Beth Bornstein Dunnington is a writer/editor, performer, stage director, and 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.
She currently leads The Big Island Writers’ Workshop, which began in Hawaii in 2012, and is now a circle of 500 or so beautiful women (and a few good men), between four locations across the Big Island, and regular workshops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Carmel, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, NYC, Boston and Winthrop, MA — with future workshops being planned in other cities across the U.S. and abroad.
She recently launched the Big Island Workshop Online – where writers can experience her popular workshop from their home. Like her regular workshops, these online workshops are limited to ten writers.
For six years, Beth was the 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 Sueñes Con Las Angelitas, a theater-dance performance piece that she created in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Angel Prince. Que Sueñes premiered at the Kahilu Theatre on the Big Island, and went on a subsequent tour of the Hawaiian Islands, culminating in a performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Beth collaborated as co-writer/co-director with Iva Peele on an award-winning documentary film, The Road to Q’ero: A Journey Home, which was shown at part of the Waimea Ocean Film Festival in Hawaii. She has a number of pieces published in non-fiction anthologies and is currently working on a memoir.
Beth is on the faculty of the Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival and has directed and performed in their main stage musical theater concerts and full productions, most recently directing their production of Sondheim’s Company and Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, and playing the role of the Witch in their production of Sondheim’s Into The Woods, and Madame Armfeldt in their 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: West Side Story, Spring Awakening, 13 – The Musical, Grease, Godspell, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She teaches Acting and Musical Theater as part of the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC) educational program.
For more information about writers’ workshops (in Hawaii and on the mainland), theatre projects, 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!