“Connections” with Lisa E. Harris and James Anthony Tyler @ Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach
Dec 3 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

“Connections” with Lisa E. Harris and James Anthony Tyler
Presented in partnership with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and Resilient Retreat

Friday, December 3, 5pm ET

Hermitage Beach (Entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, Florida 34223 (Also Available via Live-Stream)

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

Whether connecting to your breath, the ground you stand on, or a new companion on a train, Hermitage Fellows Lisa E. Harris and James Anthony Tyler will share art and experiences that illuminate how we connect with the world around us. The evening will feature an exploration of songs and short stories from Harris, as well as a reading of Tyler’s quietly provocative play Hop thA A. The connections between these two unique and extraordinary artists provide the starting point for a discussion to conclude the program.

Lisa E. Harris is a trained classical voice and opera singer who uses voice, movement, text, and new media to explore healing in performance. The Huffington Post named her “One of Fourteen Artists that are Transforming Opera.” Harris performed at the 52nd Venice Biennale and is a featured vocalist on the Grammy-nominated album All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. James Anthony Tyler received a Horton Foote Playwriting Award and was the staff writer for Cherish the Day, a show created by Selma film director Ava DuVernay for the OWN Network.

Hermitage @ The Bay: “Muse(ic) and Poetry” @ The Bay Park’s Civic Green
Dec 12 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Hermitage at The Bay: “Muse(ic) and Poetry”
In partnership with The Bay Park

Sunday, December 12, 2pm

The Bay’s Civic Green (on the north side of the Municipal Auditorium), entrance at 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

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

Audre Lorde and Lambda Award winner Francine J. Harris shares work from her latest collection Here Is the Sweet Hand, inspired by music. Renowned international poet Mae Yway from Burma (Myanmar) is an International Writing Program participant who presents work both in her native tongue and in translation. Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson, Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the Rome Prize, also adds his work to the poetic symphony. Discover the musicality of language with these Hermitage Fellows and poets.


Hermitage @ Booker: “The Edge of Music” @ Booker High School
Dec 17 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Hermitage @ Booker: "The Edge of Music" @ Booker High School

Hermitage @ Booker: “The Edge of Music” with Luke Stewart
Presented in partnership with Booker High School VPA

Friday, December 17, 5:30pm ET

Booker High School (Entrance at 3201 North Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34234)

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

Celebrated jazz bassist and composer Luke Stewart is known for his bold experimentation on the cutting edge of musicianship. Hailed by DownBeat Magazine as one of the “25 most influential jazz artists” of his generation, he shares an improvisatory selection of his work, leads a “jam session” with local artists and students, and discusses his creative process as well as his experiences forging a career in the music industry.

Journeys of Identity in Poetry & Music @ Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach
Jan 7 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Journeys of Identity in Poetry & Music with Hermitage Fellows Chet’la Sebree and Wang Lu

Friday, January 7, 5pm

The Hermitage Beach (entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, Florida 34223)

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

Winner of the James Laughlin Award from The Academy of American Poets, Chet’la Sebree’s poetry is unflinchingly personal and remarkably beautiful. Wang Lu, pianist and composer, adds her cosmopolitan and stylistically wide-ranging perspective, which earned her the Berlin Prize in 2019 as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. Come see what happens when these incredible artists sit side-by-side to share their latest works.

Chet’la Sebree, a Hermitage Fellow and Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts at Bucknell University, is the author of the poetry collection Mistress (2019), winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize, and the lyric meditation Field Study (2021), for which she won the James Laughlin Award. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from American University and fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, Hedgebrook, The MacDowell Colony, the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, the Stadler Center, the Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. Her work has appeared in several journals, including The Kenyon Review, Pleiades, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, and Guernica.

Composer, pianist, and Hermitage Fellow Wang Lu writes music that reflects a very natural identification with influences from urban environmental sounds, linguistic intonation and contours, traditional Chinese music, and freely improvised traditions, through the prism of contemporary instrumental techniques and new sonic possibilities. She is currently the David S. Josephson Assistant Professor of Music at Brown University. Wang Lu’s works have been performed internationally, by ensembles including the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Alarm Will Sound, Minnesota Orchestra, and International Contemporary Ensemble, among others. Wang Lu received the Berlin Prize in Music Composition (2019) and was a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow. Her portrait albums Urban Inventory (2018) and An Atlas of Time (2020) were released to critical acclaim.

“Walk on Through” with Gavin Creel @ Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach
Jan 14 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

“Walk on Through” with Hermitage Fellow & Tony Award Winner Gavin Creel

Developed in partnership with a commission from
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, NY
(Limor Tomer, Met LiveArts Producer & Hermitage National Curatorial Council)

Friday, January 14, 5pm

The Hermitage Beach (Entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, Florida 34223)

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

Tony and Olivier Award-winner Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, The Book of Mormon, Hair) has a new passion project in development. Spurred by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to create a piece inspired by their vast collection, he has spent countless hours absorbing the sights, sounds, and lessons of this self-contained universe. The working result, Walk on Through, captures the sense of wonder and impossible connection museums offer to humanity. Be among the first to hear selections of this work in progress, performed by Hermitage Fellow Gavin Creel himself, as he continues this new journey of creation.

Photo of Gavin Creel at the Met

Gavin Creel received the 2017 Tony Award for his performance as Cornelius in the Broadway revival of Hello Dolly! starring Bette Midler. After making his Broadway debut in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which he received his first Tony nomination, Creel went on to star in the Broadway productions of Hair (second Tony nomination), La Cage Aux Folles, She Loves Me, The Book of Mormon, and Waitress. Gavin received an Olivier Award for his portrayal of Elder Price in the London premiere of The Book of Mormon and also appeared on the West End in Mary Poppins, Hair, and Waitress. On television, Creel can be seen in American Horror Story and alongside Julie Andrews in Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime. As a songwriter, he has released three original albums: GoodTimeNation, Quiet, and Get Out; he is currently writing an original musical piece entitled Walk on Through, inspired by a commission from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A native of Findlay, Ohio, Gavin is a proud graduate of University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

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.