RHINEBECK, N.Y.: The Rhinebeck Writers Retreat has announced that it will host nine weeklong virtual residencies for 18 musical theatre writers between June 28 and Aug. 30.
The selected writers will each receive a $1,000 stipend to support living costs as they work remotely. The writers will have free access to Zoom Pro, thanks to a special arrangement with Zoom. In addition, writing teams can work with a member of Rhinebeck Writers Retreat’s Sounding Board of artistic advisors for dramaturgical support. At the end of their week, the writers and writing teams will share excerpts of their musical with the public via an online stream called “Meet the Writers.”
“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,” said executive director Kathy Evans in a statement. “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. Theatres 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.”
The nine musicals were selected from a pool of 166 applications from 340 musical theatre writers and teams. The submissions were reviewed by 30 readers for the first round, and the final selection was conducted by a panel comprising 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.
This year’s residencies will include Maggie-Kate Coleman and Erato A. Kremmyda, We Will Not Be Silent (June 28-July 5); Elliah Heifetz and Jessica Kahkoska, The Death of Desert Rose (July 5-12); Andrew R. Butler, Jordan Fein, and Anna Kerrigan, The Dixon Family Album (July 12-19); Isabella Dawis and Tidtaya Sinutoke, Half the Sky (July 19-26); Julian Hornik, Tenn (July 26-Aug. 2); Kyle Puccia and Kalani Queypo, Missing Peace (Aug. 2-9); Kate Douglas and Grace McLean, Against Women & Music! (Aug. 9-16); Trevor Bachman and Zhailon Levingston, Shapeshifters (Aug. 16-23); and Adam Chanler-Berat and Ryan Scott Oliver, Rope (Aug. 23-30). More information and the projects and artist bios can be found here.