Beth Bornstein Dunnington is a performer, writer /editor, stage director, and acting teacher who lives on the Big Island of Hawaii. Beth moved to Hawaii from New York in 2007, and has found inspiration in the stunning landscape and intense spirit of this remote volcanic island. Since arriving in this wildly alive place, she has become most interested in what wakes us up creatively.
Beth grew up in Winthrop, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, and after graduating with a BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston, she landed in NYC, where she performed in musicals, plays, operas, regional theater, and TV/Radio commercials. For six years, Beth was co-artistic director of Two Island Productions, a theater company she co-founded, dually based in Manhattan and Bermuda, dedicating to developing and producing new works. She was a scriptwriter / story editor for a number of animated TV series, including Batman, GI Joe, Transformers, Jem and the Holograms, Doug, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Thundercats, Tigersharks, Silverhawks, and Street Frogs, and was part of the Emmy Award-winning team of writers on Steven Spielberg’s Tiny Tunes Adventures.
In Hawaii, Beth directs concerts and musicals, performs, leads writers’ workshops, teaches acting, and writes / edits. She wrote and starred in Que Suenes Con Las Angelitas, a theater-dance performance piece that she created in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Angel Prince. Que Suenes premiered at the Kahilu Theatre on the Big Island, and went on an October 2014 tour of the Hawaiian Islands, culminating in a performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center, in December of 2015. Beth collaborated as co-writer/co-director with Iva Peele on a documentary film, The Road to Q’ero: A Journey Home, which was shown at part of the 2013 Waimea Ocean Film Festival. She has a number of pieces published in non-fiction anthologies — the most recent is an essay in author Amy Ferris’s Shades of Blue, published by Seal Press (release was November, 2015). Beth regularly edits books and screenplays for other writers, and is currently working on co-editing an anthology with Julie Ziemelis called, The Call To The Big Island.
Beth is on the faculty of the Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival and directs their Pre-Teen Singer Program, Young Artists Concerts, and has directed and performed in their main stage musical theater concerts and full productions, most recently directing their 2014 production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years at the Four Seasons, and playing the role of the Witch in their July, 2015 production of Sondheim’s Into The Woods, and Madame Armfeldt in their July, 2016 production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Kahilu Theatre and directs the Kahilu Theatre Youth Troupe concerts and musicals. The most recent Kahilu-produced musicals were Grease in June, 2016 and Godspell, in June, 2015. She also teaches Acting and Musical Theater as part of the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC) educational program.
Her Big Island Writers’ Workshop in Waimea is now a circle of 200 beautiful Big Island writers, and she travels regularly to Los Angeles with The Big Island Writers’ Workshop in LA, with regular workshops now also happening in Carmel, California, and Boston, MA — and future workshops being planned in other cities across the U.S.
For more information about theater projects, writers’ workshops (in Hawaii and on the mainland) acting classes, and books / editing, and to see her most recent blog posts, go to the individual links on this website. Thanks for checking out Waking Up In Hawaii!
Waking Up in Hawaii