Sands Hall

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Sands Hall
Sands Hall smiling.jpg
Born April 17, 1952
La Jolla, California, United States
Occupation Writer, theatre director, actor, musician
Nationality American

Sands Hall (April 17, 1952) is an American writer, theatre director, actor, and musician. The daughter of novelist Oakley Hall, she was born in La Jolla, California, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of California, Irvine. She earned two Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Iowa, one in Theatre Arts and the second in Fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She also studied at the American Conservatory Theatre Advanced Training Program.[1]

Hall's writing work includes the play Fair Use,[2] which explores the long debated plagiarism in Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose,[3] and the novel Catching Heaven,[2] a Random House Reader's Circle selection and a 2001 Willa Award Finalist for Best Contemporary Fiction.[4] She has taught writing for the University of California at Davis Extension Programs, and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.[1] She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and on the staff of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, California.

Her work in the theatre includes seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, the Old Globe Theatre and internationally at the Maxim Gorky Theatre in Vladivostok, Russia. She is currently an Affiliate Artist with the Foothill Theatre Company in Nevada City, California.[1]


  • Tools of the Writer's Craft (2005)
  • Catching Heaven (2000)


  • Fair Use (2001 Premiere, Foothill Theatre Company)
  • Little Women, adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott, (1999 Premiere, Foothill Theatre Company)

Short Fiction[edit]


  • Snow Tahoe Quarterly Magazine, Winter 2009.
  • Two Trees Tahoe Quarterly Magazine, Spring 2008.
  • Making Workshops Work, Workshop in a Book, Chronicle Books, 2007.
  • The Stacks, Open to All, 2007.
  • Banning Juliet, Women's Literary Salon, Spring 2007.
  • Dialogue Without Words, Now Write!: Fiction Writing From Today's Best Writers and Teachers, 2006.
  • The Literary Life of Mary Hallock Foote, California State Library Foundation Bulletin, Winter/Spring, 2006.
  • Mary Hallock Foote & Wallace Stegner, Idaho Magazine, Fall 2004.
  • Foreword: Sierra Songs and Descants: Prose and Poetry of the Sierra, 2003.
  • Fair Game, or Fair Use?, Art Matters, Spring, 2001.
  • Abject Naturalism: Lessons from a Tough Workshop, THE WORKSHOP: Seven Decades of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, 1999.
  • A Stolen Life, Wild Duck Review, 1996.
  • A Tide of Metaphor, Wild Duck Review, 1995.
  • The Meanders of Sands: Essays on Writer's Craft, Omnium Gatherum of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, annual column 1995–2004.


Sands plays guitar, mandolin, and is studying the fiddle. She performs on a 000-18 Martin, her first guitar, purchased for $150 by her father when she was 14 years old. She refers to her influences as the 'three j's,' Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell. When not performing her own songs, she chooses murder ballads and story songs, like "Long Black Veil," "South Coast the Wild Coast," "Red Red Rose," and "Pretty Polly."[5]

She regularly performs with Louis B. Jones (Guitar & Vocals), Joe Fajen (Tabla), Maggie McKaig, Randy McKean (Saxophone, Clarinet), Luke Wilson, and Greg Spatz (fiddle, guitar, mandolin), Caridwen Irvine Spatz (Vocals, fiddle), Mark Childress (singer), and Nion McEvoy (percussion.[5]

She has written and performed a number of songs, including:

  • Songs for Our Daughters
  • Blue Hour of Love
  • Light a Candle for Freedom
  • O Joy Divine of Friends
  • Rustlers Moon
  • Dancin Through the Heavens
  • You Made Me Believe in Love Again

O Joy Devine of Friends is inspired by Edward Carpenter's words inscribed in the mantel of Ansel and Virginia Adams 1930 San Francisco home (131 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA), "O Joy Divine of Friends." [6][7]

She regularly performs at the annual Community of Writers at Squaw Valley workshop.[5]


[6] [7]

  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Karell, Linda (Summer 2005). "The Postmodern Author on Stage: Fair Use and Wallace Stegner". American Drama. American Drama Institute. Retrieved April 21, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ Dreifus, Erika (September 2006). "Delving into the Tool Box: An Interview with Sands Hall". The Practicing Writer. The Practicing Writer. Retrieved April 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "Sands Hall Music". Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Alinder, Mary Street (April 15, 1998). Ansel Adams: A Biography. Macmillan. p. 65. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Dollar, Kate (March 6, 2012). "Oh Joy Devine of Friends". YouTube. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]