The Art of Transformation

HB Studio offers both online classes and in-person classes at the Studio. Before your first class, please review the information outlined on the relevant page(s). Class titles below indicate which are running online vs. in person

  • IN-PERSON CLASSES meet for the full 10-week term, 1 session per week.
  • ONLINE CLASSES are offered in 5-week Parts, 1 session per week. Sign up for either Part A or Part B independently (5 weeks each), or join both for the full 10-week term. You may join Part B without taking Part A.

Instructor: Janice Orlandi

Held in-person in Fall 2022:

“The Lost Art of Letters:” Creating Character Portraits through their Letters.

This workshop lays the foundation for performers to create, write, self direct and incubate a Solo Performance of a Character through the exploration of letters.

The epistolary form  adds a confessional reality to a story and demonstrates differing points of view and dramatic content. Actors will explore and research powerfully inspired and passionate letters of love, celebration, joy, grief, forgiveness, compassion, despair, romance and friendship.

Inspired by Michael Chekhov’s Character Portraits exercises, we will incorporate character transformation and embodiment exercises, physical dramaturgy, historic research, costume elements, props, set, lighting, sound and music, to fully realize solo moments and performances presented as choreographed portraits through letters.

You will create a character and their environment through exploring character, archetypes, atmospheres, inner objects or centers, imaginary body transformations, movement and vocal qualities, animals, objects, age, status, historical period style and physical conditions. We will utilize character development tools for transformation including exercises and

Will be using Physical Techniques of creating a historical Character through the exercises of and approaches developed by Loyd Williamson, Uta Hagen, Stanislavsky, Bobby Lewis & Michael Chekhov.

Letters will be drawn from many sources, including letters to and from artists, historic personages, the press, family, poets, figures from Hollywood and the theater, leaders, prisoners of war, letters from the front, and more.

The possibilities for example, may include letters from and to: Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera, Isadora Duncan, Simone de Beauvoir, Ida B. Wells,, Georgia O’Keeffe, Nelson Mandela, Oscar Wilde, John Steinbeck, Ira Aldridge, Rudyard Kipling, Anton Chekhov, Marilyn Monroe, Tennessee Williams, Zora Neal Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Robeson, Lorraine Hansberry, Lillian Hellman, Anne Sexton, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Queen Elizabeth I , Mozart, Nicholas Romanoff, Pushkin, Vincent van Gogh, Anne Frank, Florence Nightingale, Abraham Lincoln, Dorothy Parker, Socrates, Michelangelo, Chief Seattle of the Duwamish Tribe, and others discovered through research and personal connection.

“How can you buy or sell the sky –the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? We will decide in our time. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.”  – Chief Seattle of the Duwamish Tribe, 1855

“My Dearest Friend, …should I draw you the picture of my Heart, it would be what I hope you still would Love; tho it containd nothing New; the early possession you obtained there; and the absolute power you have ever mantaind over it; leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.” -Abigail Adams December 23, 1782

Current and Upcoming