Southampton Writers Conference Opens Several Events to the Public

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y., June 17, 2009 – The acclaimed Southampton Writers Conference, sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Writing and Literature program, will take place this summer from July 8 – August 2. Now in its third decade, the Conference is well-known for providing a forum for authors of all genres to study and discuss the craft of writing under the guidance of some of the most respected members of the industry – and this year's line-up of esteemed faculty members and guest participants is no exception.

Frank McCourt, Billy Collins, Robert Reeves and Roger Rosenblatt.

Also, again this year, a select number of special events will be opened to the public. Tickets to Saturday evening events are $35/$10 for seniors, students and Stony Brook University faculty and staff. Weekday evening events are $25/$10. For ticket information, call 631-632-5152 or visit

These events include:

Thursday, July 9th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
Adaptation Panel
Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman and writer/director and iTheatrics CEO Tim McDonald.

Marsha Norman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Hull-Warriner, and Drama Desk Awards for 'Night Mother; a Tony Award and Drama Desk Awards for The Secret Garden; and the John Gassner Medallion, Newsday Oppenheimer award, and the American Theatre Critics Association Citation for Getting Out. Other plays includeThird and Oak, The Laundromat, The Poolhall, The Holdup, Traveler in the Dark, Sarah and Abraham, Loving Daniel Boone, and Trudy Blue. She also wrote the book for The Color Purple, currently on Broadway. Published work includes Four Plays and a novel, The Fortune Teller. Television and film credits include Face of a Stranger, starring Gena Rowlands and Tyne Daley. Norman is co-chair, with Christopher Durang, of the Playwriting Department of the Juilliard School and vice president of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Timothy A. McDonald is a respected director and playwright (Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, The Ant and the Elephant, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley) and CEO of the New York-based educational musical theatre consulting company iTheatrics. Tim directed sold-out performances of The Phantom Tollbooth at The Kennedy Center and served as playwright and director for the Kennedy Center-commissioned production of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka in 2004, which subsequently toured the United States for two seasons. Tim is currently developing a stage version of the classic James and the Giant Peach, which will be performed with the prestigious Pilobolus Dance Company, and is the co-playwright of the stage production of Jim Henson's Emmet Otter, which had its world premiere at Goodspeed Musicals in November 2008. Prior to founding his company, iTheatrics, Tim created and developed Music Theatre International (MTI) Education, the first educational division in a major musical theatre-licensing firm. For ten years Tim worked side-by-side with theatrical greats (including Cameron Mackintosh, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Schwartz and Sheldon Harnick) to create age-appropriate versions of classic musicals – such as Les Misérables, Annie, Meredith Willson's The Music Man and Into the Woods - for students to perform, along with corresponding educational materials. While at MTI, Tim also teamed with Disney Theatricals to adapt beloved Disney animation titles – including Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Mulan, and 101 Dalmatians – for the stage, virtually creating the “direct to licensing” musical theatre market. Through iTheatrics' partnership with Stephen Gabriel of Work Light Productions, Tim has developed five new Theatre for Young Audiences touring shows: Broadway Junior on Tour, Disney's Discover Theater!, Frankly Ben, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, and The Ant and the Elephant.

Friday, July 10th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley
Hampton Premiere
Presented by iTheatrics
Written and directed by Tim McDonald
Based on the book series by Jeff Brown

The Southampton Children's Literature Conference, to be held July 8th through the 12th, is delighted to announce the July 10th Hamptons premiere of The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. The musical is based on the wildly popular children's book series about Stanley Lambchop, who was an ordinary boy until a bulletin board flattened him into a one-inch being. His world would never be the same: Stanley, sometimes invisible, sometimes in outer space, is always up for adventure. Open to children and adults.

Saturday, July 11th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
A Celebration of Poetry for the Whole Family:
Highlights from the soon-to-be released Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies
Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton and Jim McMullan

The Children's Literature Conference is also extremely proud to announce a reading with Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton from their soon-to-be-published poetry anthology: Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. The July 11th reading and Q & A, will be accompanied by original illustrations created by renowned artist Jim McMullan. Walton Hamilton is a faculty member of Stony Brook Southampton. Join us for a sneak peek into a beautiful collection.
Great for children and adults.

Thursday, July 16th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
Ensemble Studio Theater Onstage
Join members of Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York's premiere development theater in a reading of an exciting new play and become a part of the process of creating new work for the stage.

Friday, July 17th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
Theater Collaborations...a discussion
Join theater giants Robert Brustein, Emily Mann, Joe Mantello and Tony Walton for a frank discussion of the profits and pitfalls that face the creative team as they embark on bringing the playwright's work to life.

Saturday, July 18th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
Three Farces and a Funeral
Based on the life, letters and plays of Anton Chekhov.
By Robert Brustein
Directed by Daniela Veron
Starring Alan Alda
Join Alan Alda and company for a reading of this new play by Robert Brustein based on the life, letters and plays of Anton Chekhov.

Monday, July 20th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
A Seagull in the Hamptons
A reading of the classic comedy set in modern-day Quogue, freely adapted from Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.
By Emily Mann
Starring Brian Murray, Larry Pine and Maria Tucci

Wednesday, July 22nd
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
The Last Cargo Cult
Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Groundbreaking monologist Mike Daisey tells the true-life story of his time on a remote South Pacific island where the inhabitants, who live at the base of a constantly erupting volcano, worship America.
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory

Mike Daisey has been called “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by the New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. His monologues, fourteen and counting, include the controversial How Theater Failed America, the six-hour epic Great Men of Genius, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years. Over the past decade he has performed his unique extemporaneous monologues at venues across America and around the world. He's been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, a contributor to WIRED, Slate and Salon, a web contributor to Vanity Fair and Radar Magazine, and his work has been frequently heard on the BBC and NPR. A feature film of his monologue If You See Something Say Something will be released this year, and he stars in the Lawrence Krauser film Horrible Child. His first book, 21 Dog Years: A Cubedweller's Tale, was published by the Free Press and he is working on a second book, Great Men of Genius, adapted from his monologues about genius and megalomania in the lives of Bertolt Brecht, P.T. Barnum, Nikola Tesla, and L. Ron Hubbard. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and has been the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, three Seattle Times Footlight Awards, and a MacDowell Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his director and collaborator, Jean-Michele Gregory.

Friday, July 24th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
An Evening With Billy Collins
Presented by The Southampton Review
Join Billy Collins, Frank McCourt, Roger Rosenblatt, Robert Reeves and other special guests to celebrate the latest issue of the Stony Brook Southampton MFA program's literary magazine.

Thursday, July 30th
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
Ensemble Studio Theater Onstage
Artist members of this esteemed Off-Broadway theatre return with a reading of another fascinating new play.

Friday, July 31st
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater
The Alan J. Pakula Prize
This year, Stony Brook Southampton and the Writers Guild of America, East will offer an evening with another major, original voice in Screenwriting and Directing, whose career has promoted social conscience and human understanding.

Saturday, August 1st
7:30 p.m. Avram Theater 
A Conversation on Film Writing with Alec Baldwin and Jon Robin Baitz
Actor/director Alec Baldwin and playwright/screenwriter/actor Jon Robin Baitz join us for a surprising, humorous and practical conversation about what makes great screenwriting as they screen examples of clips from some of their favorite films