New Life Into Hasty Pudding Club’s Historic Home

Andrew Farkas was a member of the Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club and is where he spent most of memorable times while an undergraduate. When Andrew was presented with the idea of renovating the structure which has existed since 1888, and breathing new life into it, he jumped at the chance. He gifted the renovated structure in appreciation of the Hasty Pudding Club, Harvard College and his father.

This building holds historical importance as it is where Franklin D. Roosevelt took Eleanor when they were young and where classmates John F. Kennedy and Alan Jay Lerner played pool all night. This is the place some of the biggest celebrities remember what it was like to be a kid. Harvard has now renovated and expanded this memorable and historical building into a vibrant learning space, rehearsal and performing area for performing arts students.

The original face of the building has been retained as well as the entryway. It now is home to the new theater that now has state of the art lighting and new sound systems. Other improvements include; a movable stage, dance studio, classrooms and offices for the arts student groups.

Andrew Farkas and his wife are responsible for the brick building, long known as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, showcasing the organizations important role at Harvard. Through photographs, posters and plaques they have seen to it the display appears in the lobby. Through this display it will remain Hasty Pudding’s Historic Home. This building earned its original name in the late 1700s when members were required to bring a pot of grain pudding to the meetings held there.

Farkas Hall has been named in honor of Robin Farkas, Andrew’s father. He talked Andrew into choosing Harvard as his school and it provided him with the “canvas on which to reinvent himself.” Today he is the father of three, chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group, a real estate and private equity firm. His wife, Sandi is founder of the Playwrights of New York, a screenwriter and playwright.

The Farkas legacy has now been written into the story of this historical building. The performance space, Farkas Hall has seen several Farkas generations pass through its doors, including Arielle Farkas who graduated in 2013.

How to Start Performing in Local Theatre


It is never too late or too early to take an interest in performing on stage. People of all ages enjoy being part of stage performances. It can be a truly rewarding experience to take part in a production. If you have never acted on stage before and do not know where to begin then take a moment to look over these tips on how to start performing in local theatre.

Community Theatre

The first thing you need to realize if you want to start performing is that community theatre is the best place to start. You will not get discovered or suddenly end up being recognized by some famous director. If that is what you are hoping for, get the thought out of your head. What community theatre does provide is the opportunity to hone your skills and learn how to act. With community theatre you can get used to the process of rehearsing, preparing, and acting in a production. Consider your time with community theatre as training, but understand that you may never go beyond this level.

You Do Not Need an Agent

Oliver!-Theatre-Royal-Dru-001If you have never acted before, you do not need an agent. Agents are individuals that try to find parts for actors that already have experience. You should also be aware that agents do not require any fees up front. When you reach the point where you would like to hire an agent, avoid any agents that ask for fees in advance. Instead, they will require a percentage of your earnings from any jobs that they are able to find for you.

Learn Additional Skills

There is often more to community theatre and theatre productions in general than just standing on stage and acting. Depending on the production you are involved in you may need to be able to sing and dance. So, in addition to learning how to act, you may have to take the time to attend some dance classes or schedule some vocal lessons. Having a wide variety of skills that can be used on stage is helpful. You can think of each of these skills as an important part of your acting resume.

Practice Your Skills

theatre_rotator2In addition to learning some extra skills you should also practice. Practice your acting, your singing, your dancing, until you feel comfortable with yourself. It may help to practice in front of others or have a friend read lines with you. The more practice you get the more you will be ready for the stage.

Start Auditioning

Once you feel that you are ready to take part in your first production, start asking around about different theatre productions coming up in your area. Visit local theatres and get to know some of the people involved. Find out when auditions start and try to take part in a large variety of shows. Depending on the size of the theatre community in your area, you may find it difficult to land a role on your first try – do not get discouraged. Keep at it and continue to audition for roles. Eventually, you will get your chance. After you get a role and take part in a stage production, do not let nerves get the best of you. If you forget your lines, keep the story going. Your fellow actors, if they are experienced, should be able to get you back on track quickly.

Performing on stage can be very rewarding, whether you are looking for a career beyond the stage or simply want to take part in productions in your area as a fun hobby. The best way to get started is to get out there and start auditioning for roles and taking part in your local theatre community.