Southampton’s MFA program in Writing and Literature will host its first annual performance of the Young American Writers Project on Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Middle school students from five area schools – Bridgehampton, Pierson, Shelter Island, The Ross School and Eastport South Manor – will present nine plays written by the students, at Stony Brook Southampton’s Avram Theatre.
Directed by professional directors, the plays encompass a wide array of genres – from zany, comic fantasy to heartfelt, serious drama – and address a number of topics, ranging from time travel to family holiday madness.
The Young American Writers Project playwriting curriculum sends professional artists into classrooms twice-weekly over a period of two months. Students learn the basic elements of dramatic writing: how to develop ideas, characters, themes, dialogue, and scenes. One play from each participating class is selected for production at the Avram Theatre.
The program is helmed by Emma Walton Hamilton as executive director and Will Chandler as program director. Hamilton is a bestselling children’s book author, editor and arts educator. A co-founder of the Bay Street Theatre, she served as the theatre’s artistic co-director and director of education and programming for young audiences for 13 years.
Will Chandler served as education director and a teaching artist for the Bay Street Theatre. He has written a number of screenplays for clients ranging from Sony Pictures to actor Russell Crowe and has been a script doctor for ABC, NBC, and HBO, among others.
“Dramatic writing and production skills give young people unparalleled lessons in communication and collaboration,” Ms. Walton Hamilton added. “It enriches their confidence, and has a direct impact on their ability to become engaged and compassionate citizens in later life. This project represents a wonderful synergy between all the creative disciplines and values about which I am passionate.”
Beginning in Fall 2009, more YAWP programs will be available to high schools and middle schools. The curricula will encompass the other disciplines represented by Stony Brook Southampton’
s MFA program in Writing and Literature, including personal essay, poetry, screenwriting and fiction. Workshops will be offered to schools across Suffolk County in various formats. A summer workshop will also be offered in conjunction with the Stony Brook Southampton Summer Writers Conference.
Tora Matsuoka, owner of Sen Restaurant and the recently opened Phao Thai Kitchen, visited the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board on Thursday, April 9, to again discuss his sign for the Phao. Matsuoka had hoped to hang a 12 inch wide, and 5 inch thick, sign from the awning of the restaurant. Some board members, like Robert Tortora, felt the sign should be mounted onto the building over the awning. Matsuoka argued that the restaurant lies on the side of the street which gets the most sun, thus the awning is often put down. Matsuoka said when the awning is down a sign mounted to the building wouldn’t be visible to sidewalk traffic.
“The sign is less about design and is more about visibility,” said Matsuoka.
However, board member Diane Schiavoni was adamantly against this option. She preferred the sign be mounted onto a column in between the two windows of the restaurant – instead of being mounted above the awning or hung from the awning.
Eventually, the board reached a consensus. Tortora suggested Matsuoka purchase a piece of wood in the same dimensions as the proposed sign. The board asked Matsuoka to hang the piece of wood from the awning – so they will be able to ascertain whether the sign will be obtrusive.
“I don’t have a problem just looking at the [piece of wood] to see how the sign would look,” said ARB chairman Cee Scott Brown.
Approving the demolition of village homes has been a widely debated issue at the ARB recently, but on Thursday Erika Hecht’s proposal to demolish her home on Suffolk Street was approved after the architect presented a revised plan. The plans include the construction of a federalist Greek-revival style home, with five eyebrow windows and a recessed entrance. The board approved the demolition of the home, but asked the architect to return with specifics on which materials will be used for the project.
Of the project, Brown said, “I think it is going to fit nicely on the block.”
The Southampton Republican Committee held a second round of candidate screenings on Wednesday, April 15.
“I am excited about this second screening. During our first gathering in March turnout of interested candidates was so large we could not get everyone who wanted to be screened. Since then many others have reached out to ask to be considered for various town offices from the top of the ticket on down,” said Southampton Town Republican Committee Chairman Marc Stinchi. “While we will certainly miss him on the ticket this year, I think some of the added interest has been driven by Bill Masterson’s decision not to seek re-election after twenty years of outstanding service as Highway Superintendent.”
“I loved almost every single day of running the Highway Department,” observed superintendent Masterson. “And I would be remiss not to point out the men and women of the department who have gone above and beyond for the people of Southampton, some days under the most dreadful weather conditions but more commonly, day in day out with a commitment to doing the job for the taxpayer. It’s important the next candidate for the job, regardless of which party, be skilled in managing a large work force and that takes more than just being a perennial candidate for a job in town hall.”
“If we need to schedule a third screening we will. As I have said before incumbency is not a guarantee of the Republican Party’s nomination and we want to hear from anyone interested in running on the Republican ticket this year,” concluded Stinchi. “As a party we have to take a hard honest look of how we have fared both locally and at other levels in recent elections, as such we can be not be afraid of tough questions and hard choices if that is what is best for the town and for our party.”
Elections will be held this year for County Legislator, Town Supervisor, two Town Board seats, Highway Superintendent, Town Clerk, two Town Justices and all five Town Trustee seats.
On Sunday, May 3, the Animal Shelter and Adoption Center in Red Creek Park, Hampton Bays will sponsor a “Pampered Chef” cooking show, complete with recipe and cooking tool demonstrations. A part of the proceeds of all product orders placed through this event will go to support the Animal Shelter and its operations. The “Pampered Chef” is a popular resource for kitchenware, cookware and pantry goods. Local “Pampered Chef” consultant Fran Cirola will demonstrate recipe preparation using “Pampered Chef”
products that will be available for sale at the event. Cirola will present family and budget friendly recipes – with some meals costing only $2 per serving. RSVPs are requested. For more information call the Southampton Town Animal Shelter and Adoption Center at 728-7387.
For the first time in 10 years, the Suffolk County Planning Commission has formally released a new and updated version of its “Commission Guidebook,” which informs municipalities and developers of the standards the Commission will apply to projects. The guidebook reflects the commission’s efforts to ensure that future development projects in Suffolk advance three critical county-wide priorities including: ensuring adequate housing options for all residents, minimizing energy consumption, and increasing public safety.
Creation of the revised guidebook is one step in the commissioner’s efforts to promote countywide priorities, according to commission chair David Calone.
“The commission’s goal is to provide each of Suffolk’s 42 municipalities with the tools they need to address critical issues that have countywide impact, such as affordable housing, energy efficiency and renewable energy, public safety, and universal design,” said Calone.Â
Long Island Power Authority President and CEO Kevin Law’
s office assisted in the drafting of significant new energy efficiency standards that are contained within the guidebook. Public safety is an important factor in the new guidebook, planning officials said. Significant design considerations were given to increase the visibility of areas running from streets to building entrances.
The Suffolk County Planning Commission is comprised of 15 members who are nominated by the County executive and are confirmed by the County Legislature. Of the 15 commission members, one represents each of the ten towns in Suffolk, one represents villages with populations under 5,000, one represents village with populations over 5,000 and there are three representatives at-large.
NY State Assembly
Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr., will host on Friday, April 17, a transportation forum with the Volpe Center and the Town of Southampton to discuss the initial evaluations of two transportation plans that have been developed as a result of feasibility study completed by the Volpe Center.
As part of a New York State-funded grant, the Town of Southampton has been the lead applicant along with other East End towns – East Hampton, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island – in working with community interests and Volpe to evaluate a coordinated bus/rail system in addition to a proposed “second alternative.” Initial evaluations of both concepts will be presented to stakeholders and other interested parties, as well as the public, at the forum. Participants include elected officials from all levels of government, transportation advocacy groups and other entities.
The forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Suffolk County Community College – Eastern Campus, in Riverhead. For more information call Assemblyman Thiele’
s office at 537-2583.Â