McCarter Theatre Center Announces Lineup For 17th Annual Artists' Retreat

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McCarter is proud to welcome a group of esteemed and emerging playwrights and theater artists to Princeton for the Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat. The annual Retreat in June is a centerpiece of McCarter's LAB, a platform and creative incubator devoted to ongoing theatrical development and artist cultivation. The 2018 Retreat will take place from June 6 - June 13.

Each summer, McCarter invites a select group of artists - playwrights, composers, directors - to Princeton for eight to ten days of uninterrupted time to work, research, and renew at the Palmer House, Princeton University's historic guesthouse. The Retreat provides artists with the opportunity to enjoy space and time to focus on any creative exploration of their choosing, with no mandate.

The fluid and relaxed nature of the Retreat fosters a restorative, supportive, and meaningful environment for busy writers juggling production commitments, deadlines, and freelance schedules. Resources are available for collaborating colleagues to participate in project development (including readings and workshops). There are no requirements for artists to showcase or share their work. Retreat artists have access to Princeton University's library and McCarter's artistic staff provides dramaturgical and casting support as needed. Connecting with colleagues over intimate dinners and outdoor activities-along with personal writing time in a spectacular setting-has proven to be creatively inspiring and rejuvenating.

Past retreat artists and works developed in residence include: Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays; Sarah Ruhl's Clean House; Danai Gurira's The Convert; Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon; Will Power's Fetch Clay, Make Man; Beth Henley's Ridiculous Fraud; Lydia Diamond's Stick Fly; and Take Flight by John Weidman, David Shire, and Richard Maltby, Jr.

McCarter's Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann says: "McCarter has maintained an impressive track record in commissioning and producing new plays that make a lasting contribution to the theatrical canon, and the Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat is central to our success."

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (Retreat 2010): "The McCarter retreat is unique; I don't know of anything else like it in our field. I stopped going to retreats because I felt my age difference keenly as well as the fact that I never escaped my day job as a mentor to writers at other places. The McCarter staff made it very clear that they were interested in my writing side, and that the day job should be left behind for those wonderful ten days. That mentoring of me in a field which I encounter as progressively age-ist-the fact that everyone was protective of my artistic voice and cared for the future of my voice-was a pretty remarkable gift."

About the McCarter LAB
The LAB is a year-round creative incubator that provides key support to writers at all stages of their careers, cultivating meaningful artistic relationships and original works for McCarter's main stages. Fostering the development of new plays, adaptations, musicals and investigations into the classics, the LAB consists of readings, workshops, the Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat, commissions, and the annual Spotlight Production. Original work developed at McCarter has included pieces by such renowned playwrights as Christopher Durang, Danai Gurira, Nilo Cruz, Nathan Alan Davis, and more. For more information:

About Sallie Brophy Goodman
The Artists' Retreat is named for Sallie Brophy Goodman, a friend and supporter of McCarter Theatre Center for 40 years before her death in 2007. Goodman graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London in 1950, and her arrival in New York coincided with the ''golden age'' of American television. She worked with actors ranging from Jack Lemmon to Cliff Robertson, and directors from Sidney Lumet to Arthur Penn. Among the many segments she did were those on The US Steel Hour, The Dick Powell Show, Kraft Theater, Ben Casey, Medic, and The Fugitive. On Broadway, she appeared in The Second Threshold and played Wendy, grown-up, in the 1954 Broadway musical Peter Pan with Mary Martin. In 1958 she starred in her own series, Buckskin, a Western. She had a featured role in the 1961 film, The Children's Hour, with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, which won 5 Academy Awards. She also appeared in the film, Storm Center with Bette Davis. She married Jerry Goodman in 1961, and when the couple moved to Princeton in 1965, she directed student productions at Theatre Intime on the Princeton University campus. She taught theater and acting for 20 years at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. The Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat honors her legacy by supporting theater artists who choose to practice their craft in a not-for-profit environment.

Additional Support
McCarter Theatre Center thanks the following for their generous support of McCarter's New Play Development Program: The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dramatists Guild Fund, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, and The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Programs like the Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat are possible in part by funds from the NJ State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the 2018 Retreat Artists
David Auburn's plays include The Adventures of Augie March (Chicago premiere 2019), Lost Lake (MTC), The Columnist (MTC/Broadway), and Proof (2001 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and New York Drama Critics Circle Award). Films include Georgetown, The Girl in the Park (writer/director) and The Lake House. Stage directing credits include Long Day's Journey into Night (Court Theatre, Chicago); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Anna Christie, A Delicate Balance, Period of Adjustment, and Sick (all BTG); and the Off-Broadway world premiere of Michael Weller's Side Effects (MCC).

Daniel Banks has directed such productions as the African premiere of August Wilson's Jitney at the National Theatre of Uganda; the Eastern European premiere of Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz at the Belarussian National Drama Theatre; a workshop production of Zakiyyah Alexander's Hip Hop play Blurring Shine at The Market Theatre, South Africa; Tap Into Peace, a tap and spoken word tribute to love set to the music of Stevie Wonder, at Playhouse Square, Cleveland; and with the NYC and DC Hip Hop Theatre Festivals. Daniel was Associate Director for the recent adaptation of Toni Morrison's Jazz, Baltimore Center Stage, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Current projects include: dramaturgical team for Camille A. Brown & Dancers' Black Girl: Linguistic Play and ink (Kennedy Center, December 2017); and director of Hollow Roots by Christina Anderson, which premiered at the Revolutions International Theatre Festival in Albuquerque, NM. He is developing The Real James Bond Was Dominican! with Christopher Rivas.

Daniel is the co-director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to using the arts as a catalyst for dialogue and healing, specifically engaging the topics of representation, identity and heritage, and Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders.

Rachel Bonds' plays have been developed or produced by South Coast Rep, Ars Nova, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Roundabout Underground, Atlantic Theater Company, Studio Theatre, New Georges, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and New York Stage & Film, among others. Her plays include: Curve of Departure (South Coast Rep, Studio Theatre, Northlight); Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP); Five Mile Lake (South Coast Rep, McCarter, Shattered Globe, Weissberger Award); At the Old Place (La Jolla); Swimmers (Marin Theatre Co., Sky Cooper Prize, Kilroys List 2014); The Wolfe Twins (Studio Theatre, Kilroys List 2015); Alma (Atlantic Theatre Company commission); Firecracker (Kilroys List 2016); Michael and Edie (NY Times Critic's Pick, 2010); Winter Games (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Heideman Award); and Anniversary (EST, Sam French Festival Winner). She is an Alumna of the EST's Youngblood, Ars Nova's Play Group and SPACE on Ryder Farm's Working Farm Writers' Group. She was the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright in Residence at Ars Nova. Current commissions include The Geffen and McCarter. Bonds is a graduate of Brown University.

Jason Robert Brown is the Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist of Songs for a New World, Parade, The Last Five Years, 13, The Bridges of Madison County and Honeymoon In Vegas. An incendiary pianist and singer, Jason performs around the world with his band The Caucasian Rhythm Kings, with whom he recorded Wearing Someone Else's Clothes and the forthcoming How We React and How We Recover (Ghostlight Deluxe). He is in the third year of his residency at SubCulture NY, where he curates and performs every month. More information at

Lydia Diamond's plays include: Toni Stone, Smart People, Stick Fly (Court Theatre on Broadway), Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye, The Gift Horse, Harriet Jacobs, and The Inside. Theatres include: Arena Stage, Arden, Chicago Dramatists, Company One, Congo Square, Goodman, Guthrie, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Writer's Theatre, McCarter, Mo'Olelo, MPAACT, New Vic, Playmakers Rep, Plowshares, Second Stage, Steppenwolf, and TrueColors. Commissions include: Arena Stage, Second Stage, Steppenwolf (4), McCarter, Huntington, Victory Gardens, and The Roundabout. Lydia was an '05/'06 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, an 06/07 Huntington Playwright Fellow, a 2012 Sundance Creative Advisor, and a 2012/13 Radcliffe Institute Fellow. Lydia is an NU graduate ('91), has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Pine Manor College and was a 2013-14 Playwright in Residence at Arena Stage. Lydia was a Consulting Producer for Showtime's The Affair (season 4, co-writer on eps. 406 and 407). Lydia is on the University of Illinois at Chicago faculty where she teaches playwriting.

Selina Fillinger is a Chicago-based actress/writer. She is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied playwriting under Laura Schellhardt. Selina's theatre work includes Faceless (Northlight Theatre premiere, Joseph Jeff Award-nominated, regional productions at Zeitgeist Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Park Theatre in London); The Armor Plays: Cinched/Strapped (Available Light's Next Stage Initiative, Alley All New, upcoming production at Theatre Three); and Something Clean (Sideshow Theatre's Freshness Initiative, Roundabout Underground Reading Series). Selina is a 2018 recipient of South Coast Rep's Elizabeth George commission.

Jiehae Park's plays include peerless (Yale Rep premiere, Cherry Lane Mentor Project), Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Oregon Shakespeare Festival premiere), Here We Are Here (Sundance Theater-Makers residency, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, Princess Grace Works-in-Progress @ Baryshnikov Arts Center), and contributions to Wondrous Strange (Humana/Actor's Theatre of Louisville). Her work has been developed through the Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab, the Public's Emerging Writers Group, p73's i73, Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Atlantic, Old Globe, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Ojai Conference, BAPF, Center Theatre Group Writers Workshop and the amazing Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Awards: Leah Ryan, Princess Grace, Weissberger, ANPF Women's Invitational; two years on the Kilroys List. Commissions: Playwrights Horizons, McCarter, Yale Rep, Geffen, OSF, Williamstown, MTC/Sloan. Residencies: MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman. She is a NYTW Usual Suspect, LCT New Writer in Residence, former Hodder Fellow, and current member of New Dramatists. As a performer recently: Ripe Time/Naomi Iizuka's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's Sleep (BAM Next Wave, Annenberg Arts Center, Yale Rep). BA, Amherst; MFA, UCSD.

Diane Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Paulus is the 2013 recipient of the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (Pippin). A.R.T.: Eve Ensler's In the Body of the World, Waitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater), Crossing (a new American opera with music and libretto by Matt Aucoin), Finding Neverland (currently on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre), Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director), The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival, NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna, currently on tour in Europe, Invisible Thread at Second Stage, The Public Theater's Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London's West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University's English Department. She was selected as one of Variety's "Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014" and Boston Magazine's "50 Thought Leaders of 2014."

Liza Jessie Peterson is author of ALL DAY; A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island, which is available on-line and in bookstores now. She is a renowned actress, poet, playwright, author, educator and youth advocate who has been steadfast in her commitment to incarcerated populations both professionally and artistically, but specifically with adolescent boys and girls detained at Rikers Island for twenty years. She was featured in Ava DuVernay's Emmy award winning documentary The 13th (Netflix) and consulted on Bill Moyers documentary RIKERS (PBS).

Liza has written several plays, including her one woman show-tour de force, The Peculiar Patriot, where she performed excerpts of it in over 35 penitentiaries across the country and in 2016 it premiered at The National Black Theater in a sold-out three week run. Nona Hendryx recently presented Liza at Joes Pub at The Public Theater where she performed her latest solo show, Down the Rabbit Hole to a sold out crowd. The overwhelming success of both plays have yielded encore runs at both Joes Pub and The National Black Theater this summer 2018. She is currently developing a play based on her book ALL DAY.

Heather Raffo is an award-winning playwright and actress whose work has been seen off Broadway, off West End, in regional theater and in film. She is the author and solo performer of the play 9 Parts of Desire (Lucille Lortel award, Susan Smith Blackburn commendation, Drama League, OCC, Helen Hayes nominations). 9 Parts of Desire has been performed across America and internationally for over a decade with current productions in Greece, Hungary and Sweden.

Heather is the librettist for the opera FALLUJAH, which was developed as part of Kennedy Center's International Theater Festival, it then received its world premiere at Long Beach Opera in March of 2016 and opened at New York City Opera later that year. A film was made of both the opera as well as a documentary titled Fallujah: Art, Healing and PTSD. Raffo's newest play, Noura, recently won Williamstown's prestigious Weissberger Award. Noura had its world premiere at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington D.C. before moving to Abu Dhabi. Its New York premiere will be at Playwrights Horizons in their forthcoming 2018/19 season.

Heather is the recipient of multiple grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to use theater as a means of bridge building between her Eastern and Western cultures. Her work has taken her to the Kennedy Center, The Aspen Ideas Festival, London's House of Commons, the U.S. Islamic World Forum and into hundreds of classrooms across our nation and internationally.
Sarah Ruhl's plays include How to Transcend a Happy Marriage; For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday; The Oldest Boy; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for best new play); The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); Passion Play (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Orlando; Late: a cowboy song; Dear Elizabeth; Dead Man's Cell Phone (Helen Hayes Award); Eurydice; and Stage Kiss. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, and at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country and have also been produced internationally, and translated into over twelve languages. Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. She has received the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright award, the Susan Smith Blackburn award, the Whiting award, the Lily Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, and the MacArthur "genius" award. Her book of essays 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write was published by Faber and Faber was a Times Notable Book of the Year. She teaches at the Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Jonathan Marc Sherman was born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1968, graduated from Bennington College, and lives in New York City. His plays include Things We Want, Evolution, Sophistry, Wonderful Time, Veins and Thumbtacks, Serendipity and Serenity, Jesus on the Oil Tank, Sons and Fathers, and Women and Wallace. His plays have been performed at Malaparte, The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, WPA Theater, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as in England, Australia, Israel, and Japan. He adapted Women and Wallace for PBS-TV's American Playhouse, and Veins and Thumbtacks is the basis for Frank Whaley's movie The Jimmy Show. He won a Berilla-Kerr Grant, the 21st Century Playwrights Festival, and the Young Playwrights Festival (twice). He is a co-founder of the Malaparte theater company. His hobby is writing about himself in the third person.

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