acting teachers of the 20th century. This DVD really captures her essence, her wit, her technique, and her insight. It truly is a treasure to see her. If you haven't read her book, you'll still get plenty out of it. If you have, you will love it all the greater. To really hear her voice telling all about her exercises and ideals is amazing. Anyone who loves the theatre and wants to be an actor would greatly appreciate, love, and find useful. I implore all of you to buy this!I certainly will use it for a long time to come!
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I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1983 and when not acting on stage in New York I always took a class in scene study. I was so fortunate in having a teacher that taught very much like Uta Hagen and to this day, retired and doing volunteer directing with Seniors (we actors never stop acting) I use all these techniques when working. I live in Los Angeles now and miss my acting classes and watching this marvelous tape has filled a need of mine and affirmed and broadened my use of the craft. This CD is a gem and every actor, beginner or advanced, should get a copy in addition to reading "Respect for Acting."
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Sadly, we actors do not have an opportunity to study with Uta Hagen today, but because of these videos, we have an opportunity to look through that window. If you're a serious actor, and you're serious about the Hagen technique, purchased her book and these DVDs together. I'm a lifelong believer and I'm still learning from her, years after the first day I purchased her book.
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This is an amazing investment for any actor, whether beginner or advanced. These dvds are actual classes and exercises by Uta Hagen herself, it seems as if you're right there in the class with her. For any actor out there who wants to advance and refine his or her craft, I absolutely recommend it.
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