2021 WRITER TESTIMONIALS
a sanctuary for development of new musicals
We were thrilled to welcome these incredible 20 writers who worked on 9 new musicals – in person – at a beautiful house in the Hudson Valley .
Many thanks to our donors who make it all possible!
Avi Amon, Ty Defoe &
“This week away was transformative for us. We realized that the three of us had never actually been in the same space writing together, due to COVID. We did the best we could but NOTHING can compete with being the same room, house, and forest together. With all that we are and all that we have, thank you”
“The residency allowed creative autonomy, engagement, dance parties in the kitchen, and our own process to occur. The beautiful location contributed to the significant amount of mind and heart space for our team to pour into the piece. Thank you so much for caring about our process”
"This retreat came at the perfect time when I needed to get out of NYC, slow down, see the world through a new lens outside of a Zoom screen and reconnect with nature. Rhinebeck truly gave me the space to think outside my small NYC apartment I've been living in during Covid to imagine new possibilities for our show and my life as a whole.
Noel Carey &
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
"Writing musicals doesn’t always happen in a straight line. Rhinebeck provides new musicals with the recognition they need to be seen by others in the industry, so that every show’s development and following may continue to grow long after the weeklong retreat."
“Prior to Rhinebeck, Noel and I hadn't been in the same room in nearly two years. To get undivided and uninterrupted time together in the beautiful Hudson valley was invaluable and has catapulted our development forward!”
Brian Quijada &
Nygel D. Robinson
"Having an isolated retreat with a collaborator might have seemed weird right after being isolated after the pandemic shutdown, but it actually made the retreat familiar and we were able to be together, with a creative routine. I will also say that I am appreciative of the stipend and support in groceries to not have to worry financially during the week."
“Everyone was incredibly accommodating and supportive during our stay which is the most special part about this retreat. Rhinebeck Writers Retreat helped us apply the notes we received from New York Stage and Film and helped us create new moments in our show. ”
- Nygel D. Robinson
Anna K. Jacobs &
A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS
"As two writers that often inhabit different artistic circles and juggle multiple projects, it was incredibly beneficial for us to get to know each other through wonderful shared experiences like witnessing each other create, sharing wine over dinner and swimming in local ponds. Rhinebeck Writers Retreat fosters a supportive, nurturing, comfortable environment where work can get done, and get done well."
- Anna K. Jacobs
"We hadn't spent this kind of focused time together before and it moved our show forward by leaps and bounds. We rewrote much of the outline of the piece, discovered our musical is one act not three, and bonded by fending off a bat. I feel like we turned a real corner."
- Anna Ziegler
David Gomez &
“Being invited to sit and make music at a live piano is a rare opportunity these days and getting to hear the reverberations and echos of songs taking flight was an overwhelming source of joy after an incredibly difficult year. The whole time I truly felt part of a legacy of fearless storytellers and daring music makers.”
“David and I needed time together, without distraction, to find ways to express poetry through dance, to musicalize queer ghosts on stage, and to track and pace the avalanche of surrealism in our show, and thanks to Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, hundreds of index cards, and the cute little deer that would visit us every now and then, we felt free to dive into the deep end of our creativity!”
- John-Michael Lyles
David Darrow &
“For us writers who live in large cities, the time and space to write in such an idyllic, peaceful place, with no obligations but TO WRITE is so valuable. Aside from the huge strides our show took, I didn't know how badly I needed time away to focus entirely on making art. I returned home refreshed, renewed, and excited to finish this piece and share it with the world. ”
“Being in the same space at the same time, sharing meals, and hanging out allowed us to make discoveries about the work and our collaborative process that were essential. Even the white board set against a backdrop of windows looking into the woods proved inspirational! At the end of the week, I took a photo of our plot structure and felt like we had built a building in a week.”
Sara Cooper &
PERPETUAL SUNSHINE &
THE GHOST GIRLS
"Being able to focus completely on our piece and be together in the same room for an entire week not only drastically accelerated our process, but it allowed us to try innovative approaches to our material we would never have otherwise had the time to try."
"Our time at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat was absolutely invaluable. We wrote three brand new songs, re-wrote chunks of others and came away with our first full draft of the whole piece. We could never have worked this fast if we weren't together, away from home and in this beautiful, secluded oasis of creativity."
Kate Leonard &
"This passion project kept winding up on the back burner while we prioritized paying work. Rhinebeck Writers Retreat allowed us to devote the time, energy, and focus we needed to see this idea through. It's amazing how much progress we were able to make in a week away from our other obligations — our show feels real now!”
“The amount of work we got done at a single week in Rhinebeck on this show in thanks to the extreme focus and in-person collaboration it provides would have easily taken a year or more in our normal writing schedule. Rhinebeck allowed us to finally focus in on a show we adore, and give it the love and work it needs to take the next steps to bring it into reality.”
Beth Malone &
“Starstruck got unstuck at Rhinebeck. Kathy Evans' support and generosity of spirit make Rhinebeck Writers Retreat the optimal setting to bravely try new things.”
“The freedom of having this time was absolutely invaluable. I was able to have peace and quiet and focus. I set up my recording gear in the house and tried different song ideas (including some bad ones!), and wrote three different song sections. I owe a great deal of thanks to Rhinebeck for creating such a perfect environment for work (house in the woods, good internet, any support needed).”