2020 WRITER TESTIMONIALS
a sanctuary for development of new musicals
We were thrilled to welcome these incredible 18 writers who worked on 9 new musicals in 9 virtual residencies for 9 weeks in a row.
Many thanks to our donors who make it all possible!
To hear a song from each of the musicals, visit our YouTube page.
Kyle Puccia and Kalani Queypo
“The peer advisors that the writers are given access to are the best in the business, creating the opportunity for new relationships and possibilities. Missing Peace is in a far better place after our week with Rhinebeck, which was quite honestly an experience of a lifetime.”
“Rhinebeck identifies projects that are interesting, timely, deserving. They take you through a process that is structured for success, all the while, leaving creative exploration open to what you believe your project needs. There's a lot of trust there. That is how you foster creativity.”
Andrew R. Butler, Jordan Fein, Anna Kerrigan
THE DIXON FAMILY ALBUM
“It took us six years to find an opportunity to come back together and take the next step in writing The Dixon Family Album. Without Rhinebeck, I don't know if it ever would have happened.”
-Andrew R. Butler
“Rhinebeck prioritizes artists wherever they are in the process, which I found particularly validating during this time of worldwide uncertainty. Storytelling is important, especially now, and Rhinebeck understands that.”
“Musicals famously take years to develop and to have this sort of structure and encouragement at an early stage gives me great hope for the evolving future of the American Musical Theater.”
Elliah Heifetz and Jessica Kahkoska
THE DEATH OF DESERT ROSE
“Rhinebeck allowed us to make space in our schedules and minds to continue developing The Death of Desert Rose. It was joyful and meaningful to have this time that helped us to be creative now.”
“Spending a week free from all other responsibilities with the focus and nurturing support of Rhinebeck allowed me the creative freedom to write FOUR new songs for my musical... something most composers will tell you almost NEVER happens!”
- Elliah Heifetz
“My week in residence with Rhinebeck Writers Retreat was the first time in this crazy, terrifying, stultifying year, that I felt truly capable of writing.
That I left the week with two new songs was a shock. I am profoundly grateful to Rhinebeck Writers Retreat for a week that felt like nothing short of a breakthrough.”
Truth Bachman and Zhailon Levingston
"The barriers between theater and activism eroded for me this year. Art is ready. The world is ready for a shift.
Thank you Rhinebeck Writers Retreat for helping us get one step closer to realizing our vision of an empowered world. Much gratitude to this incredible program"
Isabella Dawis and Tidtaya Sinutoke
HALF THE SKY
“We emerged from Rhinebeck with a clearer vision and a sparkling new draft! We couldn't have taken these steps without the generous gifts of time and goodwill. We can't thank you enough for making the extra effort to support and champion artists from afar, during this difficult time.”
“In the time when most places are postponing or canceling their residencies, Rhinebeck is one of the few that still opens the door. We got all the resources in order to be in the room (virtually) with one another and create the magic. I am extremely grateful and happy to be part of the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat this year.”
- Tidtaya Sinutoke
Maggie-Kate Coleman and Erato A. Kremmyda
WE WILL NOT BE SILENT
“A ‘virtual writers retreat’ is not something we ever imagined doing. While we wish the circumstances had been different so that we could have actually ‘retreated’ together, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat offered us invaluable support so that we could focus on our show, even without totally escaping our everyday lives.”
- Maggie-Kate Coleman and
Erato A. Kremmyda
Kate Douglas and Grace McLean
AGAINST WOMEN AND MUSIC
“My collaborator and I grappled with the foundational questions of our musical and discovered a stronger connection and urgency. We wouldn't have been able to untangle our questions without this week dedicated solely to our work and each other.”
“Rhinebeck Writers Retreat gave us the freedom to investigate what mattered most to us about our show: the urgency and the intimacy of why WE are writing this NOW. Rhinebeck's support allowed us to use the week as a laboratory to test the boundaries of our show at an important crossroads.”
Adam Chanler-Berat and Ryan Scott Oliver
“Rhinebeck Writers Retreat is a creative life raft in the choppy and dangerous waters of the arts in a pandemic world. Not only is the residency a financial support to artists when we most need it, the retreat provides a framework for us to practice the things that give us a sense of purpose and hope.”
“Mid-career writers often need creative and artistic support—sometimes even more than the ‘week away from NYC’—and even during this ‘digital’ residency, I found the process deeply rewarding. This was an opportunity I will cherish for a very long time.”
-Ryan Scott Oliver