Hermitage Brings Artists to the Beach this Friday



Just arriving yesterday, the latest residents at the Hermitage Artist Retreat are wasting no time in getting to know the community, scheduling a free community event this Friday, Oct. 13, at 6pm at Hermitage Artist Retreat beach. Playwright/director Lisa Peterson and writer/actor Denis O’Hare, regular collaborators and award-winning artists in their own right, will share readings of their work, followed by an informal conversation with attendees. “Superstars-in-residence abound at the Hermitage,” says Bruce Rodgers, executive director for the artist retreat, “and these two artists are no exception.”

Known for his work on the stage and screen, O’Hare has performed both on and off Broadway, been a regular on American Horror Story for the last five years and appeared in hit shows like The Good Wife and True Blood, in addition to appearing in every Law and Order series. His first screenplay, The Parting Glass, has been filmed and produced, and is expecting an imminent release. As a director, Peterson’s credits include Earnest Shackleton Loves Me, We’re Gonna Be Alright and It Can’t Happen Here, and world premieres from prominent American writers such as Tony Kushner and Beth Henley. As collaborators, Peterson and O'Hare wrote The Good Book and An Iliad, which won an Obie Award, a Lortel Award and a Drama Desk nomination. Currently, the pair has been working on a new commission for the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, called The Song of Rome.

At Friday’s reading, attendees may even get an early glimpse at The Song of Rome, though that’s ultimately up to the artists and Rodgers can’t say for sure. Either way, they’ll get an inside look at work at various stages of development and production, bringing with it an opportunity for insight into the artists’ process as well. As for the artists, they get honest feedback and “it’s a win-win for everybody,” says Rodgers. And after the reading, both Peterson and O’Hare will stick around for an informal Q&A and conversation about their individual and collaborative processes, as well as topics such as the role of improvisation and foundational literature.

The event is free, but reservations are requested. Especially seeing as the weather forecast for Friday means the reading could likely be moved indoors. And while the beach has supported as many as 450 people for events like this, the indoor backup location can only hold about 150, as much as Rodgers would like to include more. “Like all nonprofits, we belong to the community,” he says. “We belong to them, and we have an obligation to somehow share what it is they’re supporting. They deserve to share in the benefit.”

Reservations can be requested by calling 941-475-2098, ext. 8.

Pictured: Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare. Photos courtesy of Hermitage Artist Retreat.

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