HB Studio, one of New York’s original institutions for theater training and practice, has teamed up with Barcelona-based drama school Eòlia Conservatory of Dramatic Arts to establish a student exchange and a joint devised theater ensemble with select students from both institutions. Eòlia ESAD, to establish a student exchange and carry out a joint theater project with selected students from both institutions.
Following their transition to virtual training, HB Studio sought to take advantage of opportunities to build bridges among the international community and establish a mutual exchange of work in the online space.
An alumna of both Eòlia and HB Studio, Spanish actress and HB Studio teaching artist Maria Fontanals, initiated the partnership between the organizations.
“Art knows no boundaries,” said Fontanals. “As a fluent speaker of Spanish, Catalan, French, and English, I have come to understand the value of a multilingual and multicultural worldview. Having this partnership will build a strong artistic community that knows no borders.”
Two teaching artists and two students from each institution will collaborate together on a mentored, student-directed devised theater project that will culminate in a performance showcase. Eòlia faculty members Alexandre Fons and Mariona Esplugues and students Clàudia Hernández and Sara Font joined HB faculty members Paul Pryce and Ben Mehl and students Meytar Zehavi and Jandel Camilo to begin work on the project last month.
Josep Galindo, director at Eòlia, envisioned the project as an opportunity for artists to develop material that is uniquely personal through unimpeded creative freedom and generous mentorship.
"We want to give plenty of space for ideas to unfold," Galindo said. "We don't know where this journey will take us, rather we will discover it along the way."
said Galindo. "We don't know where this journey will take us, we will rather discover it along the way."
Through the process of sharing and generating together, the ensemble will shape a creative work and present it to audiences from both institutions when the artists feel it is ready.
“We as the faculty mentors have avoided being prescriptive about what we think this should be,” Mehl said of the project. , Mehl said of the project.
In addition to the devised theater project, HB Studio i Eòlia ESAD have established a free international exchange among five students. HB Studio students Chase Ramsey, Anna Cherkezishvili, and Gem Nelson began participating in a virtual 11-week directing class conducted by Galindo with other students from the Barcelona-based school, on Feb.14.
The class proposes a process of preparation for a director beginning work on a play, exploring stage languages and systems of analysis. Students choose a play and design a staging for the project. The three were selected among a group of 20 students at HB Studio that had applied for the opportunity.
“The course is exhilarating,” said Gem Nelson. “It’s packed with a wealth of priceless information with a solid approach and foundation to the process of directing.”
Among the selected students of Eòlia ESAD are Adriana Galicia and Mariona Esplugues. Both students will participate in a creative laboratory of multilingual theater with 14 HB Studio students. This laboratory is a collective and contemporary reinterpretation of "An Enemy of the People" by Henrik Ibsen, with HB Studio professor Pablo Andrade, and will end in a final presentation of the work in online format.
ABOUT HB STUDIO
HB Studio is a XNUMX(c)XNUMX nonprofit organization that supports vigorous, lifelong practice in the theater 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 Studio 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, Debbie Allen, Carroll Baker, Susan Batson, Matthew Broderick, Tisa Chang, Stockard Channing, Billy Crystal, Robert DeNiro, Faye Dunaway, Katie Finneran, Lee Grant, Whoopi Goldberg, Hal Holbrook, Christine Lahti, Jessica Lange, Linda Lavin, John Leguizamo, Jack Lemmon, Romulus Linney, Kenneth Lonergan, Anne Meara, Bette Midler, Liza Minelli, Leonardo Nam, Alfredo Narciso, Dael Orlandersmith, Juan Pablo de Pace, Al Pacino, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amanda Peet, Andre Royo, Mercedes Ruehl, Molly Shannon, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Stiller, and John David Washington.
Press release published by HB Studio on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.