Three Artists, Three Evenings

Established in 2016, Guild Hall’s Artist-in-Residence (GHAIR) program was created to offer artists and collectives the time and space to research, experiment, and develop new ideas and projects. Artists are provided with creative mentorship and administrative support, a paid stipend, and, in a normal year, live/workspace on the Guild Hall campus, and an exhibition or performance platform. This year’s residency will be completed remotely from each artists home/studio due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The final showcases for the residents will all take place virtually on select dates.


“Guild Hall is incredibly excited to – finally – welcome our 2021 Artists-in-Residence” says Anthony Madonna, the Patti Kenner Senior Associate for Learning and Public Engagement. “The artists were selected in the Winter of 2019, but due to the pandemic their residencies were postponed an entire year. Though we wish we could physically host each artist, a remote residency has allowed us to expand the program. New to 2021, each artist has been paired with a mentor from our Academy of the Arts, including composer, Carter Burwell, poet, Jill Bialosky, and playwright, Jon Robin Baitz. The residents and mentors will meet weekly via zoom to discuss processes, receive feedback and resources, and professional contacts for further development. Another new addition, the 2021 residents will each have a public final showcase on Guild Hall’s virtual platforms. In the past six years, these showcases have been shared to an intimate invite-only audience, and now, through the practiced hands of our John Drew Theater Virtual Stage, are open for anyone to attend and learn.”


The first presentation features Director Jackson Gay on Friday, February 26 at 8 PM EST. Gay will present a night of participatory theater, collective listening, and discussion as she reflects on her time at Guild Hall, and shares the beginnings of her new project, Endless Loop* of Gratitude and other works written during her time in residence. 

In a culture that can reduce a profound feeling to a blithe hashtag, Endless Loop* of Gratitude is an interactive installation that invites participants to reflect on and share their own stories about the people, places, events, and objects that have changed their lives. Endless Loop not only asks what you are grateful for, but why

Jackson’s directing work includes: Chekhov’s The Seagull (Juilliard); Transfers by Lucy Thurber (New York Stage & Film and MCC, off-Broadway Alliance Best New Play Award); These Paper Bullets! by Rolin Jones with music by Billie Joe Armstrong (New Neighborhood, Atlantic, Geffen, Yale Rep – Critics Pick Time Out NY, Best Production and Adaptation LA Sage Awards, Time Out Los Angeles, Connecticut Critics Circle Award Best Production and Best Director); and more. In collaboration with Steven Padla, New Neighborhood, Dan Butler and DMNDR, Jackson recently produced Filibustered and Unfiltered: America Reads the Mueller Report, the first 24-hour reading of the entire [redacted] Mueller Report in Queens, NY, which inspired more than a dozen other events across the country in the following weeks and months. Featured everywhere from the Los Angeles Times (“a live-theater summer sensation!”) to Breitbart News (“two thumbs down” and “the single most boring and pointless way to waste your time!”), the tidal wave of public readings reached its apex when it was name-checked in Congress during Robert Mueller’s nationally televised public testimony.  


The second presentation will take place on Thursday, March 11 at 7 PM EST with Author Mark Sarvas, including a discussion on his 2019 American Book Award winning novel, Memento Park. 

After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his girlfriend Tracy and his attorney Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family. As his journey progresses, Matt’s revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt’s narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it. 

Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas’s Memento Park ―about family and identity, about art and history― a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?  

The evening, produced in partnership with BookHampton, will also feature discussions on and readings of new works/excerpts written during Sarvas’ time as a Guild House Artist-in-Residence. Copies of Sarvas’ Memento Park are available for purchase at the BookHampton storefront or online.  


The third presentation and final artist-in-residence, Playwright  Ryan Campbell will present on Saturday, April 10 at 7 PM EST. Campbell will share his reflections and readings of new works/excerpts written during his time at Guild Hall. 

A fusion of idealism and world-weariness, and the tension that arises from holding both points of view simultaneously, Campbell’s theatrical narratives are designed with the hope of creating experiences that gently confront the difficulties of life with a sense of wrecked wonder. His work has been seen on stages in New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Texas. 

The evening will be presented as a Premier event on Guild Hall’s YouTube channel. Campbell will be joining live to answer questions from viewers about the work and residency.  






AAQ / Resource: Westhampton Architectural Glass