2024 Orchard Project Performance Labs And Artists Announced

The 16 projects and artistic teams come from a competitive group of more than 1,000 that applied to participate in this year's program.

By: Jun. 24, 2024
2024 Orchard Project Performance Labs And Artists Announced
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The Orchard Project has announced the artists and companies selected to participate in its 2024 Summer Performance Lab program.

The 16 projects and artistic teams come from a competitive group of more than 1,000 that applied to participate in this year's program. Participating projects include the new musical SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, with music and lyrics by Ryan Miller (of the band Guster) and a book by Nick Blaemire and the new play THE HAUNTING OF Shirley Jackson by Kate Walat. Orchard Project 2024 residents will include Lortel Award-winner nicHi douglas, Suhayla El-Bushra and Ahmed Gallab from The Royal National Theatre (UK), and a multi-week residency with the award-winning ensemble Fiasco Theater. The Orchard Project Performance Lab program is taking place in June and July in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Orchard Project's other Labs, including its TV, Audio, and NYC Greenhouse programs, will be announced shortly.

The Orchard Project also announced a lineup of  public events — which will allow OP artists to share their works-in-progress with the Saratoga Springs Community. This summer's public events include Open Rehearsals and Industry Days, Classical Training Workshops led by Fiasco Theater (July 2, 3, and 8 - 11), the annual Orchard Project Summer Arts Festival Weekend (July 11 - 13), and Bloodstock to Broadway (July 24). More information about all public events is available online on The Orchard Project's website at www.orchardproject.com.

“The Orchard Project's unwavering support for artists makes a difference across the cultural landscape, whether you're watching TV, listening to your favorite podcast, or going to a show. There is currently at least one Orchard Project alum involved in every single new play or musical on Broadway — and we can't wait for this year's Orchard Project artists to create with us and then share their stories with the world,” said Ari Edelson, the Orchard Project's Founder and Artistic Director. 


This year's Performance Lab highlights joyous new works and the diversity of approach and breadth of experimentation that characterize contemporary theatrical projects. Projects, companies, and artists selected to participate in the Orchard Project Performance Lab include:  

  • Nick Blaemire, Ryan Miller, Lee Sunday Evans: Safety Not Guaranteed: Three disaffected magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview an unusual guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. Music and lyrics by Ryan Miller (of the band Guster) and book by Nick Blaemire. Based on the movie written by Derek Connolly.

  • Royal National Theatre, UK/Suhayla El-Bushra, Ahmed Gallab: Home Is Not A Country: Fresh from their collaboration on The Enormous Crocodile, Suhayla El-Bushra and Ahmed Gallab (AKA Sinkane) are exploring a musical stage adaptation of Safia Elhillo's 2021 YA novel, Home Is Not A Country; a supernatural look at belonging, loss, and what it means to be part of the Sudanese diaspora.

  • TRIA Theatre/Seth Bockley, Jesse LaVercombe, Ahmed Moneka: Don Quixote on Highway 1: This theatre/film hybrid performance adapts Cervantes' classic Don Quixote for the 21st century, mixing live video and film techniques with imaginative staging to tell an existentialist fable about two friends on a hilarious road trip to nowhere.

  • Ma-Yi Theatre/Ray Pamatmat, May Adrales: True / Story, based on a true story: Can you write a play about your estranged father dying during a global pandemic without it becoming trauma porn? Should you even try?

  • Miami New Playwrights: Miami-based playwrights Celeste Landeros, Juan Sanchez, Jessica Bashline, Ivan Lopez, will work with The Orchard Project alum Kenny Finkle for a week to develop new work in Saratoga, in partnership with the South Florida Theatre League.

  • Wenxuan Xue: mao mao: A solo performance that weaves in family oral histories, creation myths, folk songs, and Buddhist/Taoist rituals to rekindle ancestral spirits, queer lineage, and ecological entanglements.

  • Jonathan Reid Gealt, Dustin Sullivan, Kasey Merino, Madsie Flynn: Dust & Shadow: Based on the novel by Hugo-Award winning author Lyndsay Faye, DUST & SHADOW, is a Sherlock Holmes + Jack the Ripper thriller. This is a Sherlock for our time, still firmly rooted in its traditional, thrilling setting.

  • Kate Walat, GT Upchurch: The Haunting of Shirley Jackson: Legendary writer Shirley Jackson (“The Lottery”) is haunted by her past, present, and ever-disapproving mother Geraldine, as a mysterious Visitor appears in her Vermont garrett, beckoning her on a late-night drive, abandoning typewriter and all.

  • nicHi douglas, Josiah Davis: C'MON GOD, WHERE YOU AT?: Allegory meets Blaxploitation in this irreverently parodied adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's The Adventures of a Black Girl in Her Search for God.

  • Zeyn Joukhadar: The Thirty Names of Night: An Arab trans New Yorker in the process of choosing his name searches for a rare bird documented only by his late ornithologist mother and a mysteriously vanished Syrian bird artist, uncovering silences his community has kept in the name of survival and finding unexpected precedent for his own life.

  • Fiasco Theater: In 2024, The Orchard Project will be hosting its first Company in Residence, Fiasco Theater, for the majority of the season in Saratoga Springs. While in residence, Fiasco will develop a number of new productions, and lead classical training workshops, taught by esteemed members of their Conservatory faculty. Workshops are available to learners across experience levels and ages. Fiasco Theater's residency in Saratoga Springs is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

  • Writers and Composers in Residence: The Orchard Project is honored to host its second cohort of Writers in Residence and Composers in Residence as part of the Performance Lab in Saratoga Springs. The 2024 Writers in Residence include KJ Sanchez, Sarah Burgess, Franky Gonzalez, Liza Birkenmeier, and Cricket Brown. Composers in Residence include Jesse J Sanchez, Julian Hornik, Zack Zadek, and Anna DeNoia. Additional Writers and Composers in Residence to be announced.


The Orchard Project will host public events throughout the summer Performance Lab, allowing OP artists to share their works in progress with the community. More information about all public events is available online on The Orchard Project's website at www.orchardproject.com. Public events include: 

Summer Arts Festival: Thursday, July 11 - Saturday, July 13, 2024:

Thursday, July 11 at 6 PM:
The Future of Broadway: A Musical Showcase of Contemporary Composers
Feat. Ryan Miller (Guster), Nick Blaemire, Jesse J. Sanchez, Zack Zadek, Anna Denoia, + more!
Upbeat on the Roof @ The Tang; picnic starting at 5:30 PM

Friday, July 12 at 6 PM:
Work-in-progress sharing by Fiasco Theater Company
The Haunting of Shirley Jackson: a reading of a new play by Kate Walat
Location + time to be announced.

Saturday, July 13 at 7 PM:
Safety Not Guaranteed: a special concert presentation of a new musical premiering in NYC this fall by Nick Blaemire and Ryan Miller of indie rock band Guster
Saratoga Winery.

Training Workshops:

Our Company-in-Residence, Fiasco Theater Company, will teach several sessions for performers of all ages, making the text of Shakespeare accessible and fun to perform.

Tuesday, July 2 - Wednesday, July 3:
Workshops for High Schoolers: Shakespeare Out Loud!
Register below:
Techniques and Games (Tuesday)
Shakespeare Monologues (Wednesday)
Saratoga Children's Theater; 4 - 7 PM each day

Monday, July 8 - Thursday, July 11:
Workshops for College-Aged Students + Professionals: Rehearsing Shakespeare
Register HERE
Saratoga Arts; Mon - Wed 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Thu 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Open Days + more

Sunday, June 23:
Open Rehearsal Day; Session 1
Skidmore College

Monday, July 1:
Open Rehearsal Day; Session 2
Skidmore College

Friday, July 5:
Open Rehearsal: Fiasco Theater Company
Skidmore College

Wednesday, July 24:
Bloodstock to Broadway
Join the Orchard Project for this exciting event, where world class culture and thoroughbred racing overlap. Learn about upcoming projects and investment trends in bloodstock and Broadway during Saratoga's hottest season.
The Coat Room; 6:00 PM


Shakespeare Out Loud!: This workshop series gives students a detailed primer in Fiasco's approach to unlocking the performer's joy in classical texts. This workshop explores Shakespeare out LOUD. Students will walk away with tools for how to access Shakespeare's work through their bodies and voices, with an emphasis on finding one's personal joy in the work and ensemble approaches to creating dynamic theater, as well as tips for preparing Shakespeare audition material. Shakespeare Techniques & Games on Tuesday, July 2 from 4 PM - 7 PM, Shakespeare Monologues on Wednesday, July 3 from 4 PM - 7 PM; for high school students.

Rehearsing Shakespeare: This four day intensive is a primer on Fiasco's approach for rehearsing classical texts most efficiently, effectively and joyfully. Building on Fiasco's decades of work and training experience, we give students tools to create unique performances based on the rhythm and sound in the language. Students will work on monologues and scenes to explore text and voice work, approaches to rehearsing verse and prose and leave with tools for how to prepare as an individual and how to rehearse as an ensemble. Monday, July 8 - Wednesday, July 10 @ 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM + Thursday, July 11 @ 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM; for college-aged students and professionals.


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