Guild Hall Brings Theater, Music and Dance to East Hampton This Summer

Philip Glass, Photo: Fernando Aceves
Philip Glass, Photo: Fernando Aceves, Courtesy Guild Hall

Guild Hall in East Hampton has been a local arts institution since 1931. This summer, a mixture of theater, music, dance and more will grace the stage at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater.

On Thursday, May 30, Guild Hall’s JDT Lab incubator program will present a reading of Ellen Dolan’s Ball of Redemption. The play is a dark family comedy about three siblings who are forced to confront long standing issues as Hurricane Sandy takes hold, while a mysterious stranger joins them. An East Hampton resident, Dolan is known for her work as Margo Hughes on As the World Turns, who she played from 1989 to the show’s final episode in 2010. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1992.

JDT Lab’s next workshop production is The Violin Maker: A musical by Stephen Dickman on Monday, June 10. The Violin Maker is about a mysterious town filled with the sound of a violin every day. A young woman’s passion for the music leads to much complexity and intrigue. JDT Lab returns with The Daerie Queene by Savannah Hankinson on Friday, September 27. The play follows a brother and sister as they attempt to plan their father’s funeral. As they encounter a wacky cast of characters, The Daerie Queene explores the unexpected hilarity that often comes with grief.

East Hamptonite Alec Baldwin, Chris Bauer and Rob Morrow star in a staged reading of Stan the Man, a new comedy by Drama Desk winner and Emmy nominee Eugene Pack, on Thursday, July 11 and Friday, July 12. Stan the Man is a dark comedy that follows the intense competition between three businessmen at a leadership seminar. There’s other play performances at Guild Hall, as well.

On Monday, August 26, see a concert reading of The Cocktail Hour by A.R. Gurney starring Harris Yulin and Mercedes Ruehl. On Sunday, August 25, WordTheatre presents Hearts Aflame: Love Letters & Torch Songs, a celebration of the written word. And on Sunday, September 1, come to Guild Hall for a Jules Feiffer Celebration, as the vaunted playwright and cartoonist is honored for his 90th birthday. The evening will feature a reading of his play A Bad Friend.

Guild Hall and Bay Street Theater will co-present Under the Stars: The Romeo & Juliet Project – A New Musical featuring music by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on Friday, August 16 and Saturday, August 17 at Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor. This exciting reinvention of the classic Shakespeare play uses Benatar and Giraldo’s music to explore the themes of love, equality and acceptance.

On Friday, May 24, OLA of Eastern Long Island and Guild Hall co-present Sensaciones, a night of Flamenco-infused music and dancing starring The Fox Brothers with Flamenco dancer Sonia Olla, who has choreographed for Ricky Martin and East Ender Madonna.

A Thousand Thoughts: A Live Documentary with Kronos Quartet at Guild Hall
A Thousand Thoughts: A Live Documentary with Kronos Quartet, Photo: Waleed Shah

Then, on Friday, June 21, Oscar-nominated filmmakers Sam Green and Joe Bini team with Grammy winning Kronos Quartet for the multimedia experience A Thousand Thoughts. This “live documentary” blends live music and narration with archival footage and interviews with artists such as Philip Glass, Tanya Tagaq, Steve Reich, Wu Man and Terry Riley. During the performance, Kronos Quartet will revisit their body of work and perform music by George Crumb, Aleksandra Vrebalov and others. Jenni Muldaur takes the stage on Saturday, August 31, with special guests Rufus Wainwright, Teddy Thompson and Isaac Mizrahi.

The Django Festival Allstars world tour comes to Guild Hall on Saturday, June 22. This performance brings the famed Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt into the 21st century and pays tribute to the great guitar player. The group includes Dorado Schmitt and his sons Samson and Amati, violinist Pierre Blanchard, accordionist Ludovic Beier, guitarist DouDou Cuillerier, Francko Mehrstein and bassists Antonio Licusati and Gino Roman.

Fans of musical theater should head to Guild Hall on Sunday, June 30 for Melissa Errico: Sondheim Sublime. The Broadway star will perform pieces from her new album of the same name, featuring a fresh take on the works of storied composer and writer Stephen Sondheim. Anna Bergman, Klea Blackhurst and KT Sullivan perform the music of the Gershwins on Saturday, September 7. And on Friday, September 13, check out Let Me Entertain You: The Jule Styne Songbook.

The Second Annual Guitar Masters festival celebrates the artistry of the guitar. On Friday, July 5, Grammy winner Buddy Guy performs, followed by the Allman Betts Band on Saturday, July 6 and Rosanne Cash on July 7. GE Smith’s Portraits, a musical series featuring rare couplings of musicians in a stripped down, intimate setting, begins on Friday, June 28 with a performance by Loudon Wainwright III and Wesley Stace. The series continues with Dawes on Thursday, July 25, and Tommy Emmanuel and Amy Helm on Tuesday, August 13.

There’s more music Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18 with Philip Glass: Works for Piano. On Friday, September 6 with Follow the River, an evening with composer Bruce Wolosoff and his daughter Juliet Garrett. This local Shelter Island family emanates talent, integrating modern classical, jazz and blues.

For some hearty laughs, see comedian Mo Amer on Thursday, August 22. Amer recently debuted his first Netflix special, The Vagabond, and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and more. Celebrity Autobiography, in which stars including Susan Lucci, Tovah Feldshuh, Alan Zweibel and others read passages from actual celebrity memoirs to hilarious effect, returns for two shows on Friday, August 23.

For a complete list of events coming this summer to Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, visit

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