We wish to thank our 2018 Artists-In-Residence for choosing Escape to Create for their creative work.
Session I: January 3 – January 31
Calvin Arsenia is a Kansas City-based composer/performer who writes musical compositions for folk harp and voice in a nontraditional format. Widely recognized as a unique creative force and visionary musician by audiences and critics alike in the Midwest, Arsenia has performed at the Kemper Art Museum, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and was 2017 Official Showcase Artist at the International Folk Festival, Kansas City. While in Seaside, he will compose a new collection of works inspired by classical and traditional folk instrumentation with the folk harp as the centerpiece. Conceived as an immersive musical experience including sound healing, the work will debut in summer of 2018. Arsenia will also perform in concert at The REP Theatre and conduct music clinics with area students studying stringed instruments and voice.
Dennis Covington is the author of six books, including the novel “Lizard,” the memoir “Salvation on Sand Mountain,” finalist for the 1995 National Book Award, and “Redneck Riviera,” the harrowing tale of reclaiming his central Florida inheritance. His 2016 book, “Revelation,” recounts his search for faith in the midst of the Syrian civil war. His work has appeared in major periodicals such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vogue and Esquire. Professor of Creative Writing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, Covington will return to fiction with his E2C project, a novel-in-progress set during the years of the Vietnam War in the small town of Needmore, Texas. The REP will perform a script in hand reading from “Lizard,” a play was commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, for both the general public and student groups.
John K. Melvin is an international multi-disciplinary artist whose ecological site-specific works are created for the public realm. He typically up-cycles materials that have passed their traditional use to create installations that engage dialogue and cross-cultural exchange. A resident of Seattle, WA, Melvin’s works have been commissioned around the world including a number of U.S Embassies and are found in many private collections. He received his MFA in 2009 at the San Francisco Art Institute and is a past resident artist of the World Monument Fund (Cambodia), La Napule Art Foundation (France), and most recently, the Brickyard Fellowship (China). While in Seaside, Melvin will create ephemeral works made of found and recycled materials. He will screen environmental documentaries with commentary on his art practice at The REP Theatre for both adult and student audiences.
Mark Spano is a Chapel Hill, NC-based filmmaker, writer and producer for television and author of five works of fiction. His works has been recognized by the Society of Arts & Letters (Washington Chapter), Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Jenny McKeon Moore Fund for Writers at Washington University. Spano’s filmography includes documentary and feature length films. While in Seaside, he will complete a clean draft of a feature length screenplay developed from his “small jewel of a novel” (Goodreads) “Midland Club”, a fast-paced murder mystery that reads like a film noir classic. Spano’s feature documentary “Reimaging Sicily,” an homage to his Italian heritage, will be screened at The REP Theatre. He will also contribute a master class for area writers and students.
Caitlin Saylor Stephens is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose works depict the act of survival, excavating empathy in scripts that push the traditional form of theatre. Recipient of the 2018 Goody Fellowship for Playwrights, Stephens represents a new generation of voices and diversity of works written for theatre. Her script, “Joley” is a new Americana play about a Tennessee mountain woman who, inspired by self-help television, kills her abusive husband in hope of building a life of integrity. The play will be work shopped by The REP Theatre and will receive a script in hand staged reading for the general public. Stephens will also introduce new voices in American theatre to county school classrooms through Skype discussion about their works and where they find inspiration.
Session II: January 31 - February 28
Kevin Doyle, playwright and artistic director of the Brooklyn-based Sponsored By Nobody avant-garde theatre, tackles large contemporary social issues and public policy through nontraditional works of interdisciplinary and multimedia theatre. The author of twelve plays, he has won numerous honors in the U.S. and abroad including a USArtists International Award, a Saari Fellowship Award (Finland), and the Thornton Wilder Fellowship at The MacDowell Colony. Doyle’s 2014 E2C project, “The ARTS,” was the inaugural 2017 IMPACT Residency Award at The Drama League of New York and The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Doyle returns to E2C with a new script inspired by the viral photograph of the ingested plastics extracted from an albatross found starved to death in the Pacific Ocean. The REP Theatre will perform a script in hand reading of the play in process and Doyle will contribute a master class to area theatre majors.
Anthony R. Green is a composer, performer (piano and voice) and social justice advocate dedicated to advancing the rich world of Black Classical artists. His compositions have been presented in over 20 countries by notable soloists and ensembles and have been honored by ASCAP and the Argos Foundation. He has performed across the US, the UK, Europe and South Korea. Green is co-founder of COOS, Castle Of Our Skins, a Boston-based concert and education series organization celebrating Black artistry through music. While in Seaside, Green will compose three song cycles for voice and piano, utilizing poems bytexts in German, Italian, and French. He will perform an intimate recital and lecture at The REP Theatre and in area schools.
Ana Inés Jabares-Pita’s stage designs inhabit a unique intersection of multidisciplinary creative disciplines, augmented reality, and new technologies. Based in Dundee, Scotland, her works have appeared on some of the most emblematic stages throughout the word including Times Square in NY. Her many international awards include TAIPEI 2017 World Stage Design Exhibition and the UK’s Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2013. Her costume designs for Gate Theatre’s production of “Indomeneus” is archived in the V&A Museum in London. While in Seaside, Jabares-Pita will produce an immersive exhibition/performance incorporating painting, video, cell phones, the Seaside community, and sound experiment. She will conduct a workshop on costume and set design using recyclable materials for students in Walton County.
Kim Richie is a Nashville-based singer songwriter who has written numerous chart-topping songs, recorded with the industry’s top musicians and gained two Grammy nominations. Her 2013 album “Thorn In My Heart” was named among Top Albums of the Year by the Boston Globe and AP. Richie has performed at both the 30A Songwriters Festival and The REP Theater Concert Series. She was teaching artist for the 2017 International Folk Alliance Conference, the Copenhagen Rhythmic Music Conservatory (Denmark) and the Banff Center for the Arts. During her E2C residency, Richie will create a new compilation of songs accompanied by stories and photos documenting her life as a touring artist. She will premier new songs in concert at The REP Theatre and will contribute a songwriting workshop for county middle and high school students.
Sam Taylor is the author of two awarded poetry collections: “Body of the World” and “Nude Descending An Empire.” His third collection, “Book Of Fools: An Essay in Memoir and Verse,” is an experimental book-length poem dealing with ecological loss and other complex themes. Taylor’s poems have been published in leading U.S. anthologies and his honors include the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, and the James Michener Fellowship (UT Austin). A native of Miami, FL, Taylor is Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing at Wichita State University (KS). His E2C residency is devoted to writing a fourth volume of poems engaging with issues of race, ethnic identity and the diaspora. While in Seaside, Taylor will contribute a reading of his awarded works and will visit creative writing classes in county schools.