An acclaimed alumna of Saturday Night Live and now a regular on Broadway and concert stages, actor/vocalist Ana Gasteyer will lead a master class for Harvard student performers. Co-sponsored by the Celebrity Series of Boston, which is presenting Gasteyer in concert at Sanders Theatre on Saturday, February 6 at 8 pm.
Ana Gasteyer joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1996 and became famous for her hilarious impersonations of female media figures including Barbra Streisand, Hillary Clinton and Martha Stewart. She left the show in 2002 and has since focused her career on theater and concerts.
A native of Washington DC, Gasteyer attended Northwestern University’s School of Communication, where she earned her bachelor of science in speech, theater and performance studies. She later moved to Los Angeles to join the legendary improv troupe The Groundlings, where she developed her craft as an actor and comedian. She also made several guest appearances on television series in 1995 and 1996, popping up in bit parts on episodes Party of Five, NYPD Blue and even the legendary “Soup Nazi” episode of Seinfeld.
Gasteyer’s stint on Saturday Night Live as a repertory player kicked off a run that saw her remain a regular cast member on the show for the next six years. In addition to performing she wrote a large number of sketches for the show and created several popular original characters: Cinder Calhoun, a politically correct singer; Bobbi Moughan-Culp, the high school music teacher who performed alongside Will Ferrell’s Marty Culp; and Margaret Jo, the co-host of an NPR radio show alongside Molly Shannon.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, Gasteyer shifted her professional focus to the theater. She did several off-Broadway shows and benefit concerts before debuting on Broadway in The Threepenny Opera alongside Alan Cumming and Cyndi Lauper, and also co-starred in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show. In 2005, Gasteyer originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked in Chicago, and later reprised the role on Broadway. She has also made several memorable supporting appearances in films, including former SNL colleague Tina Fey’s Mean Girls (as Lindsey Lohan's mother) in 2004 and Reefer Madness in 2005.
Most recently, Gasteyer has starred in ABC’s Suburgatory and has teamed with producer and “New York Nightclub Supernova” Julian Fleisher to record “I’m Hip,” an album of tunes with a sound she refers to as “Moxie Jazz”—an eclectic range of covers and reimagined classics with a big band sound. Her acclaimed solo concerts, Let it Rip and Elegant Songs from a Handsome Woman have earned praise from audiences and critics alike who hailed them as “exuberant and rollicking entertainment” with “high-octane vocals” and “a topnotch swingin’ ensemble.”
Support for this program generously provided by the Bernard H. and Mildred Kayden Artist in Residence Fund.