2020 Artists: Session I


Donald Carroll

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

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.


Tom Styrkowicz

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.”


The Escape Ensemble

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

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.


Jacob Mason

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

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.