Austin Pendleton to teach “Directing for the Stage” this Spring

OBIE Award-winning director and celebrated actor Austin Pendleton launches a new class at HB Studio this Spring: “Directing for the Stage.” Pendleton, who has been teaching sought-after Scene Study classes at HB Studio for decades, will now share his directorial expertise with aspiring and established directors alike. The class, now enrolling, is scheduled to start March 20, 2017.

New York, NY (Feb. 24, 2017) – This Spring, OBIE Award-winning director Austin Pendleton launches his first Directing class at HB Studio, one of New York’s most venerable institutions for theater training and practice. The course, “Directing for the Stage,” is intended for both established and aspiring directors, and will be tailored to each individual participant’s skills and level of expertise. Mr. Pendleton, who has taught sought-after Scene Study classes at HB Studio for decades, is a celebrated actor of stage and screen, and has directed extensively on and off-Broadway. Mr. Pendleton succeeds HB Studio’s much-beloved Directing teacher Jack Hofsiss, who passed away last September. The class, now enrolling, is scheduled to start March 20, 2017.

Mr. Pendleton will work with participants on Monday mornings over the course of ten weeks, focusing primarily on a director’s role as leading interpreter of an existing text and architect of a production. Emphasis will be placed on working with actors on the script, breaking down the scenes into act-able actions and beats, the practical aspects of collaborating with designers, casting choices, and alternate ways of approaching a text that differ from the classic first read-through around-the-table style.

Mr. Pendleton says of his teaching, “It’s a delicate process to get to the root of what problems you may have in the work (and I mean problems in the work: I don’t mean personal problems). It’s also a delicate process leading you to an awareness of them. Sometimes the way is to be blunt. Sometimes the way is to be subtle… I try to be friendly. Sometimes, if I’ve gotten to know somebody, I try to be a little bit mean…Sometimes I’ll praise you to the skies if the work you have done is a breakthrough for you, even if at the same time the work is not totally satisfactory. Sometimes I’ll question a perfectly realized piece if it seems to come from a place you’ve been sitting in for too long in your work. All this comes under one heading: I try to help.”

Mr. Pendleton (B.A. Yale University, 1961) studied acting at HB Studio with Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen and Robert Lewis. He has appeared onstage in IVANOV (CSC), ROSMERSHOLM (Pearl Theatre), THE LAST WILL, LOVE DRUNK and ANOTHER VERMEER (Abingdon), MOTHER COURAGE and ROMEO AND JULIET (Public Theatre, Shakespeare in the Park), LIMONADE TOUS LES JOURS (The Cell), SMALL CRAFT WARNINGS (Mother of Invention) and THE SUNSET LIMITED (Steppenwolf in Chicago, 59E59 in NY). He has appeared on Broadway in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, DOUBLES, HAIL SCRAWDYKE! (Derwent Award), THE LITTLE FOXES and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF; and off-Broadway in THE SORROWS OF FREDERICK, THE BLACK MONK, HUGHIE, SOPHISTRY, EDUCATING RITA, THE LAST SWEET DAYS OF ISAAC (Obie and Drama Desk Awards) and OH DAD… He has performed title roles in HAMLET, RICHARD 3, and RICHARD 2 (Off-Off-Broadway), KING LEAR, WAITING FOR GODOT and QUILLS (New Rep, Boston); IVANOV and TARTUFFE (Yale Rep) and AMADEUS (Cleveland Playhouse). He has appeared on screen in BAD CITY (DVD), WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, TRIAL AND ERROR, THE ASSOCIATE, GUARDING TESS, MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE, THE MUPPET MOVIE, STARTING OVER, FRONT PAGE, WHAT’S UP DOC, SKIDOO, CATCH-22. TV: 100 CENTRE STREET, OZ, HOMICIDE, ST. ELSEWHERE. On Broadway he has directed: SPOILS OF WAR, THE LITTLE FOXES (Tony nomination), JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN, THE RUNNER STUMBLES and SHELTER. Off-Broadway he directed: HAMLET, IVANOV, THREE SISTERS and UNCLE VANYA (CSC); VIEUX CARRÉ and TOYS IN THE ATTIC (Pearl), FIFTY WORDS (MCC). He is the recipient of the 2007 Drama Desk Special Award as Renaissance Man of the American Theatre.

HB Studio, founded in 1945, is a non-profit organization that provides an artistic home and vibrant creative community where both aspiring and professional artists find opportunity, education, encouragement, and support. HB’s practical approach to theater and high artistic principles are the enduring legacy of its founders, Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen.

For more information visit:

EVENT: Directing for the Stage with Austin Pendleton

TAUGHT BY: Austin Pendleton

DATES & TIMES: Mondays, 11:30am -2:30pm | March 20 – May 22, 2017.

LOCATION: HB Studio (120 Bank Street in Greenwich Village, NYC).


ENROLL NOW (act fast, space is limited!) and learn more at:

###About HB Studio:
HB Studio is a nonprofit organization that supports vigorous, lifelong practice in the theatre arts based on a solid foundation of practical training. The Studio was conceived as a place where artists at all stages of their careers could continue to work and train between engagements, supported and challenged by their more experienced colleagues, in a space free from pressures related to commercial success. HB is open to any person with a serious interest in the theater and its related disciplines. Its students, faculty, and alumni form a vibrant community of actors, playwrights, and directors.HB Studio alumni include some of the most notable actors of American theater and film including Christopher Abbott, F. Murray Abraham, Carroll Baker, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, James Cromwell, Billy Crystal, Robert DeNiro, Faye Dunaway, Whoopi Goldberg, Hal Holbrook, Christine Lahti, Jessica Lange, Linda Lavin, John Leguizamo, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amanda Peet, Doris Roberts, Mercedes Ruehl, George Segal, Molly Shannon, and Barbra Streisand.Founded by Viennese actor/director Herbert Berghof in 1945, HB is one of the original New York acting studios. In 1947, Berghof met the celebrated actress Uta Hagen and invited her to join him in teaching at the Studio. The two later married, and Hagen, author of the seminal acting texts Respect for Acting and A Challenge for the Actor, became one of the most renowned and respected acting teachers of the 20th century. HB’s faculty of master teachers and practicing artists carry on in that tradition today.