July will be full of creative exploration at the Stony Brook Southampton campus. As part of a long-term vision of transforming the campus into a graduate-level facility for the study of various art disciplines, the school will continue and expand upon its summer offerings this year, redesigned and redesignated as Southampton Arts Summer.
There will be two sessions in each discipline, a five-day session from July 11 to July 15 and a 12-day session from July 18 to July 29. The cost for five days including room and board is $1,655, and $2,595 for the 12-day session.
The concept has evolved from the school’s annual summer writers conference, which has been increasing its offerings and disciplines over the past few years to include graduate-level workshops in film and theater. This year, the school will offer a new program in the visual arts, organized by Scott Sandel, a Sag Harbor artist.
The visual arts sessions will have a variety of workshops on form, genre, and issues pertinent to artists. Contemporary printmaking, portraiture, sculpture, and the artist’s book form will be covered in the classes devoted to technique. There will also be a session on the role of art dealers in launching an artist’s career and how to build a portfolio that is ready for presentation to the art market. Among the instructors for these sessions will be Mr. Sandel, Paton Miller, Steve Miller, Daniel De Simone, Angela Scott, and Paul Chojnowski.
At the center of the program and still with the most extensive offerings is the creative writing section, which will have separate sessions in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature. Bridging the gap between creative writing and the theater program will be sessions on playwriting, complemented by workshops in theater directing and acting.
The latter will encompass hosting the Michael Chekhov Association Workshop and Festival in early July, with more than 60 of the association’s actors participating in many activities that will be open to viewing by all those taking part in the Southampton Arts program. Mercedes Ruehl will run a 12-day master class in the second session that month. Acceptance into her program will be by audition only.
Among the offerings in film are workshops on screenwriting led by Christina Lazaridi, Annette Handley Chandler, and Frank Pugliese. The conference will once again honor a filmmaker with the Pakula Prize, named after Alan Pakula, the writer and director of such films as “Sophie’s Choice” and “All the President’s Men.” Previous honorees have included Robert Benton, Alexander Payne, and Peter Hedges. The award will be presented in a discussion with the filmmaker illustrated by film clips.
Filmmaking sessions will explore the tools of digital filmmaking, writing sitcom episodes for the Internet, and microbudgeting. The faculty for the filmmaking sessions will include James Strzelinski and Mitchell Kriegman.
Some of the other instructors for the different sections are Rinde Eckert, Mark Wing-Davey, Jon Robin Baitz, John Patrick Shanley, Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Leslie Ayvazian for theater directing and writing. Musical theater workshops will be led by Julie Andrews, Marsha Norman, Jason Robert Brown, and Anne Runolfsson. The Ensemble Studio Theatre will return with member playwrights, actors, and directors taking an active role on campus.
In creative writing, the faculty will include fiction writers such as Melissa Bank, Meg Wolitzer, Ursula Hegi, and Patricia McCormick. Poetry workshops will be led by Mary Karr, Billy Collins, and Robert Wrigley. David Rakoff, Matthew Klam, Roger Rosenblatt, and Kim Barnes will lead workshops in, respectively, personal essay, creative nonfiction, memoir, and personal narrative. In children’s literature, workshops will be led by Peter H. Reynolds, Kate McMullan, Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith, and Patricia McCormick.
In addition to the scheduled sessions there will be special panels, presentations, play readings, and spontaneous collaborations between the faculty and participants in all the workshops. Adding to the artistic feeling of the campus will be the musicians of Pianofest, who will be in residence in July.
The deadline for admission is Saturday. More information is available at Southamptonarts.org or stonybrook.edu/mfa.