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Highly Anticipated Hamptons Summer Lecture Series To Feature Playwright, Harvard Professor, Poet, And More

Olivia Rutigliano

Eric Maskin is among featured speakers. (Courtesy Photo)

Led by Founder and Artistic Director, Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center's Summer Lecture Series, which is part of the Center's International Summer Program, returns this August.

"The joy of the Summer Lecture Series is bringing in a diverse range of voices from the arts and humanities to engage with the local community," reflected Elka Rifkin, Director of The Watermill Center. "We love that the program, now in it's fifteenth year, gives thinkers and visionaries an opportunity to share ideas with the young and emerging artists in our International Summer Program, as well as the local East End community."

Through programs such as the Summer Lecture Series, as well as the Annual Summer Benefit and Auction and Discover Watermill Day, the International Summer Program offers participants a unique opportunity to learn from the experts in a laboratory environment.

The lecture series is curated by Wilson and administered and co-curated by Kelly Dennis, Public Programs and Residency Coordinator at The Watermill Center, and Brian O'Mahoney, performance artist and former Watermill Center International Summer Program participant.

Past lecturers have included Marina Abramović, Hilton Als, Philip Glass, Marianne Faithful, Elizabeth Goldring, Daniel Libeskind, Victoria Newhouse, Otto Piene, Ishmael Reed, George Soros, DJ Spooky, Nadya Tolokonnikova, Carrie Mae Weems and Cornel West among others.

The series kicked off on Thursday, August 2, with William Middleton and welcomed Aja Monet on Tuesday, August 7.

On Thursday, August 9, Eric Maskin, in conversation with Claude Grunitzky, will speak in a lecture entitled How to Improve Presidential Elections. Maskin is the Adams University Professor and Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Harvard. He has made contributions to game theory, contract theory, social choice theory, political economy, as well as other areas of economics. Grunitzky is the President and a member of the Board of Trustees at the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation, which oversees the management of The Watermill Center. ​Claude is also the founder of TRACE and TRUE Africa, a media tech platform for young African American voices all around the world.

On Tuesday, August 14, Robert O'Hara, playwright and director, will speak during Get On The Bus: Writing the Opening Scene. He has received the 2018 Herb Alpert Award, NAACP Best Director Award, NAACP Best Play Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obies and the Oppenheimer Award and has directed countless plays, including three of his own.

The final lecture on Thursday, August 16 will be Roots & Pulses with Nico Muhly. An American composer, his style ranges from American minimalism to Anglican choral tradition. Muhly has written more than 80 works and has been commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and St. Paul's Cathedral.

All lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. and are open to the public.

Admission is $15 and advanced reservations are required at watermillcenter.org.

The Watermill Center is located at 39 Water Mill Towd Road in Water Mill.

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