Dear HB Studio Community:
As businesses start to open and life begins to resemble a new version of normal, HB Studio is working diligently to re-enter our home on Bank Street. We are pleased to share an update on these plans with you.
Our ability to make a full return is contingent on many uncertain variables, and decisions regarding plans for in-person activity take much into consideration, including your valued feedback. We are eager for the day that we will gather together again and look forward to beginning the first steps toward that return.
Beginning in Fall 2021, HB Studio will:
- hold our 2021-2022 Hagen Core Training program onsite and gradually reintroduce select onsite Studio classes at reduced capacity.
- continue to offer a suite of Studio classes and workshops online.
- require those enrolling in onsite classes at HB Studio to be vaccinated*
- require all those entering the premises at HB Studio to be masked, except when presenting or performing work in class, or as industry best practices dictate.
- ask those onsite to adhere to social distancing measures.
HB Studio will continue offering a Hybrid Program for its F-1 International Students. We are also pleased to extend the opportunity to our 2021 Hagen Core Training cohort to join together in completing their program in person onsite next month.
The return to our spaces will be gradual, with priority given to our full-time programs and to classes that most require in-place work to benefit our students. We have acknowledged the limitations of learning in the virtual environment and are working to bring offerings that focus on acting technique, scenes, and movement back to our spaces as soon as possible. We expect that the classes best suited for the online space, such as our speech and writing classes, will continue online.
Though some businesses are now able to operate at full capacity, our situation requires more care. We are currently working to test and update our ventilation and heating systems. The number of classes we will be able to reintroduce onsite will depend on the speed and progress of that work. Our scene, vocal and body work is often intimate and physical. This type of work requires further caution. We are continuing to follow New York State, New York City, CDC, and union workplace safety guidelines as they relate to best practices for theater and classroom settings.
To establish a safe environment, HB Studio will require vaccinations of all faculty, students and staff that enter our spaces. This requirement affords us greater ease in performing our work without the impediment of masks. Masks will be required, when not performing, at all other times when on the premises. HB Studio will also encourage those onsite to adhere to social distancing measures.
If you haven’t yet done so, we urge those that are able to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others, and to support a quicker return to in-person activity. The Actors Fund can help schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for members of the performing arts and entertainment community. Walk-up and at-home vaccines are also available to most residents in NYC.
HB has experienced significant losses from the COVID-19 shutdown and the reopening effort is costly. We are relying on our community to rally together to support our return. If you would like to make a contribution to help us get back on Bank Street, you may do so here. We are grateful for any gift you are able to give to ensure HB Studio remains a vital and resilient resource for the global theater community.
What a journey this online experiment has been! In the virtual space, we have formed an expanded cultural exchange of ideas and community. We are thankful for this discovered gift and for the renewed perspective it provides us in our work. We intend to keep a virtual classroom and will continue to seek opportunities for creative cross-cultural exchanges, now and in the future.
If you haven’t yet done so, we encourage you to give online learning a try. HB Studio offers the opportunity for new and existing students to audit any of our online weekly classes, in order to observe the instructor’s teaching style and the culture of the class before making the commitment to register. Many of our students have expressed their surprise at how impactful and meaningful the online classes have been for them.
As the pandemic situation and our understanding of it continues to evolve, we will remain agile in our response. Please keep in touch with us and look for more updates on our reentry plans. We will share more detailed information on our reentry as the Fall Term approaches.
Stay well and enjoy your summer! We look forward to seeing you soon.
*Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis.