About Herbert Berghof
Founder of HB Studio along with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof was a major star at Berlin, Vienna, Paris and Zurich from 1927 to 1939 when, after the Anschluss, he migrated to the United States. He starred on Broadway in many plays including Oklahoma! (original production), In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center 1969), The Andersonville Trial (Broadway 1960 directed by José Ferrer) as well as Tovarich with Uta Hagen (1952).
As director, he began in Vienna with Kleinkunstbüehnen cabaret in 1938. On Broadway he directed the first American production of Waiting for Godot with Bert Lahr and E. G. Marshall, Charlotte with Uta Hagen and Charles Nelson Reilly, Poor Murderer with Maria Schell and Laurence Luckenbill as well as plays at Vancouver, Cambridge Massachusetts and SUNY Purchase (NY) and many plays at HB Playwrights Foundation Theater and HB Studio.
His movies include Cleopatra, Those Lips, Those Eyes as well as Harry and Tonto. His TV appearances range from Inspector Maigret (1940) to Target (1985).
About the Book
Part I, “Directed by Herbert Berghof” is based on Herbert’s workbooks and correspondence for a number of the plays he directed.
Part II, “Herbert’s Playwriting Class” is based on the four years Jesse Feiler spent in the class. As part of the class, his first full-length play opened the HB PlaywrightsFoundation Theater.
Part III, “Teaching Acting,” is based on Herbert’s acting classes in New York. Details of classes from 1940, 1944 and 1960 show the evolution of Herbert’s thoughts on acting and theater in general.
Part IV, “Directing the Play” is based on notes from Herbert’s directing classes at Columbia University in 1959-1960.
Part V, “Working with Writers” is based on correspondence between Herbert and writers of plays he directed. These authors include Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow Horton Foote, Romulus Linney and others.
Appendices at the end of the book list productions that he directed as well as his stage, movie, and television roles as well as gems of wisdom and humor from Herbert’s classes in acting and directing.
About the Author
Jesse Feiler studied playwriting with Herbert Berghof at HB Studio. His short plays were part of the initial Evenings of Scenes at HB Playwrights Foundation and his first full-length play opened the HB Playwrights Foundation theater. He worked on development of the HB Playwrights Foundation with Herbert and Uta and later served as artistic director.
Since then he has served as trustee of the Uta Hagen trust and has served on a number of nonprofit boards. He has written technical books as well as The Nonprofit Risk Book with Gail B. Nayowith.