2019 WRITER TESTIMONIALS

We were thrilled to host these 27 writers summer 2019 who worked on 9 new musicals in 9 individual residencies for 9 weeks in a row. Many thanks to our donors who make it all possible!

Janine McGuire and Arri Lawton Simon

Borders

“Knowing that we had the space and time to do whatever it was that we were inspired to do was incredibly freeing. Rhinebeck Writers Retreat was one of the most productive and enjoyable weeks of our entire six-year collaboration. It gave us not only the time to focus exclusively on our show, but the space to dream. At Rhinebeck, everything feels possible.”
 

- Janine McGuire and Arri Lawton Simon 

Hunter Bird and Oliver Houser

Almost Heaven

"The peer advisor meeting was critical in shaping our focus going into the week. Because we had just had another residency three weeks prior, our advisor had fresh, concrete material to respond to. I cannot stress enough how useful our conversation with our advisor was. And to have someone you admire believe in a work which doesn’t fully exist is a humbling and thrilling thing!"

 

-Hunter Bird

 

“We left Rhinebeck with a newfound clarity about the show’s themes, the world, the musical vocabulary, the heartbeat and emotional lives of the characters, the story we are telling and why we are telling it. It is a gift to be paid to do what you love in such a gorgeous setting, without any strings attached."

 

-Oliver Houser

Derek Gregor, Phoebe Kruetz, and T.C. Lind

In a Sunshine State

“When I walked into the enormous living room and saw 2 pianos, guitars on the wall, that Yamaha keyboard (my favorite) AND a view of our own dock on the lake I was speechless. Such an inspiring setting. Being under the same roof living and breathing our piece for a week helped us answer questions that we’ve been wrestling with for over a year.”

 

-Derek Gregor

 

“The Rhinebeck Retreat offered us a chance to focus and create like never before.”

 

-Phoebe Kruetz

Don Nguyen and The Lobbyists:  Tony Aidan Vo, Tommy Crawford, Eloïse Eonnet, Alex Grubbs, Will Turner​, and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman

The Golden Spike

“Their dedication to new and emerging musical theatre has shaped the retreat into a coveted haven for the growth and incubation of new art.  Already, the musicals born and molded under such loving conditions are reshaping the face of the modern American Musical Theatre.”

- Don Nguyen and The Lobbyists

Khiyon Hursey

Sean's Story: Part 1  | The Awakening

“This was a transformative week not only for me as an artist but for my musical. I loved the isolation. It forced my brain to work in different ways. I rewrote 110 pages and 5 songs. This most likely would have taken a year to accomplish without the retreat.”

-Khiyon Hursey

Cinco Paul, Bekah Brunstetter, and Stephen Brackett

A.D. 16

“The Rhinebeck Writers Retreat gave Cinco, Stephen and I the gift of time and space. We live in different parts of the country, and the three of us are luckily all engaged in super busy careers – so being stuck (by choice!) together in a beautiful house was infinitely helpful. We’re working on a musical about Jesus as a teenager, and we were able to have so many in depth conversations about how Jesus and that time period resonates with a contemporary, oftentimes secular audience – while eating together, which is so human and universal. It was such a gift!”

 

- Bekah Brunstetter

Zoe Roberts, Natasha Hodgson, David Cumming, and Felix Hagan

Operation Mincemeat

"This retreat came at a very important juncture in the life of our show and gave us the time to see our work objectively, the space to envisage new songs and the tools with which to create them. Rhinebeck is a lighthouse in the stormy seas of musical making; a place of calm, reflection and craft that allows one’s creative spirit to soar."

 

-Zoe Roberts, Natasha Hodgson, David Cumming, and Felix Hagan

EllaRose Chary and Brandon James Gwinn

TL;DR: Thelma Louise; Dyke Remix

“We came to RWR hoping to leave the week with a solid new outline for our show. Instead, we ended up with an entirely rewritten draft and 4 new songs.”

 

-EllaRose Chary

 

“Thelma Louise; Dyke Remix is non-linear and about characters as they relate to big ideas and big issues within the queer community.  I think to write about ideas and community you need to be able to sit in a community and talk about ideas. We ate together. We talked about our childhoods, our coming-out stories, our experiences in the queer community, our experiences as queer artists in show business. AND, we wrote together.”

 

-Brandon James Gwinn

Brian Crawley & Heather Christian

Narcolepsy

“You’ve made a place where we can make a total mess -- which is absolutely necessary -- and feel the freedom to try things that might be bad: the only way to innovate.  We had never written so much so quickly. Rhinebeck gave us the luxury of having a neutral space to go, and to spend time to come together and write something wholly original.  In a collaboration between two artists who are extremely self-generative, as it turns out, this was absolutely the key to productivity!”

Brian Crawley & Heather Christian

  Copyright 2020 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.  

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