(July 26, 2022) The Hermitage Artist Retreat announced today that Sondra Biller, Stephanie Jones, Liz Richardson, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Hermitage alumnus Doug Wright have been elected to the Hermitage Board of Trustees. These newest additions to the Hermitage Board follow a successful season that has included over 50 live programs and events, dozens of new and expanded arts and education collaborations in the community, another record-breaking fiscal year, a dramatic expansion of the Hermitage team, and the launch of a new national commission in theater.
“We are incredibly excited to be welcoming these four distinguished individuals to the Hermitage Board as we enter our 20th anniversary season,” says Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “These are some of the Hermitage’s most vibrant champions, and their passion for the mission and future of the organization is truly inspiring. Their experience, intelligence, and thoughtful creativity will be invaluable to the organization’s continued growth and success.”
Robyn Citrin will continue in her second year as President of the Hermitage Board, with David Green serving as Vice President, Steve Adler as Treasurer, Ellen Berman as Secretary, and Carole Crosby as Chair of Governance.
“It is truly an honor to welcome Doug, Liz, Sondra, and Stephanie to our Board,” says Hermitage Board President Robyn Citrin. “Andy’s vision for the Hermitage is truly inspiring, and along with the extraordinary team that he has assembled, they are elevating the organization to new heights and putting the Hermitage on the national map. I look forward to working with these new trustees to ensure a bright future for the organization, creating a lasting impact in our community and our culture.”
Doug Wright is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright. He is a Hermitage alumnus and served as a juror for the inaugural Hermitage Major Theater Award in 2021. His plays and musicals include I Am My Own Wife (Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize in Drama), Quills (subsequently adapted by Wright as a screenplay), Grey Gardens, The Little Mermaid, War Paint, and Hands on a Hardbody, among others. He has served on the boards of New York Theatre Workshop, Yaddo, and the Dramatists Guild, where he served as President for many years. He lives in New York with his partner, songwriter David Clement.
Stephanie Jones is a native of Richmond, Virginia. Having worked in corporate recruiting for over 20 years, she is currently the Director of Experienced Talent Acquisition for Kroll, a global professional services firm that specializes in helping organizations anticipate and exceed the complex demands surrounding risk, governance, operations, and growth. Stephanie has been in the Gulf Coast region for three years, living with her husband Gene in Venice, who serves as President and CEO of the YMCA of Southwest Florida.
Sondra Biller’s career began as a registered nurse in Austin, Texas. She holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in public administration. She also has a certificate from the School of Business’ Management Institute at the University of North Carolina. Biller has worked at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, where she held positions as a nurse educator clinician and nurse manager for a new acute rehabilitation unit. Upon moving to Chicago, she worked in health care marketing for assisted living and rehabilitation facilities. Her volunteer service has included serving as a tour guide at the Chicago History Museum and a disaster responder for the American Red Cross. Sondra and her husband Gerald moved to Sarasota in 2012, where they have been active members of the arts community. She served as Co-Chair of the 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner.
Liz Richardson is a passionate advocate for the arts, education, and conservation. She began her career in the healthcare industry, starting as a clinical speech pathologist and then moving into management as a program evaluation director, followed by establishing a healthcare quality management consulting practice. In the non-profit world, Richardson has been a vigorous public education advocate, serving as President of the Board of the Newton Schools Foundation for multiple years. She has also served as a volunteer and board member for “Understanding Our Differences,” an award-winning national disability awareness and acceptance program. Along with other Boston area women, she began the non-profit “Women Working for Oceans,” increasing awareness of and participation in ocean conservation. She has also been active for many years as a board member of Boston’s “Invest to Elect,” a non-profit dedicated to electing women to positions of federal leadership. She and her husband Duncan now spend half of their year in Florida as residents of Manasota Key.
Complete bios below.
The Hermitage’s board officers for the 2022-2023 season are: Robyn Citrin, President; David Green, Vice President; Steve Adler, Treasurer; and Ellen Berman, Secretary. The Hermitage Board of Trustees also includes Sondra Biller*, Christine Boone, Maryann Casey, Carole Crosby, Marletta Darnall, Leslie Edwards, Stephanie Jones*, Tina Shao Napoli, Michael Pender, Charlotte Perret, Liz Richardson*, Edward M. Swan, Jr., Nelda Thompson, Mary Lou Winnick, Doug Wright*, and Andy Sandberg, Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO (ex-officio). *Indicates New Trustee
To learn more about the Hermitage, please visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:
The Hermitage is a non-profit artist retreat located in Manasota Key, Florida, inviting accomplished artists across multiple disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hermitage artists are invited to interact with the local community, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners and nominees. Works created at this beachside retreat by a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theaters, concert halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, the newly announced $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award for an original theater commission, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Hermitage Prize in Composition.
For more information, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage is supported by:
Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by The State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes), as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
Doug Wright is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright. He is a proud Hermitage alumnus and also served as a juror for the inaugural Hermitage Major Theater Award in 2021. He has remained an engaged and active member of the Hermitage alumni community. Doug Wright’s play Quills premiered at Washington, D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in 1995 and subsequently had its debut Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop. Quills garnered the 1995 Kesselring Prize for Best New American Play from the National Arts Club and, for Wright, a 1996 Village Voice Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting. In 2000, Wright wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Quills, which starred Geoffrey Rush. Wright’s play I Am My Own Wife was produced Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons in 2003. It transferred to Broadway where it won the Tony Award for Best Play, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The subject of this one-person play, which starred Jefferson Mays, is the German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. In 2006, Wright wrote the book for the stage adaptation of Grey Gardens. The musical is based on the Maysles brothers’ 1975 film documentary of the same title about Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (“Big Edie”) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”), Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt and cousin. He has adapted the Disney film The Little Mermaid as a Broadway musical, which opened in 2007. In 2009, he was commissioned by the La Jolla Playhouse to adapt and direct Creditors by August Strindberg. In another La Jolla commission, he wrote the book for the musical Hands on a Hardbody, with the score by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio. The musical had a run on Broadway in 2013 after premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2012. He has also written the book for the musical War Paint, with a score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, and starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole. For television, Wright worked on four pilots for producer Norman Lear and teleplays for Hallmark Entertainment and HBO. In film, Wright’s credits include screenplays for Fine Line Features, Fox Searchlight, and DreamWorks SKG. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, where he served as President for many years. He also serves on the boards of New York Theatre Workshop and Yaddo. He is a recipient of the William L. Bradley Fellowship at Yale University, the Charles MacArthur Fellowship at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, an HBO Fellowship in playwriting, and the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. In 2010, he was named a United States Artists Fellow. Mr. Wright lives in New York City with his partner, songwriter David Clement.
Sondra Biller’s career began as a registered nurse in Austin, Texas. She earned her nurse clinician certificate at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas. She holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in public administration (with a public health focus) from U.T. She also has a certificate from the School of Business’ Management Institute at the University of North Carolina. After graduation, Biller worked at the University of North Carolina Medical Center in Chapel Hill. There, she held positions as nurse educator clinician and nurse manager for a new acute rehabilitation unit. Upon moving to Chicago, she had positions in health care marketing for assisted living facilities and for a sub-acute rehabilitation facility. Her volunteer service in Chicago has included serving as a tour guide at the Chicago History Museum and as a disaster responder for the American Red Cross. Sondra and her husband Gerald moved to Sarasota in 2012, often spending their summers in Chicago. In addition to their commitment to the Hermitage and its mission, Biller has been a volunteer at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Ringling Museum, as well as a member of the Ambassador Circle for Embracing our Differences. She recently served as Co-Chair of the 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner.
Stephanie Jones is a native of Richmond, Virginia. Having worked in corporate recruiting for over twenty years, she is currently the Director of Experienced Talent Acquisition for Kroll, a global professional services firm that specializes in helping organizations anticipate and exceed the complex demands surrounding risk, governance, operations, and growth. Stephanie has been in the Southwest Florida region for three years, living with her husband Gene in Venice, who serves as President and CEO of the YMCA of Southwest Florida. They have two adult children who live in Virginia. An amateur flutist and lover of the arts, Jones is excited to work with the Hermitage on their mission of inspiring and fostering the most influential and culturally consequential art and artists of our time.
Liz Richardson is a passionate advocate for the arts, education, and conservation. She began her career in the healthcare industry as a clinical speech pathologist, treating neurologic patients. Richardson subsequently moved into management as a quality management and program evaluation director, and she completed her professional healthcare career by building a healthcare quality management consulting practice. In the non-profit world, Richardson has been a vigorous public education advocate in support of Newton’s public schools. She served as PTO president at elementary and high school levels and helped organize campaigns to support enhanced education funding. She subsequently joined the board of the Newton Schools Foundation, serving as its president for multiple years, raising private funds in support of curriculum innovation related to STEAM and equity for 12,000 Newton students. Richardson has also served as a volunteer and board member for “Understanding Our Differences,” an award-winning national disability awareness and acceptance program. Following the graduation of her three boys, she shifted the focus of her non-profit work to the environment. Along with other Boston area women, she began the non-profit “Women Working for Oceans,” increasing awareness of and participation in ocean conservation. She has also been politically active for many years as a board member of Boston’s “Invest to Elect,” a non-profit dedicated to electing women to positions of federal leadership. Now spending half of their year in Florida as residents of Manasota Key, Liz and her husband Duncan are proud supporters of the Hermitage Artists Retreat and its inspiring mission.
ROBYN CITRIN, President
Robyn Citrinhas lived in the Sarasota area for the past thirteen years. She was elected to the Hermitage board in 2019 and served as its Secretary in 2020 before being elected to President in 2021. She is also a graduate of the Gulf Coast Board Institute. Citrin is a former nurse practitioner, who began her career as a psychiatric nurse in New York City, and subsequently worked in obstetrics and gynecology in Denver. She has a master’s degree in nursing leadership. Citrin’s volunteer work in Colorado included the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Junior Symphony Guild. Since moving to Osprey in 2009, Citrin has volunteered with the Literacy Council of Sarasota, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Oaks Women’s Club (OWC), for which she has been a past Board President. She has also been a champion of the OWC’s scholarship program. Citrin and her husband are collectors of Japanese woodblock prints and have been involved with the Ringling Museum of Art’s Asian Art Collection.
ANDY SANDBERG, Artistic Director and CEO
An accomplished director, writer, and Tony Award-winning producer whose national and international career has been committed to new work and artist development, Andy Sandberg was selected to lead the Hermitage in 2019 following an extensive national search. Since joining the Hermitage in January of 2020, Sandberg has guided the organization through a period of significant growth and transition, despite the challenges of the pandemic. Over the past two seasons, the organization has dramatically expanded its programming, tripled its fundraising, embarked on a new strategic plan, completed a campus-wide restoration, and established dozens of new collaborative partnerships throughout the region and across the country. Under Sandberg’s leadership, the Hermitage was one of the nation’s earliest and most successful adapters to find safe and innovative opportunities for live programming, creating unique outdoor and virtual experiences for artists and audiences alike. Sandberg’s theatrical work has been represented in New York City, London, and throughout the United States. In 2009, at the age of 25, he became the youngest producer in history to win a Tony Award. Sandberg’s Broadway and West End producing credits include the hit revival of Hair (2009 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Awards); the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, starring James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury (2012 Tonyand Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. Sandberg directed the London premiere of Jeannette Bayardelle’s Shida, which earned 2019 Off West End Award nominations for Best Musical, Best Director, and Best Lead Actress. He previously directed the world premiere of Shida Off-Broadway at Ars Nova (four AUDELCO Award noms., including Best Director and Best Musical) and at the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA). Sandberg has been represented Off-Broadway as the director of Straight (NY Times Critics’ Pick). He previously wrote and directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of Application Pending, a comedy about kindergarten admissions (BroadwayWorld Award: Best Off-Broadway Play, Drama Desk nom.: Outstanding Solo Show, Winner: Book Pipeline Prize). Additional world premieres that he has directed include Alan Brody’s historical drama Operation Epsilon (four IRNE Awards, including Best Play and Best Director), the Off-Broadway comedy Craving for Travel (also co-author), and the Off-Broadway musicals The Last Smoker in America, Neurosis, and R.R.R.E.D. In 2020, he directed How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for the Maltz Jupiter Theater. Born and raised in New York, Sandberg is a graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in English and Theater Studies. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), and the Off-Broadway League. He has served on the boards of The Browning School (NYC), the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, the Yale Dramatic Association, the Whiffenpoof Alumni Association, and the Yale Alley Cats Alumni Organization (founder and longtime president).