The Orchard Project (OP) is a preeminent artistic development laboratory and accelerator for creators of performance and dramatic stories.
The Orchard Project (OP) is a preeminent artistic development laboratory and accelerator for creators of performance and dramatic stories. Through programs in New York City, Saratoga Springs and online, the Orchard Project inclusively supports and empowers dramatic storytellers from the United States and around the world. Through summer labs and other year-round programs that provide resources including community, accountability, and opportunity for artists at multiple stages of their careers, The Orchard Project pushes the dramatic form and lifts up a diversity of voices that inform, inspire, and provoke.
In 2008, Artistic Director Ari Edelson took the helm of the renowned Jean Cocteau Repertory, and reimagined it as the Orchard Project. Under his guidance, OP launched with a two-week pilot program in Hunter, NY for three projects in development. Over the next seven years, the demand for OP’s unique support grew and ultimately fueled the program’s move to Saratoga Springs, NY in 2015, where OP was able to double its support for creators by expanding labs, launching public programs, broadening community connections, and growing its team. To date, OP has supported more than 1,200 resident artists, and maintained deep relationships with alumni, offering ongoing advice and resources for their work.
In just 13 years, OP has developed a reputation as a premier destination for artistic development, where performers and creators from around the world can go to create work.
Unlike other residency programs, OP’s signature labs embrace projects from a diversity of trajectories, forms, and aesthetics, and support both emerging and established artists. Theatrical works developed at OP have gone on to production at a wide variety of theaters—from Broadway and the West End to independent theaters across the world. Recent productions include In the Green (LCT3), Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein (Public Theater, Court Theatre), Amélie (Broadway), The Object Lesson (BAM Next Wave Festival, New York Theatre Workshop), and Savion Glover’s BaRoQUe’BLaK TaP CaFe (The Joyce). Audio stories formed at OP have been presented on Audible, including the musical Row by Daniel Goldstein and Dawn Landes. Television pilots like Amy Jephta’s The Park – now in development with Imagine Entertainment – have been developed in OP’s Episodic Lab. Some projects have gone on to live in multiple mediums, such as Laura Wade’s POSH and Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way, which had successful theatrical runs before becoming major motion pictures. Past OP residency companies include Tectonic Theater Project, The Royal Court, Elevator Repair Service, Public Theater, Pig Iron, The Rude Mechs, American Repertory Theater, Mabou Mines, and groundbreaking artists Jeremy O. Harris, Young Jean Lee, and Brandon Jacobs Jenkins, among 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.
EMPOWERMENT The Orchard Project is a strength-based organization. We support, trust, and empower artists and staff to further our shared mission, and commit to developing the confidence of every stakeholder’s individual talents and capabilities.
INTEGRITY The Orchard Project welcomes accountability and conducts our business with honesty and transparency. Our hope is not only to put work into the world whose content reflects our values of integrity, but moreover, to live our values by embedding our processes with integrity wherever possible.
COMMUNITY The Orchard Project values a creative process that highlights collaboration both inside and outside the room. We center collaborations, and our work is grounded in the needs, desires, and sustainability of the artists we support, prioritizing long-term artistic relationships. We intentionally engage artists locally, nationally, and internationally, working across a multitude of processes and aesthetics.
FLEXIBILITY The Orchard Project recognizes that artistic processes and forms evolve and are as varied as the human beings exploring them. We evolve our perspectives, practices, resources, and partnerships in order to stay relevant and responsive to artists’ needs.
INCLUSION The Orchard Project supports artists across all spectrums, with an emphasis on underrepresented and under-supported voices. We proactively engage and welcome people of all abilities, ages, cultures, ethnicities, genders, incomes, races, religions, and sexual orientations, and understand the power of supporting diverse aesthetics and the evolution of forms of dramatic practice.
ADVOCACY The Orchard Project fights for a field in which storytellers and makers can thrive. We are committed to modeling how institutions can authentically support the art of storytelling, and connect artists’ work to audiences around the globe.Our