We are delighted to welcome back Professor Emeritus Murray Biggs and Andy Sandberg, CEO and Artistic Director of the Hermitage Artist Retreat.
Murray Biggs is a semi-retired professor of English, Theatre, and of late Film at Yale, where he has taught since 1986. Previously, he spent ten years teaching and directing at MIT. Born in England, Biggs spent nine years of his early life in South Africa, where he took his first degree, in English and Politics, before specializing in English at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. His main professional interests are the dramatic literature of the English Renaissance and of the modern period, as well as stage directing, generally with undergraduate actors. He has directed over 40 productions including 15 plays by Shakespeare, three of them twice. His publications include some 30 articles, most exploring the interface of text and performance, and the editing of an anthology of essays, “The Arts of Performance in Elizabethan and Early Stuart Drama”, from Edinburgh University Press. Professor Biggs teaches drama seminars at Yale and online for alumni and others, and conducts live theatre programs in London and several cities in the United States.
Andy Sandberg is a New York-based director, writer, and Tony Award-winning producer. He is also currently Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage Artist Retreat inFlorida. Sandberg’s theatrical work has been represented in New York, London, and throughout the United States. He directed the U.K.premiere of Jeannette Bayardelle’sShida, which opened to rave reviews and 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 Nominations, 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, named a Critics’ Pick byThe New York Times, citing that the production was “directed with polished finesse.” 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 Nomination: Outstanding Solo Show, Winner: Book Pipeline Prize). Additional world premieres that he has directed include Alan Brody’s historical dramaOperation Epsilon(four IRNE Awards, including Best Play and Best Director), the Off-Broadway comedyCraving for Travel(also co-author), and the Off-Broadway musicals,The Last Smoker in America andNeurosis. In 2020, he directed a large-scale production of How to Succeed inBusiness Without Really Trying for the Maltz Jupiter Theater. He also wrote the screenplay for Five More Minutes, which was Hallmark’s most watched Christmas movie in 2021; a sequel will be released in December of2022.In 2009, at the age of 25, Sandberg 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’sThe Best Man, starring James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, John Larroquette, Candice Bergen, and Eric McCormack (2012 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Nominations); and Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses, a critically acclaimed new play starring Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, and Marisa Tomei.
In his role as Artistic Director of the Hermitage, Sandberg has established the organization as one of the leading national arts incubators in the United States. The Hermitage is the only major arts organization in Florida exclusively committed to the development and creation of new work across all artistic disciplines, spanning theater, music, visual art, literature, dance, film, and more. Under Sandberg’s leadership, the Hermitage has dramatically expanded its live programming(to over 50 unique events per year), tripled its finances and operations, introduced dozens of new collaborations, and grown two of the largest theater-commissioning initiatives in America.Born and raised in New York, Sandberg is a graduate of Yale University, where he managed and performed with the Whiffenpoofs, The Dramat, and the Yale Alley Cats. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), and the Writers Guild of America (WGA).