ABOUT THE OP PERFORMANCE LAB
The Orchard Project Performance Lab is a self directed lab for theatre-makers, writers, composers, teams, companies, and ensembles looking for support on one or more projects in development.
Our oldest program, the Performance Lab has historically been a form-fitting residency in which companies and artists join the Orchard Project for overlapping residencies, during which they are provided with free rehearsal space, room and board, and support from fellow artists. The collaborative component of this lab makes it unique from our other lab offerings insofar as it provides a communal space in which participants can check in with one another on projects, and facilitated space is created for those working on projects at any stage of their development. Throughout the residencies, open rehearsals invite peers and industry members from around the country to play an active role in the development of new works.
In normal years, lab participants are invited to Saratoga Springs, NY for overlapping residencies, during which they are provided with free rehearsal space, room and board, and support from fellow artists. Throughout the residencies, open rehearsals invite peers and industry members from around the country to play an active role in the development of new works.
OUR 2022 PLANS
For the first time in our organization’s history, The Orchard Project has made the difficult decision to close applications for our annual Performance Lab in 2022. We arrived at this decision in order to best carry out our mission’s promise for the artists who participated in our Performance Lab’s 2020/2021 virtual offshoots.
Before the summer of 2020, the OP’s Performance Lab manifested as a vivid series of overlapping in-person residencies, where performing artists took advantage of time, space, and the direct support of on-campus artistic staff to accelerate their projects. When this in-person model became unsustainable and treacherous due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we shifted our programming to online Labs that served as consistent virtual support as performing artists navigated their practices amidst a global health crisis.
While the virtual Performance labs were incredibly productive for certain kinds of projects, we learned together that there is no replacement for in-person development on time-based performance projects. We believe that many of our residents from the past two summers deserve an additional opportunity to catalyze their work with the OP, due to the creative constraints of workshopping performance material remotely.
As we return to in-person residencies in Summer 2022, we seek to honor the dedication of the artists who collaborated with us over the past two summers by offering them priority access to the return of our in-person resources. It is our belief that we must fulfill our mission’s promise of artistic acceleration to the best of our ability. In the case of Summer 2022, our work begins with re-supporting our wonderful resident artists who were only able to catalyze their work with us under less-than-ideal circumstances.