HISA faculty members are adept at working one on one with students in a cooperative and mentoring fashion. Study at Hellenic International in the Arts is a collaborative effort of students and teachers together.

SIGRID HEATH

After graduate school, Sigrid Heath began her career in the mid-70s in a regional theater movement with many notable actors and other skilled actors, exploring a wide variety of styles in plays by Chekhov, Ibsen, Mamet, Moliere, and Williams. She performed in a variety of Shakespeare’s plays helmed by directors whose approaches encompassed the traditional and the wildly iconoclastic. She performed Off- and Off-Off Broadway in countless experimental new works, and on Broadway, she appeared opposite Liv Ullman and George Hearn in I Remember Mama. Chosen by audition to work with the late Mary Tarcai, who had received her training directly from Konstantin Stanislavski, Heath received a firm foundation in Stanislavski’s method for acting and script analysis. Tarcai also introduced her to the work of Michael Chekhov, nephew of playwright Anton Chekhov. Between acting jobs in New York, Heath coached actors in audition technique and character analysis. She soon expanded her experience into workshops that were popular for their unique interpretation of Stanislavski and Michael Chekhov’s exercises with a specific, individualized approach. She was founder and artistic director of the theater company housed in the historic Byrdcliffe Theater. It was here that her first full length play was produced, an adaptation of Pirandello’s At The Gate, with a live jazz ensemble onstage. Wingbone, Heath’s monodrama about aviatrix Beryl Markham, was initially produced by Academy Award nominee (for Philadelphia), screenwriter Ron Nyswaner. For that work (along with her body of plays featuring strong, eccentric women) she was the 2001 recipient of the prestigious Berrilla Kerr award.

She has taught numerous seminars in acting technique, acting as ritual, and conducted seminars in playwriting in a variety of situations including Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. At HISA, Heath’s pedagogical approach is more that of mentor than lecturer, engaging students in a conversation towards self-knowledge within the framework of the study, be it ancient or contemporary Greek poetry, the work of the classic Greek tragedians, Shakespeare, the function of mythology in culture, or the practical work involved in acting in or directing a play.