The Orchard Project Announces Its 2018 Summer Theatre Lab And Public Events

The Orchard Project Announces Its 2018 Summer Theatre Lab And Public EventsThe Orchard Project is proud to announce the artists, teams, and ensembles participating in its twelfth summer theatre residency program. More than 30 artists and ensembles were selected for residencies this summer from nearly 600 theatre artists and companies who applied. The artists, teams, and companies will come to Saratoga Springs from across the United States and the world to accelerate projects at various stages of development. Throughout the program, the Orchard Project will also present a series of special events and cabarets for the public by OP residents and associated artists.

"One of the things that makes the Orchard Project unique is the breadth and diversity of work that our artists generate. Our job is to clear the runway for amazing artists to make great work," Orchard Project Artistic Director Ari Edelson said. "I couldn't be more excited about the upcoming season, when we will support a more diverse group of artists than ever before, continue to build on great events like BUSK, and share even more amazing work with our local and national community of supporters."

The artists selected to participate in the Orchard Project laboratory program include:

  • Manual Cinema (IL), working on its adaptation of Frankenstein, incorporating "laboratory" of cameras, overhead projectors, actors, and puppets with a live score for chamber ensemble;

  • The return of the The Red Trouser Show (MA), working on a theatrical version of their popular street performance show.

  • Longtime Tectonic Theater Project members Barbara Pitts McAdams (NY) and Jimmy Maize (NY), creating a new, open-source play about the Second Amendment;

  • Writer Henry Wishcamper (IL) and director Elizabeth Dinkova (NY) working on Wishcamper's play The Polish Play, A Mash-up Of Macbeth And Ubu Roi For This Moment In Time;

  • Longtime collaborators and downtown NY mainstays Steve Zehentner (NY) and Penny Arcade (NY), developing their newest work Old Queen (Working Title);

  • Musical theatre team Zoe Sarnak and Emily Kaczmarek (NY) working on their dystopian action musical, Afloat;

  • Royal & Derngate's (UK) commission of The Gin Craze, with writer April De Angelis and director Michael Oakley working on their new play about lawless London in the 19th Century;

  • Performance artist and singer Joseph Keckler (NYC), developing Let Me Die, an amalgamation of original work and operatic death scenes culled from the canon;

  • Witness Relocation (NYC) is developing a new duet, featuring Artistic Director Dan Safer and company member A. Andreas, about what happens in a hotel rooms;

  • Jack Bartholet (NY), developing a new solo cabaret featuring songs of resistance and reinterpreted tunes of today. Collaborating with director and Orchard Project Director of Cabaret Julian Fleisher, Musical Director Yasuhiko Fukuoka (NY), and Video Artist Sarah Zucker (LA);

  • Fiasco Theater (NY), working on a new reimagining of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera;

  • Writer/Director West Hyler (NY) will be working with juggler/actor/singers to create a musical about math and physics;

  • UNIVERSES (NY), the poetic theater music ensemble, will working on their play Unison;

  • Heidi Armbruster (NY), in partnership with director (and Orchard Project Artistic Director) Ari Edelson, will be working on her play Mrs. Christie, the story of Agatha Christie's ten day disappearance in 1926, told in the style of Mrs. Christie's work;

  • En Garde Arts (NY) commissioned playwright Andrea Thome (NY), composer Sinuhé Padilla Isunza (NY), and director José Zayas (NY), to craft a new theatrical work drawn from interviews with undocumented immigrants;

  • Roundabout Theatre Company's (NY) Space Jam program - a playwright support initiative - working with playwrights Alex Lubischer, Jiehae Park, and Ming Peiffer;

  • Autobiographical solo performer Ryan J. Haddad (NY) returning the the OP to collaborate with composer/vocalist Trevor Bachman and director and Orchard Project Director of Cabaret Julian Fleisher on Haddad's debut cabaret piece, Falling for Make Believe;

  • TONY-Award Winner Tonya Pinkins (NY) will be working on two plays in a cycle which will include other writers under the title Truth and Reconciliation between Women; a vision for planetary healing.

  • Writers Jennifer Crittenden & Gabrielle Allan (CA) work on the musical Hollywood Romance in collaboration with director Kristin Hanggi (NY);

  • Dan Kitrosser (NY) working with director and Orchard Project Core Company Director Sherri Eden Barber on his play Old Forever New Things, a *very* modern comedy of manners;

  • Lastly, members of the new Orchard Project NYC Greenhouse will be continuing to develop work created through a year long program that supports new collaborations both in New York City and Saratoga Springs. The 2018 NYC Greenhouse members are: Alexander Borinsky, Emily Feldman, Leigh Fondakowski, Jeremy O Harris, Lubdub Theatre Co. (including Caitlin Nasema Cassidy, Geoff Kanick, Miranda Rose Hall, Robert Duffley), Whitney Mosery, Abby Rosebrock, Heath Saunders, Angela Sclafani, Celine Song, Zack Zadek, and Greenhouse Curator Mary Birnbaum.

The Orchard Project's theater program is a laboratory for theatre artists and companies to innovate, develop, and refine new shows. The program will run from June 1 - July 23, 2018; the theater lab will run through July 9 and the new episodic lab for new TV show development will run from July 10 - 23. Episodic participants will be announced soon. Past productions developed at the Orchard Project have gone on to be performed on Broadway and around the globe for more than two million people, winning every theater award from TONY to OBIE to Oliviers, and being turned into acclaimed films.

Concurrent with the theatre laboratory program, the Orchard Project is holding a series of public events, including Special Guest Cabarets on June 3, June 15, and June 29, and Work-in-Progress Cabarets on June 8, June 22, and July 6. On Sunday, June 3, from 2 PM - 6 PM, the Orchard Project will partner with Saratoga Hospital to host its Second Annual BUSK! In Saratoga's Congress Park, a spontaneous, outrageous, family-friendly event showcasing world-class performers alongside local talent. Proceeds from the 2018 BUSK! event will support emergency medical services at Saratoga Hospital and increase awareness for the importance of pediatric emergency care. BUSK! aims to offer something to everyone. Performers will include spectacular circus artists, stunt performers, magicians, and bands. All Orchard Project events are free for donating members and their guests. For more information about becoming a member, visit or call 646-760-6767.


Theatre companies and creative artists from around the United States and world unite each year to develop their big ideas at the Orchard Project. The Orchard Project has supported more than 1,000 artists and 200 shows. In 2015, The Orchard Project expanded and moved to Saratoga Springs, NY, where it added a new series of public programs, allowing the public and theatre industry to get sneak peeks of ground-breaking new work.

The Orchard Project supports work that go to a wide variety of other theaters - from Broadway to the West End to independent theaters across the world. Recent productions include Amelie (Broadway), The Iphigenia Quartet (Gate Theater), Empathy School (Abrons Arts), All the Way (Broadway, Asolo Rep, Arena Stage, Dallas Theatre Center, OSF, A.R.T, HBO Films and more), The Object Lesson (BAM Next Wave Festival and New York Theatre Workshop), and I Promised Myself to Live Faster (Humana Festival).

Writers, teams, and ensembles join the Orchard Project for overlapping residencies, during which they are provided with free rehearsal space, room and board, and the support of fellow artists.

The Orchard Project's elite education program, the Core Company, draws talented young artists from across the country. The young artists who are members of the Core Company train and create new work alongside resident artists and companies - and support the professional artists in residence.

Past Orchard Project supported companies include The Royal Court, The Public Theater, Tectonic Theatre Project, The Atlantic Theater Company, Pig Iron, The Rude Mechs, American Repertory Theater, Paines Plough, The TEAM, Mabou Mines, and many others. Work developed at the Orchard Project has gone on to win awards including Obies, Drama Desks, Olivier Awards and the 2014 TONY Award for Best Play for All The Way, which was written at the Orchard Project in 2010 and 2011. By even the most conservative estimate, these shows have been seen by more than 2,000,000 people in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and as far afield as Tokyo and Stockholm.

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