Uta Hagen's Acting Technique

Whether I coach, teach, act or direct, I base the work on Uta Hagen’s teachings. Practical and self reflective, Hagen’s philosophies on acting are based on humanity and respect. Expand acting on stage "to behave realistically in imaginary circumstances.”

Read this excellent article: “The Definitive Guide to Uta Hagen’s Acting Technique” by Alex Ates for Backstage magazine

Photo taken from Backstage Magazine article / Source: Courtesy ITC Films

Photo taken from Backstage Magazine article / Source: Courtesy ITC Films

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning


As a child, I warmly recall how my parents enjoyed playing their collection of Rogers and Hammerstein records on their hi fi. My mother would joyously hum and sing around the house while my Dad, who preferred overtures, shook his head as he would sit me down and tell me each show’s story. WEST SIDE STORY was a favorite as was SOUTH PACIFIC and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. My mom would sing about a “..bright golden haze on the meadow.." and I was proud that I could spell Oklahoma.

I’ve always loved OKLAHOMA! I had a chance to learn a medley from this show in my 8th grade music class and I still know all the words to “The Surrey With the Fringe On Top.” I was fascinated with Jud, as much as I wanted to know why there would be any question concerning the friendship between the farmers and cowboys. My first audition song was, ‘I’m Just a Girl Who Cain’t Say No.” but I sang Laurie’s musical numbers in the mirror. The show continued to fascinate me as I learned about the “Sooner” state and the Osage Indians. But it was my first reading of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, where I became somewhat obsessed with our 46th state, Constructing the backstory of the musical, OKLAHOMA! has always been a pet project of mine. My interest deepened even further when I portrayed “Violet Weston” In AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and my character research enhanced my empathy for the people who lived in cities such as Tulsa and Salisaw. The entire state, depicted in the musical with the hope of Aunt Eller’s hearth and the good time of a small town picnic, had a very conflicted and dark side. Home to hundreds of displaced Native Americans and a land manipulated by the greed of bankers and developers, the fact that its residents did not benefit from the oil or civil rights promised has always haunted me.

While transforming the genre of the American musical in 1943, Richard Rogers’ score and Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics gave modern theatre a show that is traditionally known for energy and spirit. Yet, a cloud hangs over those haystacks, and without changing a word or a note, the most recent production of OKLAHOMA! presents a darker interpretation and I can’t wait to see it.

Reviews of the recent production of OKLAHOMA!:

The New York Times
Hollywood Reporter

Read the New York Times review of the original production of OKLAHOMA! here.

New York Times: 72 Plays and Musicals to see this Fall and Beyond

Jake Gyllenhaal Credit Bryan Derballa for The New York Times

Jake Gyllenhaal Credit Bryan Derballa for The New York Times

This is such a thorough list, I’m putting it here for everyone’s reference. Some great suggestions. I’ll let you know which ones I see! If you have recommendations, please do share them. I’d love to hear from you!

72 Plays and Musicals to See This Fall and Beyond” by Steven McElroy, The New York Times

25 Best American Plays


It has been 25 years since “Angels in America” redefined what a play could be. With the epic masterwork on Broadway once more, New York Times theater critics took the opportunity to rank the best American plays of the last quarter-century.

To read the list, click here