Jan
21
Fri
Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens: “The Work” @ Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Downtown Sarasota Campus)
Jan 21 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens: "The Work" @ Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Downtown Sarasota Campus)

Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens: “The Work” with Hermitage Fellow & Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael R. Jackson

Presented in partnership with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Friday, January 21, 5:30pm

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Downtown Sarasota Campus; Entrance at Payne Mansion, 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 )

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and composer Michael R. Jackson returns to the Hermitage following his popular beachfront program last season. Since his critically acclaimed musical, A Strange Loop, premiered at Playwrights Horizons, the theater-maker has continued the work with projects such as White Girl in Danger and Accounts Payable, a commission from Lincoln Center. Join Jackson as part of the “Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens” series and hear from the writer-composer whose work has been described by The New York Times as being driven by “curiosity, positivity, and humor — but also an irrepressible appetite for the possible.”

Michael R. Jackson is a 2021 Hermitage Fellow and the recipient of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle winning musical A Strange Loop (which had its 2019 world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions) was called “a full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins” and a “gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies” by Ben Brantley for The New York Times. In The New Yorker, Vinsom Cunningham wrote, “To watch this show is to enter, by some urgent, bawdy magic, an ecstatic and infinitely more colorful version of the famous surreal lithograph by M.C. Escher: the hand that lifts from the page, becoming almost real, then draws another hand, which returns the favor.” In addition to A Strange Loop, Jackson also wrote book, music, and lyrics for White Girl in Danger. Awards and associations include the New Professional Theatre Festival Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a Whiting Award, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Obie Award, an Antonyo Award, a Fred Ebb Award, and a Dramatist Guild Fellowship. Jackson is an alum of Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group.

Jan
28
Fri
“Natural Inspiration” @ Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach
Jan 28 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

“Natural Inspiration” with Hermitage Fellow Ni’Ja Whitson 

Presented in partnership with Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

Friday, January 28, 5pm

Hermitage Beach, (Entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood 34223)

Ni’Ja Whitson’s Hermitage Residency generously sponsored by Ellen Berman and Roy Cohen

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

Hermitage Fellow Ni’Ja Whitson returns to the beach, exploring a theme familiar to artists and nature-lovers alike — moments of inspiration. Ni’Ja explores how nature and the environment influence their practice, sharing excerpts of works-in-progress inspired by the Hermitage’s Manasota Key campus and Florida wildlife.

Ni’Ja Whitson is a queer nonbinary trans/mogrifier multidisciplinary artist and futurist, United States Artist Fellow, Hermitage Fellow, Creative Capital and two-time “Bessie” Awardee who has been referred to as “majestic” by The New York Times. Whitson engages transdisciplinarity through a critical intersection of the sacred and conceptual in Black, Queer, and Transembodiedness. They are a 2021¬–2023 New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist in Residence, 18th St. Artist in Residence in partnership with Fathomers (Los Angeles), featured choreographer of the 2018 CCA Biennial, 2018–2020 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellow, and invited presenter at the 2019 international Tanzkongress festival. Recent commissions include the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Yale Dance Lab, Danspace Project at St. Marks, Abrons Arts Center, and ICA Philadelphia. Whitson is a sought-after speaker, presenter, and masterclass facilitator whose offerings have been shared at: Wesleyan University, Princeton, Cornell, LAX Festival, Movement Research, Dance NYC symposium, a 2020 keynote of the Collegium for African Diasporic Dance conference, and UNESCO. Writing credits include “Critical Black Futures: Speculative Theories and Explorations,” Dance Research Journal, and an upcoming anthology on Lovecraft Country. A complete bio can be found on their website: www.NiJaWhitson.com

Feb
11
Fri
“Pen to Paper” with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Paula Vogel @ Booker High School
Feb 11 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
"Pen to Paper" with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Paula Vogel @ Booker High School

“Pen to Paper with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Paula Vogel”
A “Hermitage @ Booker” program

Presented in Partnership with Booker High School and Florida Studio Theatre

Friday, February 11, 5pm

Booker High School, outdoor courtyard (Entrance at: Building 1, 3201 N Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34234)

Paula Vogel’s Hermitage Residency generously sponsored by Liz and Duncan Richardson

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, American Theater Hall of Fame Honoree, and Hermitage Fellow Paula Vogel offers an exploration of playwriting in which Paula and members of the audience will write a short play and work on writing exercises together. Culminating in an event Vogel lovingly calls a “bake-off” in which writers create and design a short play, there are no critiques during the workshop; rather, all writing prompts are seen as gifts to everyone in the room. No knowledge of theater or playwriting required – just an open mind and a willingness to explore the theatrical voice.

Hermitage Fellow and Pulitzer Prize Winner Paula Vogel’s plays include How I Learned to Drive, The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot ‘N’ Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession, A Civil War Christmas, Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq, and Indecent. Most recent awards: the Hull-Warriner Award, the Margo Jones Award, Theatre Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement from the Dramatists Guild, Lifetime Achievement from the NY Drama Critics, Lifetime Achievement Obie, and the 2015 Thornton Wilder Award. She is honored to have two awards to emerging playwrights named after her: the Paula Vogel Award, created by the ACTF in 2003, and the award in Playwriting given annually by the Vineyard Theatre. Other awards include: the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, two Obies, the New York Drama Critics, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Guggenheim, and two NEA fellowships. She taught for 30 years at Brown University as director of playwriting and at the Yale School of Drama as the Eugene O’Neill Professor of Playwriting. She now conducts Workshops and intensives across the country in theaters and community organizations. Her upcoming projects include They Shoot Horses Don’t They for the Bridge Theatre, with Marianne Elliott and Steve Hoggett directing, and her playwriting book/memoir How To Bake A Play, which she has been developing as part of her residency at the Hermitage.

Feb
16
Wed
“UNSCRIPTED 2.0” with Hannah Hasan @ The Lawn at Van Wezel Hall
Feb 16 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
“UNSCRIPTED 2.0” with Hannah Hasan @ The Lawn at Van Wezel Hall

“UNSCRIPTED 2.0”
with Hermitage Fellow Hannah Hasan

Wednesday, February 16th @ 5:30 pm
The Lawn at Van Wezel Hall

Presented in partnership with the Van Wezel Foundation

UNSCRIPTED is a unique collaboration between the Van Wezel Foundation and the Hermitage Artist Retreat in which audiences share an interactive encounter with an award-winning Hermitage artist, inviting audiences to be an active part of the experience by responding to a prompt as part of the program. Following a successful virtual season in 2020-2021, “Unscripted 2.0” launches in person with celebrated poet and storyteller Hannah Hasan.

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

Hermitage Fellow Hannah Hasan is an award-winning spoken word poet, speaker, and storyteller who believes that our stories can set us free. With themes that center home, social justice, racial justice, women’s rights, and more, Hasan is often commissioned to write and perform, present keynote addresses, and facilitate workshops for events, conferences, and meetings. She has been engaged to write, perform, speak, and facilitate by numerous government agencies, non-profit organizations and charities, colleges and universities, start-ups, small businesses, and large corporations such as The Arts for Biden National Campaign, The Office of Community Services, Coffee Cup People, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, Verizon, Levine Museum of the New South, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Promise Neighborhoods of Lehigh Valley, Brown University, Davidson College, the City University of New York Journalism School, and many others. Hasan has a specialized talent for creating safe and brave spaces for audiences. She has been awarded grants, fellowships, awards, and accolades for her work from organizations like The Arts and Science Council, Mobilize.Org, The Knight Foundation, Citizen’s University, The Hermitage Artist Retreat, and more. She also serves on multiple community advisory boards for organizations such as The Charlotte Symphony, Levine Museum of The New South, and The Charlotte Observer. For a complete bio, visit: www.HannahHasan.com

Feb
18
Fri
“Say Their Names” @ Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach
Feb 18 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
"Say Their Names" @ Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach

“Say Their Names” with Hermitage Fellow Matthew Evan Taylor

Presented in partnership with Manasota ASALH

Friday, February 18 @ 5:30pm

Hermitage Beach (Entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood 34223)

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to partner with Manasota ASALH in presenting saxophonist and composer Matthew Evan Taylor. Hailed as a “risk taker” (Huffington Post) whose music is “insistent and defiant” (Lucid Culture), Matthew is a leading voice at the intersection of musical virtuosity and social justice. Join us to hear selections from Taylor’s solo concert Say Their Names, inspired by the fight against anti-Black racism and police brutality.

Hermitage Fellow Matthew Evan Taylor is a composer and saxophonist who has been hailed as “a promising new voice” (Miami Herald). A southern kid who worshipped at the altar of Cannonball Adderly, Ornette Coleman, and Charles Mingus, Taylor’s music has been performed across the United States and Europe by such ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Metropolis Ensemble, the Imani Winds, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. As a performer, Taylor has worked with musicians Elliott Sharp, Marilyn Crispell, Tatsuya Nakatani, Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson; visual artists Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Dannielle Tegeder; and dancers Katherine Kramer, Sara Shelton, Laurel Jenkins, and Lida Winfield. His most recent project, “New Century | New Voices,” is a concert series in Middlebury, Vermont celebrating the continued contributions of women and composers of color to the classical music canon. The inaugural season, which began in January 2019, included collaborations with composers Carlos Simon, Marcos Balter, and Gabriela Lena Frank, and the Vermont-based new music ensemble TURNmusic. Taylor is Assistant Professor of Music at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Feb
24
Thu
Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby: “Violin: Dope, Honest, & Evolved” @ Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Feb 24 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby: “Violin: Dope, Honest, & Evolved” @ Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens: “Violin: Dope, Honest, & Evolved” with Hermitage Fellow Lady Jess

Presented in partnership with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Thursday, February 24, 6pm

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Downtown Campus (Entrance at 1534 Mound St., Sarasota, FL 34236)

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

A soloing member of pop superstar Beyoncé’s band and Artistic Director of New York’s Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, violinist Lady Jess offers an informal concert of music composed for acoustic violin and electronics. Exploring the stages of hope, mania, and revelation borne of an isolated lockdown experience as a Black Woman in 2020-21, including her ‘break-up’ with classical music, the program concludes with a deep dive into the artist’s work and process.

Hermitage Fellow Lady Jess performs in New York and Los Angeles. Recent credits include Judas and the Black Messiah, solo performances at the LA Philharmonic and Harlem Chamber Players, and the release of her first single, Colure. She has recently completed her first inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (New York). She is a soloing member of Beyoncé’s band, and toured with the superstar in 2018.

Feb
25
Fri
“Theater Today: Process & Production” with Tom Kirdahy @ Town Center of Longboat Key
Feb 25 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
"Theater Today: Process & Production" with Tom Kirdahy @ Town Center of Longboat Key

Artists & Thinkers: “Theater Today: Process & Production” with Tom Kirdahy

Friday, February 25, 5:30pm

Town Center of Longboat Key (entrance at 600 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key, FL 34228)

Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy, a Tony Award-winning champion of new work and resident of Longboat Key, speaks with fellow Tony Award winner and Hermitage Artistic Director Andy Sandberg about the inextricable link between theatrical development and production, and the multi-year creative journey from an idea to production. Following a successful event in 2021 hosted on the Hermitage Beach – part of the Hermitage “Artists & Thinkers” series – Kirdahy and Sandberg continue their candid conversation in the town of Longboat Key in February of 2022.

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

Kirdahy is a Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer whose projects have spanned Broadway, Off-Broadway, and the West End, as well as national and international tours. Select New York/London credits: Hadestown (8 Tony Awards, including Best New Musical), The Inheritance (Tony Award for Best Play; 11 Tony nominations), Little Shop of Horrors (Drama Desk Award, Best Musical Revival), Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (2 Tony nominations, including Best Revival). Additional Tony nominations: The Visit, Mothers and Sons, After Midnight, Ragtime, and Master Class. He is the recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theater Producing. Kirdahy serves on the Broadway League Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. As an attorney, he spent nearly two decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Committee of the NYC LGBT Center. Graduate Studies: New York University School of Law, NYU CAS.