Artistic choices at the Eddy Studio
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
By Katie Collins
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HAWLEY - The restoration of the Murray building in downtown Hawley is set to offer the community countless opportunities to enrich their lives and enjoy an array of the arts. At the Eddy Studio in the Hawley Hub, classes are forming and instructors are wanted with one class that is a “collaboration of two worlds” said Alison Hoffman, creator/instructor of the Broadway workout class because of the blend of fitness and Broadway songs she choreographs.
Hoffman, who is from the region and is a teacher and director of plays at the Wallenpaupack Area High School purchased the historic site with her husband Justin who is an engineer and a partner of Kylie Associates.
Built in the 1800s, Hoffman called the building a “staple to downtown Hawley” that will become “something bigger for the community” because of the many plans, all the while upholding the aesthetics of the building.
The studio is set, but work still needs to be done throughout the building. Hoffman said the Hawley Hub is a place that will give to the community, because people will be interested in what’s offered in the multi-purpose space. The ideas are still developing, but the Hawley Hub will “always be versatile” so change won’t be a challenge.
Work to be done
There are aspects of the studio that are original, such as the brick veneer and windows, but air conditioning, some painting and a few other aspects were added. Upstairs will be completely renovated, with a centralized staircase that will connect each floor. Hoffman said there’s many phases that are “different” but the Eddy Studio was the starting point because it was the easiest. The downstairs will receive a “complete overhaul” however, with areas that could be used for numerous activities because it will become a multifaceted space with the original brick wall that Hoffman called “beautiful.”
With an emphasis on the arts and self-enrichment, Hoffman said the arts help to make a “well-rounded person.” Because of the options at the Eddy Studio, the classes may offer an “artistic outlet” that helps a person become whole in multiple forms, whether they paint or enjoy listening to music. There may be a chance to “dabble in painting” and later display their art for others to see. By taking part in the classes and learning new things, a person may “let go of the daily grind” and just enjoy themselves Hoffman said.
For performers, Hoffman called the Eddy Studio the “perfect space” because there isn’t a dance studio in the area and to have a place to practice with the mirrors that line the room are “valuable for performance,” since they can see themselves “in the moment” and fix their faults.
For the classes, the instructors will lease the space so they can “create as they so choose,” said Hoffman. While there will be a few yoga classes, the options will “complement each other” because she wants a variety.
Instructors are similar, but different
A Wallenpaupack graduate who is an acting professor now, will teach an evening film class that’s “awesome” Hoffman said. That class is for anyone who “enjoys a good film” because the students will watch and analyze the films together. That same instructor will teach classes about varying aspects of acting and performance.
For younger adults interested in theater and acting, there will be a scene study class that will offer students individual attention so they will learn “how to better themselves as performers” Hoffman said. Each class is “unique to the instructors” because they created each one.
A majority of the instructors are “young, experienced and educated” who have returned home to share their expertise Hoffman said. As of now, all but one instructor are Wallenpaupack graduates. That was not Hoffman’s intentions though. She is looking for instructors who have ideas and are educated or have experience. Recently, there was discussion about a guided meditation class, which Hoffman said people could use now, just as an outlet to reduce stress.
Offering these options to the community is important to Hoffman because aside from growing up in the region, for a small town, she was “given great opportunities” she said and the Hawley Hub and Eddy Studio are her opportunity to “give back and help.”
As an “educator of the arts,” Hoffman said the space speaks to her because she sees potential in her students, who ultimately miss out on possibilities because of the limited “artistic opportunities” in the region. With the Eddy Studio, there is a hope that “great partnerships and collaborations” can be made with artistic people in the area who could help the community, and perhaps programming at the school.
Where rivers meet
Paupack Eddy was the name of an area in downtown Hawley near Cora's Bistro, because two rivers meet and the eddy changes the current. At the studio, Hoffman said the idea is to “redirect that current and help it along.”
Hoffman said she has enjoyed teaching the Broadway Workout because she didn’t realize the fun she would have and the amount of “high energy” there would be with everyone excited and working towards the same goal. The intro to theater class has been good too, because her daughter is involved and seeing the children “creating together” has been nice.
The classes aren’t a one-time meeting and participants don’t have to have experience. For those intimidated, Hoffman said she is trying to make the classes as “simplistic as possible” because it’s not “about the finished product.” Instead, it’s about “dancing and having a good time.”
Not this year, but Hoffman likes the idea of small performances happening in the Eddy Studio and perhaps elsewhere in the Hawley Hub, but as of now there is no time frame for other projects in the building, because there are many plans in the works.
Once completely renovated, the Hawley Hub will be open yearly. Hoffman said she is excited because she knows there will be “great opportunities” offered for people in the area.
For more information about the Hawley Hub or Eddy Studio, visit www.thehawleyhub.com