One of Broadway's quintessential musical-theatre actresses, Betty Buckley — who is currently shooting episodes for the final season of HBO's gritty jailhouse series "Oz" — will offer two separate master classes this summer in New York.
A long-time instructor at the T. Schreiber Studio, Buckley will teach master classes in Song Interpretation and Scene Study in July and August. The Song Interpretation workshops will be held Thursdays, July 18 and 25 and Aug. 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 7 to 11 PM. The Scene Study classes are scheduled for 6:30 to 11:30 PM on Mondays, July 22 and 29 and Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26.
The Tony-winning Buckley, who recently completed an acclaimed run in A. R. Gurney's Buffalo Gal at the Buffalo Arena Theatre, recently took a few minutes to chat about her upcoming classes and her methods of instruction. "I teach meditation as the means for focusing the actors' mind, and spiritual philosophy as the basis for making one's choices," the former Sunset Boulevard star said. "The song interpretation class teaches how to tell stories in song, how to interpret a song and how to connect with an audience. [Students will] work on their songs several times over the six week period. It's a long, detailed process." That class, Buckley added, will have a pianist, Eugene Gwozdz, to accompany students on their journeys in song.
About the Scene Study class, Buckley explained, "I teach [students] what I do, the technique I use," the actress commented. "All the information that I have, I learned from great teachers. I feel like it's my responsibility to give back that which was given to me."
Established in 1969, the T. Schreiber Studio is recognized as one of the foremost acting schools and professional theatre labs in New York City and is located at 151 W. 26th Street on the 7th floor. Prospective students or those non-performers wishing to observe (at a reduced fee) should call (212) 741-0209. Buckley, a Tony winner for her role as Grizabella in the original Broadway company of Cats, is one of Broadway's finest performers, offering heartfelt performances in Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Triumph of Love, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776 and Promises, Promises. She also appeared on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Also a TV ("Eight Is Enough") and film (Tender Mercies) star, the actress-singer devotes much of her time to concert appearances around the world. Although Gurney's Buffalo Gal will not make its way to New York, Buckley will take part in two musical workshops this summer, which may see her back on the Broadway stage soon.
—By Andrew Gans