Core Company | The Orchard Project


developing tomorrow's innovators

Sadly, due to restrictions on and precautions taken with our programs due to COVID-19, Core Company was not able to take place in 2020. Core Company will unlikely operate in 2021 as well, but we are looking into alternative opportunities for the wonderful group of young artists Core Company aims to serve. 

Core Company at the Orchard Project is a summer apprenticeship designed for aspiring and emerging multidisciplinary theatre artists who have one simple goal: to create bold new work for the stage. Over six weeks of intense study and practical work with accomplished theatre professionals, Core Company members strengthen their performance skills, sharpen their critical minds, and gain real world experience that will help launch them into careers in theatre. Core Company at the Orchard Project allows its participants to probe deeply into the creative process and discover for themselves what it means to “devise” theatre today. Core Company members assist the world’s most cutting edge theater artists, both behind the scenes and on stage, as they realize their latest ideas. In exchange, the resident artists serve as mentors for Core Company projects, bringing a level of insight and expertise to the development process that can only be found in the best professional workshop environments. Outside of the studio, the professional interactions continue, as Core Company members live and eat with all of the resident artists who pass through.

The Core Company experience is individually tailored to each member of the ensemble. Immediately upon acceptance to the program, participants enter into an ongoing dialogue with their instructors to identify their artistic needs and goals. After targeting those areas for six weeks, Core Company members leave with a keen awareness of their creative selves and life-long access to a community that will help them to realize their ambitions.

The Components of Core Company

Intensive Study with Artists in Residence and Working Professionals: Led by the Orchard Project staff and resident artists, Core Company members participate in daily workshops and master classes. Emphasis is placed on understanding diverse methods of generating work from scratch and exploring the major currents and techniques in contemporary theatre. Past workshops have been lead by Pig Iron Theatre Company, Tectonic Theatre Company, playwright Robert Shenkkan, performance artist Rachel Mars, and sound designer Bart Fassbender, among others.

Collaborative Work and Public Engagement: Core Company is afforded the time and space of a professional theatre company in order to develop its own original work. Weekly showings of works-in-progress created both in small groups and as an entire ensemble give company members the opportunity to experiment with different collaborators and modes of collaboration. Work is shared alternatively within the company, with the entire Orchard Project community, and with the general public of Saratoga Springs.

Personal Process: Each member of the Core Company works consistently on a project that is unique to their own interests and artistic goals. Throughout the five weeks, personal assignments in writing, performance, and professional development are structured according to individual needs. The emphasis is on process, not product, allowing opportunity to think boldly, take big risks, and explore uncharted territory. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

Intensives and Apprenticeships: Each Core Company member apprentices with Orchard Project visiting artists, serving those artists’ projects in a variety of capacities: assistant directors, readers, actors, dramaturgs, and beyond. Each apprenticeship pairing is carefully chosen to provide Core Company members opportunities to work with artists whose projects can positively enhance the apprentice’s creative trajectory. In addition to their opportunities, the entire Core Company works directly with a curated group of professionals in a series of intensives where leading industry artists develop specific projects with Core as their resident ensemble.

2019 Core Company Costs and Dates

2019 Dates (to be confirmed): May 28 - July 9, 2019 (6 weeks)

Costs: The 2019 cost of Core Company is $4500. After an internal review, this cost represents a decrease from previous years as we have reorganized staffing for the program. Costs breakdown as follows: 

  • Room and Board: $3000

  • Masterclasses Tuition Costs: $1000

  • Materials and Workspace Costs: $500

Financial Aid: Some participants in Core Company are receiving bursaries/stipends from partner institutions, and in those cases, the Orchard Project has already committed to underwrite part of the cost of that participant. The Orchard Project also offers a limited number of scholarships for participants with promise who might not otherwise be able to attend. These scholarships average $500 and rarely exceed $1000. We also often work with advancement funds at various schools to help participants come to the Orchard Project. During your application, please let us know if you anticipate requesting financial aid. If so, we will ask for additional materials at a later time.

PLEASE NOTE: The Orchard Project Core Programs are very selective in their size and scope. Limited spots are available. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. We recommend completing an application as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.