WILLIAM WESTBROOK BURFORD
Director of Semester by the Sea, Playwright, Producer, Designer
Bill Burford has directed, produced, written or designed over 100 stage productions. He served as Dean of Performing Arts at the Ross School, Interim Dean of Students for Stony Brook Southampton and General Manager for Bay Street Theatre. He has helped start or renew theatre companies and arts education programs around the country for 40 years, and has recently contributed as both photographer and playwright to The Southampton Review. Photo: Suzanne Savoy
Poet, Collage Artist
Star Black's sixth book of poems, Velleity's Shade, was released by Saturnalia Books late last year. She is the author of three books of sonnets – Waterworn, Balefire and Ghostwood, a collection of double sestinas – Double Time – and a book of collaged free verse, October for Idas. Her poems have been anthologized in The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, 110 Stories: New York Writers After September 11, and The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1880 to The Present. Her collages have been exhibited at Poets House and The Center for Book Arts, and published in One of a Kind: UniqueArtists Books by Pierre Menard Gallery. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor.
Novelist, Film & Television Producer
Magdalene Brandeis has translated and adapted French films, produced multiple seasons of the series Movies At Our House for AMC, and was AP of the BRAVO series Citizen Reno. Additionally, she was the Executive Director of The Bridge Program, which offered a 9-month accredited course in the humanities to low-income adults. Her work has appeared in The East Hampton Star and The Southampton Review, and her first novel, BOX, is represented by Sterling Lord Literistic. She holds a BA from AULA, and an MFA from Stony Brook Southampton.
ANNETTE HANDLEY CHANDLER
Producer and Screenwriter
Annette Handley Chandler is the Director of the Southampton Screenwriting Conference and teaches Screenwriting through the MFA Writing & Literature program. She has produced films for Paramount Pictures, Disney, PBS, ABC and CBS. Among them, the 2001 Emmy Award winning Ansel Adams: A Documentary directed by Ric Burns. A former literary agent and ABC programming executive in Los Angeles, Handley Chandler taught screenwriting at UCLA and Pepperdine University. Locally, she has written, directed and produced Plum TV's documentary on vintner/sculptor Walter Channing. She writes fiction and has been published in numerous publications including the East Hampton Star, The Southampton Press and HamptonStyle Magazine.
Digital Production Manager, Broadcast Engineer, Light/Sound Designer
Peter Eilenberg started as a sound designer for plays and musicals. He has worked his way from stage to screen, working and training professionals in nearly all production roles required by digital film production. A graduate of Southampton College, most recently Peter served as national Director of Broadcast Operations for Plum TV.
As a producer, Hamilton has overseen the production of over 50 plays and musicals including Hedda Gabler which starred Kate Burton, and earned a Tony nomination for Best Actress and The Boy Friend which featured Julie Andrews’ directorial debut., as well as world premieres of plays by Terence McNally, Lanford Wilson, Marsha Norman, David Ives, Jon Robin Baitz, Paula Vogel and Horton Foote. In 2001, Hamilton directed Alec Baldwin the World Premiere of Ira Lewis’ Gross Points. Other directing credits include Yasmina Reza’s Art and Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West. He is currently preparing a production of Uncle Vanya for East Hampton’s Guild Hall. Hamilton has performed extensively as an actor in film, television, Off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the country, including Lincoln Center Theatre, Circle in the Square, Soho Rep, The Actor’s Studio, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Capitol Rep, Alliance Theatre of Atlanta, and the Arizona Theatre Company, among others. In June 2010, Hamilton appeared with Alec Baldwin in the Guild Hall production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus. In 1991, Hamilton co-founded Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor and served as its Executive Director for 17 years. He is married to author/educator Emma Walton Hamilton.
Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist
Susan Scarf Merrell is the author of the novel A Member of the Family and the nonfiction book The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships. Her short stories and essays have been published in the literary reviews Tin House, The Southampton Review, and The New Haven Review. She has also written on the subject of adoption for The Daily Beast, and on author Shirley Jackson's Vermont homes for Writershouses.com. Merrell's articles have appeared in Edible East End, Self, New Woman, Parents, Parenting, Child, Psychology Today and elsewhere. A graduate of Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences, Merrell holds an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars.
Julie Sheehan's three poetry collections are Bar Book: Poems & Otherwise (W.W. Norton), Orient Point (also from Norton) and Thaw (Fordham). Her honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award and NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Photo: Star Black
Andrew Botsford is the former associate editor of The Southampton Press and The East Hampton Press weekly newspapers. An actor for 25 years with the Hampton Theatre Company in Quogue, he has appeared in more than 30 productions. He also offers film commentary in the Finest in World Cinema summer series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.
Will Chandler, an American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Nicholl Fellowship screenwriter, is Program Director for Southampton Arts Young American Writers Project and a teaching artist. He served as Education Director for Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor where he taught, administered and expanded the theatre's education programs. He has sold scripts and worked on assignment for a number of studios and independent producers, including Sony Pictures and actor Russell Crowe. He has also been a story analyst/script doctor for CBS, Viacom, Harpo Productions, New World Pictures and private clients. As Director of Development for Green-Epstein Productions, Chandler worked on dozens of projects for ABC, CBS, NBC and HBO.
Film Critic, Biographer, Essayist
Neal Gabler is the author of four books: An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity, Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, and Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. His essays and articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, including Vanity Fair, Esquire, Playboy, Newsweek, and Vogue, and he has been the recipient of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, Time magazine's nonfiction book of the year, USA Today's biography of the year, a National Book Critics Circle nomination, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Public Policy Scholarship at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Shorenstein Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Patrick Henry Fellowship at Washington College's C.V. Starr Center. He has also served as the chief nonfiction judge of the National Book Awards.
ROBERT EMMETT GINNA
Robert Emmett Ginna taught writing and film courses at Harvard 1987-2003. A former editor in chief of Little, Brown, assistant managing editor of LIFE, and an editor of three other national magazines, he has also been a writer/producer of theatrical feature films and network TV programs. His byline has appeared in more than a score of journals, and he is the author of The Irish Way: A walk through Ireland's past and present.
EMMA WALTON HAMILTON
Children's Book Author, Editor
Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling children's author, editor, arts educator and arts and literacy advocate. She has co-authored over 20 children's books with her mother, Julie Andrews, six of which have been on the New York Times best-seller list, including the #1 bestsellers The Very Fairy Princess and The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage. Emma's own book for parents and caregivers, Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, premiered as a #1 best-seller on Amazon.com in the literacy category and won a Parent's Choice Gold Medal, silver medals from the Living Now and IPPY Book Awards, and Honorable Mention from ForeWord Magazine's Best Book of the Year. Emma is a faculty member and directs both the Southampton Children's Literature Conference and YAWP (the Young American Writers Project). Her blog, Emmasaries: Raising the Next Generation of Readers and Writers, can be found at http://www.emmawaltonhamilton.com/blog
Nick has worked as a theatre professional for over 30 years on and off Broadway, in regional theatres, stock, and abroad. He directed and/or acted in a wide range of material and received critical acclaim in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Opera News, among others. He directed renowned composer Steve Reich’s mixed media pieces The Cave (Lincoln Center, tour: U.S. Europe, Japan) and Three Tales (World Premiere: Vienna, BAM Next Wave Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Barbican Centre (B.I.T.E.), tour: Europe, China, Australia). He was Artistic Director of the Garson Theatre Company in Santa Fe where he directed regional premieres of plays by Moisés Kaufman and José Rivera. Nick also taught and directed at Yale, the College of Santa Fe, the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) where he was Associate Director of their acclaimed production of Angels in America, and also worked under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop the Advanced Training curriculum. He was an elected member of the Board of Directors for the University Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA), and served as Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at Stony Brook University. He holds a BA in History from Hunter (Phi Beta Kappa), an MFA in Directing from Columbia University-School of the Arts, and a Certificate of Completion in the Chekhov acting technique from the international Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA).
LOU ANN WALKER
Publisher, Editor and Memoirist
Lou Ann Walker's book, A Loss for Words, a memoir, won a Christopher Award. Her other books include Hand, Heart & Mind. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Life, Allure, Parade, The Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times Book Review, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Writer, and The Hopewell Review. Formerly an editor at Esquire and New York Magazine, Walker has lectured on writing at Smith College and Yale University, and taught at Marymount Manhattan College, Southampton College, and Columbia University. The author of several screenplays, she is a member of the Writers Guild of America.