Rhinebeck Writers Retreat Hosting Nine 'Virtual Residencies' For 18 Writers Of Nine New Musicals
For its 10th summer, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat will host nine weeklong "virtual residencies" for 18 musical theatre writers of nine new musicals between June 28 and August 30. Executive Director Kathy Evans said: "I am grateful that our Board of Directors and our funders believe that it is crucial to support musical theatre writers while we maintain safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. A 'virtual residency' sounds like an oxymoron; however, although the writers won't be living together as they collaborate, we are giving them tools to be as productive as possible. Theaters are closed now but they will reopen one day. We want to make sure that these talented writers continue to receive the support they need to write musicals which reflect who we are today and tomorrow."
Rhinebeck Writers Retreat is awarding each writer a $1,000 stipend, which will allow them to clear their calendars as they work from their respective homes for a week. The writers will have free access to Zoom Pro, thanks to a special arrangement with Zoom. A writing team can work with a member of Rhinebeck Writers Retreat's Sounding Board of artistic advisors for dramaturgical insights. At the end of their week, they will share excerpts of their musical with the public via an online streamed "Meet the Writers."
The nine musicals were selected from 166 applications representing 340 musical theatre writers, which were reviewed by 30 readers in the first round. The final round review was conducted by six new musical experts, all members of the Sounding Board: Gigi Bolt, Theatre Consultant; Rodney Hicks, Artist and Original Broadway cast of COME FROM AWAY; Brian Hill, Director and bookwriter; Donna Lynn Hilton, Producer, Goodspeed Musicals; Kent Nicholson, Associate Producer of Musical Theatre, Playwrights Horizons; and Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director, TheatreWorks USA.
All the writers' costs are covered by donors, including an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, and The Noël Coward Foundation. Major individual support comes from Liz Armstrong; Cathy Cabrera and Rick Ungar; Rick Farrar and Jeff Zadroga; Amy and Roger Faxon; Lisa Kohl and Ricardo Hornos; and Steve and Paula Reynolds.
The writers and musicals selected for this summer and the supporters underwriting each week are:
· July 26 - August 2: Julian Hornik, TENN, with Lead Support from The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund
Writer bios and musical synopses can be found at rhinebeckwriters.org/2020-writers.