Adaptation Lab


Newly launched in 2022, the Orchard Project Adaptation Lab is a self directed lab for makers of all types to find support on projects in development that look to adapt source material in one form into another.

Our decision to launch an Adaptation Lab in 2022 comes as a result of many conversations with artists about the transitional moment they find themselves in — not only because of existential questions about form and work due to COVID-19, but also as many look to flex new muscles. “Adaptation,” in our minds, is flexible, and can include both looking back at classics or discovering the dramatic form within non-typical texts. The Orchard Project also believes that the dramatic canon is in ongoing rejuvenation, and while many brand new works have emanated out of our various labs, we believe that the interrogation of classic and other recent texts provide a rich foundation for our community to challenge the staid implications of adaptation on the whole. As we have learned by supporting adaptations in all our various labs (Performance, Episodic, 2020 Liveness Lab, Greenhouse, and Audio), the adaptive act includes unique and ripe opportunities for artists to explore processes and questions alongside one another.

Modeled on the successes of our virtual labs in 2020 and 2021, the Adaptation Lab is a cohort-based lab for a number of diverse makers will convene for weekly meetings to iterate through the early stages of resourcing and scoring, reviewing progress, sharing work, and interrogating common questions. One might describe it as a uniquely Orchard Project-ian Writers’ Room, including not just writers in the traditional sense, but makers of all kinds. Outside of these meetings, lab members will be provided with support and resources to iterate through their project in a self directed manner. The Orchard Project will also provide exclusive panel, webinar, and class opportunities specifically for lab members, depending on the unique needs of the cohort. 

In a typical Orchard Project-esque manner, our definition of “adaptation” is fairly open ended, and can include any of the following:

  • Adaptations of ambitious source material into a dramatic work (performance, TV, audio);
  • Non traditional adaptations, such as the adaptation of non-fiction texts;
  • Adaptation of existing dramatic works from one form to another (e.g. a book being turned into a TV show, a play being turned into a musical, etc);
  • Applicants need not be typical generating artists — we want to encourage this particular lab to welcome directors, designers, actors and others, but with the understanding that the generation of adaptation materials will be a focus of the lab.

Applicants must also represent that they have the ability/rights/clearances to undertake their adaptation by the time the lab begins in summer 2022. In your application, you will be asked to let us know about your relationship to the source material you are looking to adapt and the status of that relations (e.g. “this work is in the Public Domain,” “I am in a good faith conversation with X,” or “I’ve secured the rights to Y.”)

Who The Lab is For

The selected participants are individuals, teams, and companies who are excited and committed to the development of their work with an appetite for feedback in a group of diverse and similarly passionate peers. They are curious about understanding and developing their own work and world building with the goal of innovative creativity. 

The selected participants are chosen through a rigorous outreach and selection process, open to the public. As with all the Orchard Project labs, participants will join with varying degrees of professional experience, but will likely have some history of manifesting their creative work in public before joining the Orchard Project community. Anyone can apply, there is no age requirement, and applicants can be either represented by an agent or not. To honor the history of the Orchard Project and the constituency it serves, the program will aim to include at least some with a live performance interest or background.

Dates and Schedule

The 2022 Adaptation Lab will begin meetings on June 13, 2022 and run for six weeks. Before the start of the program, all OP labs will share a few orientation sessions in OP Creative Vocabulary. Exact dates to be confirmed at a later time.

The Adaption Lab will meet collectively once or twice a week for six weeks.

All of our programming is planned to exist virtually until such time as it is safe for us to convene in Saratoga Springs once again.

All Orchard Project Lab participants begin their labs with a group orientation in Orchard Project Creative Vocabulary, outlining both the process and facilitation vocabulary that serves as a foundation for artists and work during their Orchard Project experience. 

Lab participants will also be able to sign up for individual office hours with OP staff and facilitators as desired

Fees and Obligations
  • The Orchard Project Adaptation Lab is free for invited artists to participate in. There is also no fee to apply.
  • The Orchard Project’s 2022 Adaptation Lab will require each artist to agree to both the Orchard Project’s general participation policies (LINK), and an agreement that, while not providing any royalty or compensation to the Orchard Project, allows projects developed through the program to credit their participation in it. 
  • The focus of our labs is on the creation of self directed progress, peer and industry community. The Orchard Project, however, does have particular resources that it allocates to work after labs through our new OP Forward Program. We know that these resources/options are not an ideal match for all participants, but in certain circumstances, the Orchard Project and artist may continue to work together on the development and advocacy of their work after the program, in which case other arrangements will be made on a case by case basis.
Community Learning

All artists and participants in OP Labs will be invited to participate in annual Community Learning events, a series of weekly panels and conversations with leading artists, practitioners, and industry working in all the various forms. From discussions about television writing rooms, case studies in digital performance, best practices for collaboration (both in the room and in a contract), to pitching workshops, these events will provide all OP artists – across all our labs – to join in a community wide conversation about where storytelling will be heading in the future.

Applying (and Application Needs)

To apply to the 2022 Adaptation Lab, CLICK HERE.

Full information about how the application process for the 2022 Orchard Project works is available here.

For Adaptation Lab applicants, you will be asked to let us know about your relationship to the source material you are looking to adapt and the status of that relations (e.g. “this work is in the Public Domain,” “I am in a good faith conversation with X,” or “I’ve secured the rights to Y.”

In addition to project description and biographical information asked for in our new common application, we are asking applicants to provide:
    A writing sample or other work


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The Orchard Project (OP) is a preeminent artistic development laboratory and accelerator for creators of performance and dramatic stories.

Where to find us

PO Box 237091

New York, NY 10023

646 760 6767 x 101