Three Voices, Three Evenings With Guild Hall

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Guild Hall Artist-in-Residence Jackson Gay.

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, a space on the Guild Hall campus where they can live and work as well as an exhibition or performance platform. This year’s residency will be completed remotely from each artist’s 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” said 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,” he added. “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,” he said. “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 p.m. 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. The project not only asks what you are grateful for, but why.

Gay’s directing work includes Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” “Transfers” by Lucy Thurber, “These Paper Bullets!” by Rolin Jones with music by Billie Joe Armstrong, 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, which inspired more than a dozen other events across the country in the following weeks and months.

The series will continue on Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m. with author Mark Sarvas discussing his 2019 American Book Award winning novel “Memento Park” and concludes Saturday, April 10, at 7 p.m. with playwright Ryan Campbell sharing his reflections and readings of new works and excerpts written during his time as a Guild Hall Artist-in-Residence.

Visit guildhall.org to sign up for the presentations.

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