Attendance Policy & Late Policy
Students are expected to observe professional discipline when enrolling at HB Studio. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Key Student (person taking attendance in class) and/or notify the instructor when students cannot attend a class or have a valid reason to be late. Students may be dropped without a refund if repeatedly late, unprepared, or absent. After two consecutive absences Key Students may contact those absent to determine interest in continuing. Three consecutive, unexcused absences may cause students to lose their place in the class. Students who arrive after the start of class without prior communication may be marked absent.
The doors to the studio will be open for check-in 30 minutes before the time your class starts and will remain open 15 minutes after your class starts. Please do not arrive any earlier than 30 minutes before class. Those who arrive more than 15 minutes past the start of class time will not be admitted to the building.
HB Studio offers you a distinguished faculty of accomplished artists whose livelihood is gained primarily from performing. Their professional activities and experience enhance the value of their offering.
Every effort is made to keep faculty substitutions to a minimum. However, on occasion, when professional engagements come up, the Studio will arrange a substitute from our extended professional community. Each instructor will approach the course objectives according to his or her own methods and experience as a working theater artist.
HB Studio reserves the right to cancel individual classes or entire courses in its sole discretion. In the event that a class is canceled, the Studio will make a reasonable effort to schedule a make-up class at a mutually convenient time and no refund will be given to students who are unable to attend this make-up class. In the event that a make-up class cannot be scheduled or an entire course is canceled, HB Studio will promptly refund students a pro rata share of the course tuition that has been paid by the student (for example, if one class in a ten-class course has been canceled, HB Studio will refund 10% of the course tuition). Refunds, when approved by HB Administration, will be credited or issued within 15-30 days after the final cancelation notification is sent. We regret that we cannot provide refunds or reimbursement for any expenses other than course tuition.
Young People Classes
HB Studio’s acting classes for kids and teens are for young people ages 9-17. Adult courses are for ages 18 and up.
Level Placement & Prerequisites
All Level 1 classes are open to all– Students who would like to begin their course studies at level 2 or above must audition or submit an online student submission form. Students who are not placed at levels 2, 3, or 4 (Studio Practice) may not enroll in upper-level classes without an audition or a student submission.
Certain Workshops require a level placement or an application to be approved prior to registration. Students who do not meet the prerequisites may not register for the workshop.
You will be dropped from any class or workshop for which you register without meeting the prerequisites, and a $27 administration fee will apply.
Our annual Spring Clean-Up is a cooperative effort by faculty, staff, and students that celebrate the spirit of volunteerism and community on which the Studio was founded. Take a break from your studies, join us in a yearly ritual of scrubbing, painting, spackling, repairing, renovating, and help us care for our artistic home. We provide food and fellowship. Your participation helps us keep our overhead, and thus your tuition fees, as low as possible. All key students and SAs are required to take part. Visit our online calendar for Spring Clean-Up dates.
Please report any unusual incident immediately to the office staff and they will inform the appropriate authorities accordingly.
In case of fire, an alarm will sound throughout the building. Leave the building immediately using the nearest exit. By law, all exit routes must be kept clear. Never block these areas with props, furniture, etc. Fire escapes are for emergency use only. Your teacher and Key Student will guide you.
Warm-up exercises at the beginning of movement classes are necessary to prevent injuries. Therefore, students may not participate in movement classes if they arrive more than 10 minutes after the start of class. Please notify the 3rd-floor office staff immediately in case of accident or injury in class or on our premises.
Damage to Props, Furniture or Facilities
Please move any damaged furniture or props to the side, and inform your Key Student or instructor. The Key Student will report the damage to the office staff.
Studio space is available for students to rent for rehearsals in preparation for class. All rentals must be paid in full upon booking. It is against studio policy to be disrespectful to peers, staff, faculty, and studio property when renting studio space, students will be given a one time warning. Renting privileges will be revoked if inappropriate behavior is observed. All studios are routinely inspected for damage. There are NO refunds or credits for studio rentals. No exceptions.
Bicycles, Roller Skates, Roller Blades
No non-collapsible bicycles are allowed in any of the buildings. Roller blades or roller skates may not be worn in the buildings. None of these items are allowed in scene work. At the instructor’s discretion, students may bring collapsible bicycles that have been fully folded into the classroom with them during class time. Ask your instructor for permission before bringing your collapsible bicycle to class.
In accordance with New York State Law, all HB facilities are smoke-free, therefore smoking is not permitted in scene work or rehearsals. There is no smoking 100 feet from main entrances, exits, and operable windows.
Outside of special Studio-sponsored events, alcohol consumption on HB Studio or HB Playwrights Foundation premises is strictly prohibited. The use of alcohol is never permitted in scene work. Anyone observed drinking or using illegal drugs on Studio or Playwrights Foundation premises is subject to expulsion.
Photographing & Videotaping Classes
Photographing or videotaping of classes or presentations is not permitted except by special arrangement and with approval of the Studio’s Executive & Artistic Director.
HB’s email Weekly Notice lists registration dates and deadlines, upcoming special events, performances and workshops, as well as other news items of interest to students and other members of the HB community. To join our list, subscribe online by clicking on the “Join Our Mailing List” button at the bottom of the website. Those wishing to share information about upcoming performances may do so through our student/alumni news. Submit your announcement using this form. The Weekly Notice is sent out Sunday evenings; performance notices must be submitted by the Thursday of the week you would like your announcement to run. The Studio reserves the right to edit content and format.
EMPLOYEE NON-DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY
Article I. Non-Discrimination Policy
The Herbert Berghof Studio, Inc. (‘HB’) strictly prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment, because of the individual’s race, color, ancestry, citizenship status, religion, age, genetic predisposition, carrier status, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, gender identity, genetic information or characteristics, domestic violence victim status, status as a veteran or disabled person, or any other protected classification under federal, state, or local law. This policy applies to all HB activities, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training. Individuals providing services in the workplace including contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, key students, fellows, studio assistants, volunteers, or interns (“non-employees”) are covered by this policy in their roles as service providers. Students who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed by any HB employee or non-employee should raise complaints pursuant to this policy.
Article II. General Policy Against Harassment
Harassment in the workplace, including the classroom, based on any of the above-listed characteristics is prohibited. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.
Unlawful harassment is conduct that subjects an individual to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Harassment need not be severe or pervasive to be unlawful, and can be any harassing conduct that consists of more than petty slights or trivial inconveniences.
Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating, or hostile speech or acts, including acts purported to be “jokes” or “pranks”; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to an individual or group because of their membership in one of the above-referenced groups. Even if behavior of this nature does not rise to the level of unlawful conduct, it is nonetheless impermissible under this policy.
HB notes that its commitment to address discrimination and harassment exists in the context of a studio that is an artistic workshop for actors, playwrights and directors at every level of achievement. The performing arts, including theater, often address sensitive themes involving gender, racial and other dynamics, and can include charged language that reflects such themes or dynamics.
Article III. Reporting Violations of Policy
If you believe that you have been subjected to any conduct of the type described in these policies, you are urged and expected to report the relevant facts promptly to the Executive Director, Edith Meeks, to the Deputy Director, Programs, Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, or the Registration Manager, Gerard Nazarian via email, letter, or by filling out the Complaint Form below or here [link]. Names and contact information of individuals who can receive reports are provided at the end of this Policy. You should report the conduct regardless of who the offender is, including if the offender is a non-employee as defined above. If the offender is a student, you should report pursuant to the Student Non-Discrimination Policy. If you have a complaint about the Executive Director or do not think it is appropriate to report to any of the three individuals above, you may report to the Board Secretary and Board Audit Committee Chair, Jessica Douieb, at email@example.com.
Reports of harassment may be made orally or in writing. A form for submission of a written complaint is attached to this policy and all individuals are encouraged to use this complaint form. Individuals who are reporting harassment on behalf of other individuals should use the complaint form and note that it is on another individual’s behalf.
All complaints or information about suspected harassment will be investigated, whether that information was reported in oral or written form. HB Studio will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation that ensures appropriate process for all parties, whenever management receives a complaint about harassment, or otherwise learns of possible harassment occurring. HB Studio will keep the investigation confidential to the extent possible. Effective corrective action will be taken whenever harassment is found to have occurred, up to and including termination of employment or contract. All employees, including managers and supervisors, are required to cooperate with any internal investigation of harassment.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against Studio personnel or non-employees found to have violated these policies. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Warning – Verbal or Written
- Required counseling, training or education
- Denial of pay increase/pay grade
- Loss of oversight or supervisory responsibility, or loss of privileges such as artistic advisory or creative project opportunities
- Suspension with or without pay
- Barring access to HB Studio premises and events for a period of time, or indefinitely
- Other actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, HB may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate
- Termination of agreement
- Barring access to HB Studio premises and events for a period of time, or indefinitely
- Other actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, HB may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate
Individuals who violate these policies may also be subject to legal and financial liability.
Article IV. Retaliation
It is against Studio policy to take retaliatory action against an individual for reporting inappropriate conduct pursuant to these policies. Retaliation means adverse conduct taken because an individual reported an actual or perceived violation of this policy, opposed practices prohibited by this policy, or participated in the reporting and investigation process. “Adverse conduct” includes but is not limited to:
- Shunning or avoiding an individual who reports harassment, discrimination, or retaliation; or
- Express or implied threats or intimidation against an individual or others intended to prevent an individual from reporting harassment, discrimination, or retaliation; or
- Denying employment or other benefits because an applicant, employee or non-employee reported harassment, discrimination or retaliation or participated in the reporting and investigation process. In the event an individual believes that they have been retaliated against for having made such a report, they should follow the above procedures to report retaliatory action.
If an investigation finds that a complainant knowingly and falsely accused another person of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, the complainant will be subject to appropriate sanctions, up to and including termination of employment or agreement.
Article V. Sexual Harassment Policy
While all forms of harassment are prohibited, New York State and City laws require employers to pay special attention to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is against the law. Individuals can enforce this right by filing a complaint internally with HB, or with a government agency or in court under federal, state or local antidiscrimination laws. Any individual covered by this policy who engages in sexual harassment or retaliation will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Sexual harassment is a specific type of discriminatory harassment. It is unlawful and will not be tolerated. According to the EEOC’s guidelines, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, wage, evaluation, further training, or advancement. This conduct is frequently called “quid pro quo” harassment, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. This conduct is frequently called “hostile environment harassment.”
HB Studio prohibits conduct that constitutes or contributes to sexual harassment. While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct that, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending on the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:
- Repeated unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions.
- Inappropriate touching of, or verbal abuse about, an individual’s body.
- Graphic verbal comments of a sexual nature about an individual’s body or appearance.
- Sexually degrading words used to describe an individual.
- The display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, including accessing, downloading or displaying such images from the Internet.
- Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences.
- Discussion of one’s sexual experiences.
Even if behavior of this nature does not rise to the level of unlawful conduct, it is nonetheless impermissible under this policy. Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender. HB cannot prevent or remedy sexual harassment unless it knows about it. Any individual who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute sexual harassment is encouraged to report such behavior. Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instance of sexual harassment should report such behavior. Managers are required to report any such behavior they become aware of.
Article VI. Legal Protections and External Remedies
Discrimination and harassment (including sexual harassment) is not only prohibited by the Studio but is also prohibited by state and federal law.
Aside from the internal process at HB, employees and in some cases non-employees, may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities. While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, you may seek the legal advice of an attorney.
Many localities, including New York City, enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual or other harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city, or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists. For example, employees who work in New York City may file complaints of sexual harassment with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact the Commission’s main office at Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 40 Rector Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York; call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml.
If the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Anyone who has experienced such conduct, including employees, non-employees, students, visitors, or others, should contact the local police department.
New York State Human Rights Law
The Human Rights Law, codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment, and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns, independent contractors, students and non-employees, regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court.
Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within three years of the harassment. If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the Human Rights Law, within three years of the alleged sexual harassment. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a New York State Human Rights Law complaint in state court.
Complaining internally to HB Studio does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The three years is counted from the date of the most recent incident of harassment.
You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR.
DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that sexual harassment has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If sexual harassment is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying of monetary damages, attorney’s fees and civil fines.
DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458. You may call (718) 741-8400 or visit: www.dhr.ny.gov.
Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal antidiscrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint regarding employment with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint, and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that employment discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court.
The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred. In general, private employers must have at least 15 employees to come within the jurisdiction of the EEOC.
An employee alleging discrimination at work can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669- 4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If an individual filed an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.
Article VII. Contact information for individuals who can receive reports
Edith Meeks, Executive & Artistic Director
Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, Deputy Director, Programs
Gerard Nazarian, Registration Manager
Jessica Douieb, Board Secretary and Audit Committee Chair, Member, DEAI Task Force