After nine years as the executive director of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Kathy Evans exited that organization in June to launch the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, which is located just two hours north of New York City. The retreat will begin July 2 and continue through Aug. 27.
Each writing team is invited for a week-long residency to hone and develop their work. Writers are provided with transportation, housing, meals and a $300 stipend during their stay.
For the inaugural Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Evans culled from her extensive pool of NAMT members (who offered writer suggestions) and a handful of previous NAMT festival participants to take part in the 2011 component.
An open-submission process, which Evans expects to open in December or January for the 2012 component, will be used for all future Rhinebeck Writers Retreat sessions.
"My goal is to provide these writers concentrated period of time to work together," Evans told Playbill.com. "Musical theatre as an art form needs that, perhaps more than other art forms." The projects include A Clockwork Orange, by Fred Carl and Ed DuRanté; Nobody Loves You, by Gaby Alter and playwright Itamar Moses (The Four of Us); The Disillusionist, by Rebekah Melocik and Jacob Yandura; an untitled project by Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson writers Michael Friedman and Tony nominee Alex Timbers; Pool Boy, by Janet Allard and Nicholas Tsakalakos; Wheelhouse by GrooveLily members Valerie Vigoda, Brendan Milburn and Gene Lewin; and the Richard Rodgers Award-winning musical Gloryana, by Andrew Gerle.
Several of the musicals already have future productions lined up. A Clockwork Orange will premiere in London at Theatre Royal Stratford East this September; while Nobody Loves You will premiere at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in 2012; and Wheelhouse is set to play TheatreWorks in California in spring 2012.