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About the Work interview series

Identifier: MA-07-01-03


This collection contains a series of filmed interviews with prominent actors, directors, and writers discussing their creative process. The series was hosted by Professor Karen Ludwig of The New School's School of Drama in front of a live audience of students.


  • 2014-2016



173.57 Gigabytes (46 mp4 files, 7 pdfs, 116 jpgs, 26 pngs)

Language of Materials


Content Description

About the Work is a series of interviews between professionals in film and television and host, Professor Karen Ludwig of The New School's School of Drama. Each discussion was in front of a live audience, and the conversation centered on the individual's creative process. Filmed recordings of the interviews were shared in School of Drama classes and made accessible through The New School's Youtube channel.

The first interview occurred in 2017 after Ludwig was cast in an episode of Law and Order that co-starred Jeremy Irons. While on set, she asked if he would join her at The New School for a conversation about his experiences as an actor. Irons agreed and About the Work was launched. Ludwig continued the interviews by inviting friends to participate, and later, by visiting stage doors at the end of off-Broadway shows to ask actors if they would be part of the series.

The collection contains 46 mp4 videos with associated promotional materials that include brief teasers for 5 of the interviews, thumbnail images, and title cards used for the video assets.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical / Historical

Karen Ludwig (born 1942, San Francisco, California) is an American stage and screen actress, director, and teacher. She attended San Francisco State College, leaving after one year of study to relocate to New York City in 1961, where she began studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. Ludwig later became a pupil of the renowned acting teacher, Uta Hagen.

In 1964, Ludwig made her Broadway debut in The Deputy, followed by The Devils in 1965, starring Anne Bancroft. In 1979, Ludwig appeared in the Woody Allen film, Manhattan, opposite Meryl Streep, and the following year performed again on Broadway in The Bacchae. She has also appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound (1988) and Prelude to a Kiss (1991). Ludwig has been seen on several television series as well, including Chicago Hope, ER, NYPD Blue, and Law and Order, and played the role of Ethel Rosenberg in the 1992 television movie Citizen Cohn. In addition, Ludwig has acted in numerous Off-Broadway and regional theater productions, and has directed plays in both Los Angeles and New York.

Ludwig has also maintained a lengthy career as an acting teacher. From 1996 to 2001, Ludwig taught at University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles, and from 2002 to 2004 she taught at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Beginning in 2005, Ludwig joined the faculty of the Master of Fine Arts program in drama at The New School, where she has taught courses in solo performance and the acting techniques of her mentor, Uta Hagen. During her career at The New School, Ludwig conducted a series of recorded interviews from 2012 to 2018 with prominent actors, playwrights, and directors entitled About the Work.

From 1995 to 2001, Ludwig and a former classmate, Pennie du Pont, filmed several masterclasses given by Uta Hagen and produced a two-part documentary entitled Uta Hagen’s Acting Class, which has served as a record of Hagen’s influential teaching legacy. As of 2022, Ludwig teaches at HB Studio, the school founded by Hagen’s husband Herbert Berghof in 1945, and remains on the faculty of the MFA Drama program of The New School.


HB Studio. “Faculty: Karen Ludwig.” Accessed July 21, 2022.

Internet Broadway Database. “Karen Ludwig.” Accessed July 21, 2022.

Internet Movie Database. “Karen Ludwig.” Accessed July 21, 2022.

Karen Ludwig. “Actor.” Accessed July 22, 2022.

“Karen Ludwig, Local Favorite, Tells How She Went from P’ Playhouse to Broadway.” Advocate-Messenger, December 27, 1964.

Ludwig, Karen. “Uta Hagen's Acting Class: Discussion with Karen Ludwig, Rochelle Oliver and Austin Pendleton.” Interview by Carol Rosenfeld. New York Public Library, October 2, 2008.

The New School. “Faculty: Karen Ludwig.” Accessed July 21, 2022.

Westbeth. “Karen Ludwig Video Conversations with prominent actors, directors and writers.” Accessed July 21, 2022.


Interviews are arranged alphabetically by guest last names.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Files were transferred via Google Drive by the School of Drama at the request of faculty member Karen Ludwig, 2022.

Guide to the About the Work interview series
Katie Martinez and Jason Adamo
April 11, 2023
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