Jason Hale (actor)
July 3, 1971 |
Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
Jason Hale is an American actor, theatre director, and teacher. Hale spent over a decade working as a professional actor, performing at many New York and regional ensemble theaters and acting in several independent and feature films, but he is better known for directing plays and teaching Viola Spolin improvisation, guided by a nearly two-decade association with Paul Sills, the renowned theater director, theater pioneer, and son of Viola Spolin.
Jason directed the 2011 production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie (Sirca Kumes) at the National Turkish State Theater in Ankara, Turkey. The production toured Turkey for two years and was selected to perform at the International Sabancı Theater Festival in Adana and Istanbul, Turkey and at the Cyprus Theatre Festival. The production has garnered Best Actress Award from the Ankara Arts Council and Best Theatre Artist of the Year Award from the Baykal Saran Theatre Award.
Background and work with Paul Sills
Jason is a 1993 graduate of the New Actors Workshop in New York City where he studied acting with George Morrison, Mike Nichols, and Paul Sills. After graduating, Hale continued to work and study privately with Mr. Sills to learn more about he and his mother's, Viola Spolin, improvisational work. While a student at New Actors Workshop, Hale became an intern and then a member of The Blue Circle Theater Company in Door County Wisconsin. The company was led by Diane Paulus, under the artistic guidance of Paul Sills and Beatrice Lees, sister of Viola Spolin.
In 1998, under the auspice of Mr. Sills, Hale became a member of the Spolin-based improvisational company, The Resident Company. The troupe, led by Gerrit Graham, featured early Sills players, Garry Goodrow, Cordis Heard, and Penny White. The company performed at the Albert Grossman Bearsville Studios in upstate New York. Hale then founded and directed the Off Off Broadway Theatre Project Ensemble in New York City from 1999 - 2004 when Mr. Sills served as the ensemble’s artistic advisor. The group dedicated itself to passing along the improvisational work of Sills and Spolin through improvisational workshops and Story Theater model performances. 
In 2006, Sills recommended and endorsed Jason as "uniquely equipped to impart the improvisational work of Viola Spolin" as a teacher and director. He became a Fulbright Specialist Roster Candidate to teach Viola Spolin Improvisation in 2012. He has taught Viola Spolin improvisation and sense memory for seven years as a senior faculty member at the New Actors Workshop He has taught acting at numerous universities and schools including; Stella Adler Studio of Acting/New York University-Tisch School of the Arts, HB Studios, School of Visual Arts, Film and Video-Continuing Education, New York Film Academy, and Antioch University-McGregor, and through private workshops and guest residencies.
Internationally, he has taught several workshops at universities in Turkey, China, and Poland. In 2010 he introduced the work of Viola Spolin at ACTUANDO SIN ACTUAR, the first annual international acting method festival in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Jason is currently Assistant Professor and Chair of the Theatre Department at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.
Hale studied refinements of Method Acting with John Uecker. In 1995 he became a member of Mr. Uecker’s Running Sun Theater Company and befriended the company’s lead writer, James Purdy. He became a longtime friend and one of Mr. Purdy's frequent assistants.