We wish to thank our 2019 Artists-In-Residence for choosing Escape to Create for their creative work.
Session I: January 3 - 31
During the thirty years Donald Carroll has lived and worked as an attorney in Rome, Italy, he has been actively involved in the Anglo-American theatre community as actor, director and playwright. His full-length play, If Lear Had A Lawyer, enjoyed its premier run with the English Theatre of Rome in late 2017. The play’s origins began with Carroll’s article of the same title published in the Lincoln Center Theatre Review at the time of their 2004 production of King Lear. Carroll since has developed the role of the Fool as a newly minted lawyer who wrestles with the monarch’s edicts. While in Seaside, he will further update his script to engage today’s audiences to consider the timeless questions of whether the rule of law is always just, whether power must corrupt and whether blind love can always be true. Carroll will screen a video trailer created for the play and present the script as narrator in a reading at The REP Theatre. The playwright will conduct an innovative workshop in writing contemporary poems in iambic pentameter for high school students.
J.C. Hallman of Brooklyn, NY is the author of several works of nonfiction that combine memoir, history, journalism, and travelogue. He has also published a collection of short stories and edited two anthologies of “creative criticism.” Hall’s numerous honors include a Pushcart Prize and a James Michener Fellowship. He is recipient of a 2010 McKnight Artist Fellowship in fiction, and a 2013 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in the general non-fiction category. While in Seaside, Hallman will develop his next book about the highly controversial “Father of Gynecology,” J. Marion Sims, an honor gained by his experimental surgeries on young slave women without anesthesia in an attempt to cure “obstetric fistula.” A previously forgotten slave, Anarca, was Sim’s thirtieth surgery which provided the breakthrough that launched his international acclaim. The Anarcha Quest: The Story of a Slave and a Surgeon is scheduled for publication in 2020. Hallman will present his exhaustive research and the materials that have enabled him to reconstruct the life of the young woman who changed medical history. He will teach a class in creative writing based on exploration of a 1915 James Agee essay.
Kansas City photographer Tom Styrkowicz’s early career was established in Chicago as a fashion photographer, producer of fashion shows, art and graphic designer, and creative consultant. He was later Creative Director of The Limited in New York during its heyday of rapid national expansion before moving to Kansas City to run a design group for Hallmark Cards. Following the sudden death of his wife in 2005, Styrkowicz reinvented himself as a portrait photographer who reveals the unique essence of his subjects in artistic quick studies and arresting visual narratives. He has published twelve collections of his work and has exhibited in galleries, museums, arts center, libraries and other venues throughout the Midwest. His large tableaux, ONEbyONE Community Portraits, document hundreds of individuals as vibrant components defining community. Styrkowicz has created his ONEbyONE events for the Arizona-Sonoma Museum of Art, numerous non-profits and corporations and at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City where his tableau is now in that collection. While in Seaside, Styrkowicz will focus on in-depth studies of community members and will conduct a portrait session for students to impart a deeper understanding of portrait imagery beyond the culture of the “selfie.”
Visual Artist Kirk Stoller’s contemporary minimalist sculptures are represented in galleries in NYC, Brooklyn and San Francisco. A resident of Brooklyn, NY, Stoller is founder of c2c, a Bay Area invitational studio and exhibition residency that brings artists together from both coasts to promote the exchange of ideas and processes. Stoller is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and is past resident of the Edward F. Albee Foundation where his work is now part of the foundation’s collection. During his Escape To Create residency, Stoller will construct atmospheric large-scale modular pieces created from found components. Executed in large scale, his works will invite the viewer to move under, through and around each piece. The artist will conduct a sculpting workshop for area students.
The Escape Ensemble Residency was inaugurated in 2018 as a music performance and educational outreach residency dedicated to advancing the next generation of international performers and educators. In their own words, the mission of the 2019 Escape Ensemble is “to bring music of the highest quality to our audiences, to foster community through participation and education in the arts, and to connect more intimately as musicians and as people.” This unique residency is under the direction of distinguished E2C Alum, composer Dr. Dorothy Hindman, Associate Director of Music Composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. The Ensemble’s appearances include performance during Sunday services at The Chapel in Seaside, a full concert of classical music at The REP Theatre, a solo piano concert celebrating the works of American composers including Escape To Create Alum composers, and pop-up performances throughout Seaside. The Ensemble will bring music into classrooms throughout Walton and Okaloosa County public schools and will conduct Master Classes for area students:
Hannah Culbreth, a native of Atlanta, is currently in her third year of undergraduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA as a student of Jason Snider (Boston Symphony Orchestra). Ms. Culbreth spent this summer touring Canada and Asia with the Orchestre de la Francophonie based in Montreal, Quebec. She has spent previous summers at the Brevard Music Festival and on tours with orchestras around the United States and South America. Awards include first prizes in the Atlanta Horn Clinic Concerto Competition (2016) and the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition (2015). Ms. Culbreth performs on the French horn.
In 2013 at the age of fourteen, pianist Jacob Mason won the New World Symphony National Concerto Competition, the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition and the Ars Flores Concerto Competition with the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1. He debuted as soloist with the New World Symphony on April 13, 2013. Since then, he has participated in numerous festivals, including the Interlochen Arts Camp and the Miami International Piano Festival Academy, performed at halls including Jordan Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and played with illustrious musicians such as Norman Bolter, Robert Black, and Charles Peltz. He studied for two years at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA where he worked with countless world-class musicians. He currently studies at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in Miami, FL with pianist Kevin Kenner, winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition.
Sebastian Ortega is a Venezuelan-American cellist who currently resides in Boston. Among his past mentors are Marion Feldman, Hans Jørgen-Jensen, Julia Lichten, and William Molina. He is the recipient of the Presidential Distinction Award at the New England Conservatory, and has been a semi-finalist at the Sphinx Junior Competition. Sebastian is a Junior at the New England Conservatory, where he studies with Professor Paul Katz.
Andrew Samarasekara (UK) studied with Lutsia Ibragimova at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England. He currently studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, under the tuition of Paul Biss and Miriam Fried. Andrew is a prize winner at the Eastbourne Young Soloist Competition, the New York Summit Festival 'Mary Smart' International Concerto Competition and the Royal College of Music ‘Hugh Bean’ and ‘Margery Humby’ competitions. Andrew has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across England, Germany, Spain, the United States and France at prestigious venues that include Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Schloss Nymphenburg Palace and NEC Jordan Hall. Andrew performs on an 1820 J.B. Vuillaume generously loaned by the Benslow Trust and Mary Gelhorn.
Session II: January 31 - February 28
Composer Jean Fineberg is a national figure in the arena of jazz and popular music. Her worldwide career in tenor sax, flute and drums includes performance with David Bowie, Luther Vandross, Bo Diddly, and many others. Her compositions have been performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Grammy Foundation and at major jazz festivals in the U.S., South America and Europe. Her numerous awards include ASCAP honors and a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowship. Fineberg is a charter faculty member at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly Jazzschool) at Berkley, CA where she is also director of annual jazz and blues camps for women and girls. She is a charter member of the Montclair Women’s Big Band which has recorded many of her compositions. During her residency, Fineberg will compose, arrange and orchestrate new works for a 2019 album written for her ensemble JAZZphoria. The composer will present video of her big band and octet performances and will conduct a jazz clinic for area band students.
Painter and printmaker Kathleen Raymond has been an innovative art instructor in Dallas area high schools and colleges for over twenty years. Her creative honors include a fellowship award in Painting and Works on Paper from the Mid-America Arts Alliance/National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Teacher Institute in Contemporary Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Raymond has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Nantucket School of Design & the Arts. During her Seaside residency, Raymond will create new works that capture the unique beauty of the Emerald Coast and will be exhibited in an E2C community salon. Raymond will conduct a drawing and printmaking workshop for county high school students and offers to help area students in their preparation of AP and college admissions portfolios.
Since her 2015 Escape To Create Residency, singer songwriter Linda McRae has gained an international following as teacher and performer of unforgettable melodies and thought provoking lyrics. Originally from Canada and now of Nashville, McRae was the 2016 British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame Pioneer Inductee and was winner of the 2017 Boston Family Folk Chorale Songwriting Competition for her song, Be The Light. Performed a cappella in the dark at The REP Theatre in 2015, McRae was later invited to perform the song with a one hundred member choir and full orchestra as part of the BC Hall of Fame’s concert series. Performing on banjo, guitar and accordion, McRae’s skilled musicianship, deeply satisfying voice evocative of a mature Patsy Cline and refreshing acoustic style will once again be center-stage at The REP as Escape To Create’s annual “Valentine To 30A” concert. McRae’s teaching, an integral part of her career, has also expanded from international music festivals to her Express Yourself workshops with prison populations across North America. In addition to her creative goal of writing songs for her next album, McRae will conduct her Express Yourself workshop benefitting troubled students in county schools.
Lavinia Roberts is a NYC theater teacher and award-winning playwright. Over forty of her plays for young people have been published and her works have been presented throughout the U.S. and internationally. Roberts is also a visual artist, a puppet designer working in both film and theatre, and is author of two theatre education resource books for children. Her plays, written for both traditional and experimental theatre, explore themes of types of privilege, environmentalism, and humanism. Her full-length play Poor People, a free stage adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s masterpiece Poor Folk, was featured in the 2015 New York City International Fringe Festival. While in Seaside, Roberts will develop a new play inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. Through the perspective of Odysseus’ wife Penelope, Weave explores the experience of women during wartime and their role in re-humanizing population, helping heal physical and moral injury and learning to love again. The REP Theatre will give a reading of the script and plans for a reading of one of Roberts’ plays written for young people, scheduled for publication in 2019.
Tomica Scavina is a writer, educator and psychologist living in Zagreb, Croatia. She has written works of fiction, children's books and a book of poetry, each of which has garnered literary honors in her country. Her second novel Kaleidoscope World was translated into English and is available on Amazon. Scavina also writes radio dramas for children (“Tamer of the Clouds”) and stories based on her travels as a writer for Croatian National Radio (“Wandering in Sound”). In addition to her private practice, Scavina lectures at the Vern University of Applied Sciences in Zagreb where she teaches a course in the psychology of creativity. She also teaches "Beyond Writing," a workshop on the interface between creativity and psychology at the Zagreb Center for Creative Writing. While in Seaside, Tomica plans to complete her third novel Healing Dictionary which is based on her experiences as a teenager during the 1991-1995 war in Croatia.