Karen Ludwig produced and directed UTA HAGEN’S ACTING CLASS; a compelling DVD of her incomparable teacher conducting Master Acting Classes in New York, Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles, with Pennie duPont: UTAHAGENVIDEO.com
Ms. Ludwig has directed plays for the Theater for the New City, NYU School of the Arts, Ensemble Studio Theater, Circle Rep, and The HB Playwright’s Theater. She currently directs actors and writers for WORD OF MOUTH; developing solo shows at the Westbeth Center for the Arts in NYC.
2010 - 11
LOVE, LOSS and LIMBO by Natalie Bates, Aggie Garrett and Karen Ludwig ; HB Studio, NYC
2008 - 09
THE QUICK CHANGE ROOM by Nagle Jackson ; HB Playwright’s Theater, NYC
TRADE SECRETS by David Temple, with Monteith and Rand ; Wings Theater, NYC
AMERICA’S GAME by Jean Grillo ; HB Playwright’s Theater, NYC
THE LAST STANDING PROTESTER by Lydia Stryk ; HB Playwright's Theater, NYC
2002 - 07
WORD OF MOUTH; Solo Performance Workshop ; Westbeth, NYC
1997 - 99
WOMEN'S VOICES: An Evening of One Woman Shows ; UCLA
A WEEKEND NEAR MADISON by Kathleen Tolan ; The Howard Fine Studio, LA
OUR LATE NIGHT by Wallace Shawn ; The Powerhouse Theater, LA
3 SHORT PLAYS by Alan Sener ; The Lee Strasberg Institute, NYC
LIFE IN POSITANO by Barry J. Kaplan ; HOME, NYC
1985 - 87
THE KING OF CONNECTICUT by Frank Pugliese, with Philip Seymour Hoffman ; NYU Festival of New Playwrights; Tisch Theater, NYC
OUR LATE NIGHT by Wallace Shawn ; Tisch Theater, NYC
SIS BOOM BAA by Sybil Rosen ; Circle Rep Director's Lab, NYC
THE DEBORAH PROJECT; REUBEN AND SON by Sybil Rosen ; American Jewish Theater, NYC
A RIDE TO THE TRAIN by Bill Elverman ; Circle Rep Theatre, NYC
A STRAY DOG by Shami Chaikin & Karen Ludwig ; Ensemble Studio Theater, NYC
ELEVEN P.M., A SONG FEST; La Mama, NYC with Shami Chaikin
WITHOUT HEROES by Alice Eve Cohen ; Theatre for the New City, NYC
Ms. Magazine Tour: Carrier Theater ; Vivic Center, Syracuse, NY (Presented by the Cultural Resources Council)
SELMA by Shami Chaikin ; Theatre for the New City, NYC
WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU? by Susan Rice ; Lennox Arts Center, MASS
GETTING ON: A Workshop about Aging with Diane Weist, Linda Hunt, Lola Pashalinski, Shami Chaikin, Dale Soules and Dorothy Lyman
EVE OF DEPARTURE by Karen Ludwig; Straford Shakespeare Festival, Canada
Ms. Ludwig taught acting and directing for 7 years at USC School for Cinema/TV, U.C.L.A., NYU Film School and Tisch School of the Arts. As a private acting coach, she worked with Ricky Martin on ABC’s General Hospital.
Ms. Ludwig’s Workshops include, “Word of Mouth”; the creation of a solo show, “The Power of Communication and Collaboration” which she taught at The Pearl Group; an immigration law firm based in San Francisco, and most recently, for MFA thesis architects at the Parsons School for Design in New York City. She is currently on staff at The New School for Drama, MFA Program, and the HB Studio in New York. She is available for private coaching: (212) 243-7570.
Interview with Karen Ludwig from BackStage
Q How you did you develop your particular style of teaching?
A It came from Uta Hagen. She smashed the myth of 'those who can’t do, teach' ---- Rather, those who do, should teach! And since I'm a working actor, I teach what I know and what I'm constantly learning: how to audition, preparation needed and how to collaborate in rehearsal; both for camera and onstage. The training is in the doing and since that's a challenge regarding film and TV, I encourage actors to start their own companies; even if it's just reading a play with your friends once a month --- take your career into your own hands.
Q What was the rehearsal process like working with Andre Gregory?
A Dangerous, thrilling --- We improvised for nine months on “The Seagull.” Everything Chekov DIDN'T write. We found our relationships with each other physically this way. We were also able to 'live with' each other over a long period of time and to discover why we behaved as we did.
Q You’ve spent the past couple of years putting Uta Hagen on tape, in a sense, to insure her teaching is not lost for the next generations.
A We’ve lost so many great acting teachers. The only access to them now are the tapes that were made of them teaching. I had told a fellow classmate of mine, Pennie duPont that we should bring a camera into class to record Ms. Hagen. But when I approached Ms. Hagen with the idea, she said: “ No, no, no.!” It took me five years but I persuaded her. She finally told me she was going to give a master workshop in Montreal and if I could raise the money, I could do it. We didn’t know what we were doing, but we managed to tape her, and then followed her to Chicago, and then Los Angeles, shooting her teaching as she went. It’s available at UTAHAGENVIDEO.com. I interviewed some of her former students; Jack Lemmon, Christine Lahti, Lindsay Crouse, and Whoopi Goldberg. To capture her teaching, and to pass it on means the world to me.
Q In what way do you believe in beginning to work on a play?
A You sit down and read the play out loud. For information only. No 'acting'. You are taking in what the playwright wrote in terms of who, what, why, when: the facts. Then you put the script down and you get up and do as many of the scenes you remember. You're forced to find what you're doing PHYSICALLY in the scene. WHERE you are. What OBJECTS you may need. You’re "playing house", like when you were a kid. You remember all you can of what you read, and when you can't remember anymore, you go back to the play and read it again out loud. Again, for information. Do this about 7 times. That's the process. That's my first rehearsal. As Uta would say, "If the body doesn't believe it, you won't believe it."
Reels and clips can be found on the Karen Ludwig YouTube Channel
Latest news and class offerings can be found on Karen Ludwig's Blog