Justice Served for Playwright

Catherine Filloux: Seeking justice, she finds it.

Playwright Catherine Filloux seeks justice in her plays while she deeply explores distress and ugliness in her literary realm of human rights and female genocide. As deeply as she sees and feels those horrors, she saw and felt the beauty of the Hermitage Artist Retreat. While at the Hermitage, it was clear in her eyes, her voice, and her whole expression, that she emotionally absorbs nature’s contrasting serenity and marvel, just as fully as she takes in the cruelty of the lifescapes of Cambodia and Bosnia.

“Justice” is Catherine losing herself in a well-deserved beach run, a luxurious swim, and a breathtaking sunset.

Catherine Filloux at her beach reading
The Sunset after Catherine's beach reading

Photos by Kathye Faries

The Privilege of our Work

We at the Hermitage are blessed to have this work. Not only do we have what may be the best offices in Florida – at least if you’re a beach person, but we get to spend time with the smartest, most talented people on the planet. We get to chat with them about their work, we get to have dinner or go out for a drink with them, and sometimes, like today, we get to see them in rehearsal.

Eve Beglarian in rehearsalWe at the Hermitage are blessed to have this work. Not only do we have what may be the best offices in Florida – at least if you’re a beach person, but we get to spend time with the smartest, most talented people on the planet. We get to chat with them about their work, we get to have dinner or go out for a drink with them, and sometimes, like today, we get to see them in rehearsal.

Composer Eve Beglarian has been with us this past week. Eve won the 2009 Greenfield Prize in Music which resulted in a $30,000 commission for a new work, a Hermitage residency, and a partnership with a regional arts organization to help develop the work. In this case, Eve is working with the Sarasota Orchestra. Today we got to attend some of her rehearsal with her musicians. While at the Hermitage last week, she composed a new piece that she got to try today.

Last year Eve had an adventure. She decided to paddle a red kayak from the headwaters of the Mississippi River, to New Orleans. Occasionally artists have to do these kinds of things – it’s “filling the well.” The New York Times wrote a wonderful story of her trip. And now she’s writing music influenced by music she heard, people she spoke with, and sounds she encountered paddling and camping her way down the river.

Today we got to hear her rehearse some of it, and talk about it. What a treat. And what a treat the Sarasota audience is in for on March 26th when the Sarasota Orchestra premieres the piece, one of two works that will be the result of the Greenfield Prize commission. Then, on March 26th, it will be your privilege to meet Eve, to discover for yourself what an exceptional human being and inspired composer and musician she is. And you will join with us in thanking Bob and Louise Greenfield and the Greenfield Foundation for the gift of the Greenfield Prize which has brought us Eve and which will continue to bring extraordinary people and the work they create to our community.

Sarasota Friends – Have a sailboat?

The Hermitage is looking for a Sarasota-based sailor to offer sailboat rides to artists. From a sunfish to a 64 footer, if you’ve got one, let’s talk. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with a Hermitage Artist.

While artists and writers are in residence at the Hermitage, we want to let them experience all that Florida has to offer. Many times these side trips turn into scenes in a book, or steps in a dance. If you are willing to offer sailboat rides, please let us know. We have several powerboat volunteers, but no sailboats. This week, we have a special request for a sail. If you can help, please call 475-2098 to make the arrangements. If you can’t do it by Sunday, talk to us anyway. This particular artist will return in March, and there may be similar requests by others.

Sanford Biggers’ Billboard

Sanford Biggers, winner of the 2010 Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, was commissioned for this billboard currently up on La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. What do you think?

Sanford Biggers, winner of the 2010 Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, was commissioned for this billboard currently up on La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. What do you think?

Hermitage Choreographer at Baryshnikov Center

Hermitage choreographer Hilary Easton’s new piece will have its New York premiere at the Baryshnikov Center in October.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
Hermitage choreographer Hilary Easton and her company will perform at the Baryshnikov Center in New York in October according to TalkDanceWorld.com. Easton, who was last in residence in October, 2009 credits her time at the Hermitage as well as The Silo Artist Residency Project for helping her develop the project, titled; Light and Shade Follow the link for the details in the full TalkDanceWorld.com article.

Greenfield Prize Gears Up

No sooner is one Greenfield Prize awarded than the process to select the next one begins. The next prize, to be awarded at the Greenfield Prize Award Dinner on March 27th, 2011, will be a commission for a new play. The special jury to make that selection has been constituted, and the first meeting will be held in the fall.

No sooner is one Greenfield Prize awarded than the process to select the next one begins. The next prize, to be awarded at the Greenfield Prize Award Dinner on March 27th, 2011, will be a commission for a new play. The special jury to make that selection has been constituted, and the first meeting will be held in the fall.

Each prize commission has two years to be completed, and this year the Sarasota Orchestra will premiere Eve Beglarian’s chamber music composition on the evening of March 26th, the evening before the dinner. So save the dates for a Greenfield weekend – a concert on Saturday evening and a celebration dinner with a major national speaker on Sunday. Ahh, life in Sarasota!

Fellows in the News

Congratulations to Hermitage playwright Elaine Romero whose play, Wetback was selected by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre for inclusion in “Voices At The River,” a new play development program for African American and Latino playwrights. The reading was held on July 16th at the theatre in Little Rock.

Congratulations to Hermitage playwright Elaine Romero whose play, Wetback was selected by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre for inclusion in “Voices At The River,” a new play development program for African American and Latino playwrights. The reading was held on July 16th at the theatre in Little Rock.

Rest and Repair

It’s been a restful summer so far, which has given us (your staff of three) the chance to replenish our batteries while we prepare for a very busy season. At the same time, we’ve been working with Sarasota County as they prepare to help us make some major repairs on the Hermitage House.

It’s been a restful summer so far, which has given us (your staff of three) the chance to replenish our batteries while we prepare for a very busy season. At the same time, we’ve been working with Sarasota County as they prepare to help us make some major repairs on the Hermitage House. Mother Nature is unforgiving and she makes the task of maintaining a wooden beach house under the relentless Florida sun, a real challenge. So we did not schedule artists to be in residence during this time, knowing that hammering and sawing were not so conducive to creativity work. 

However, we will be hosting playwrights James Garcia and Kia Corothron, as well as Sarasota poet Justin Spring in August. They’ve agreed to deal with the noise. When James arrives in August the vacation’s over and we will have artists in residence continuously until next August. So while it doesn’t look like we’ll be repaired by then, we will be rested, and raring to go.

The image is playwright Kia Corothron taken during a previous Hermitage residency.