After the off-Broadway run, Uta toured with Mrs. Klein. San Francisco was an early stop on the tour.
The Geary theatre was totally renovated — no restored — after the earthquake. This is its reopening. I got goose flesh of pleasure, and memories of my youth in the theatre gushed over me. We started a tech. I asked Billy [Carden, the director to turn off the speakers because the sound was so bright.
They were not on! All my fears about playing a large house vanished. I felt at home, home to play. I realized that the Lucille Lortel had given me a complex. If I couldn’t be heard there for 300 seats, what would I do in “barns” of over a 1000? I didn’t know that the Lortel is a “dead” house. Anyway, I felt joyous, opening up, reaching up and out with my voice, body and soul.
Born in Germany, Uta Hagen moved to Madison, Wisconsin, at the age of six. With the exception of several interruptions for study in Europe, Ms. Hagen received most of her schooling in Madison, her home until age sixteen. After training briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, she made her professional debut in 1937 in Dennis, Massachusetts, as “Ophelia” in Eva Le Gallienne’s production of Hamlet.Learn more