2023 WRITER TESTIMONIALS
a sanctuary for development of new musicals
We were thrilled to welcome these incredible 21 writers who worked on 9 new musicals at a beautiful house in the Hudson Valley.
Many thanks to our donors who make it all possible!
Robi Hager & Georgina Escobar
"I live on the border now, far away from our east coast epicenters, so opportunities like these are an actual gift. The backdrop of the lake gave us a perfect escape from our busy everyday to focus and feel, like in a fairytale, the ability to be, live, think, dream, and create together, and with no expectations other than to be inspired."
"We had so many revelations during our stay. It also helped me personally to take time to rest and surrender to patience which is a hard thing to do in this business. Being by a beautiful lake and in the Hudson Valley area helped us relax and focus our energy on what matters most. It reminded me how much I love musical theatre."
Kat Cartusciello &Thalia Ranjbar
NIMA & THE JEN
"Our time at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat was the absolute best thing for Nima & the Jen at this stage of development. We were able to solve many structural issues and make new discoveries that have transformed the show. The time away from work, life, and responsibilities coupled with the absolute beauty of the space set us up in the best way possible to be creative, productive, and truly enjoy the process. We will never forget our experience at the RWR!"
-Kat Cartusciello & Thalia Ranjbar
Adam Gwon & Michael Mitnick
"Rhinebeck Writers Retreat gave Michael and me the time to not only write more, but to write better – to deepen our ideas, make new connections, and refill our tanks of inspiration. Moreover, the support we received – mentorship, grants, a community of new champions – will be part of our show for the long haul. Rhinebeck Writers Retreat is not just a residency; it’s a vital institution ushering new musicals out into the world."
"It was one of the best developmental opportunities I’ve had in 15 years."
Jae Broderick &
JENNY & JUNE
"Rhinebeck is a little piece of heaven for writers. They created the time and space we needed to accomplish more than we anticipated; we were able to completely restructure our musical while also recording new demos. To be in a relaxed state that allows your minds to wander while in the presence of your partner was an intangible we didn’t expect. We had wide-ranging, probing conversations about the world we’d created that allowed us to step back and solve its problems. Rhinebeck knows what writers need."
-Jae Broderick & André McRae
Justin Huertas & Rheanna Atendido
WE'VE BATTLED MONSTERS BEFORE
"Sometimes, the thing we need the most as writers is to get away from the noise. So many great conversations came up only because we had the time and space to have them. To be on a lake surrounded by trees in all this beautiful nature was endlessly inspiring, especially for a musical that takes place largely in the woods. Having workshopped musicals at other regional theaters, this kind of support and access to resources is extremely rare and we feel so privileged to have been invited!"
-Justin Huertas & Rheanna Atendido
& Julian Hornik
"I cannot understate the value of RWR to those of us lucky enough to be selected. The time spent in close proximity as a team in the restful serenity of upstate New York left us a deeper understanding of each other and the thing we are writing. We came out of the retreat with a brand new draft, a new song, and a demo recorded for that song. In a time when developmental opportunities for writers are disappearing left and right, RWR remains a beacon in the night."
"Our show, quite literally, would not exist without Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Adam and I met in a Zoom breakout room for our separate virtual residencies in the summer of 2020. The time we spent in Rhinebeck this summer not only strengthened our piece but strengthened our collaboration: we deepened our sense of each others’ processes. It’s a testament to how thoroughly RWR cares for musical theatre writers that we felt so profoundly supported in so many facets of our practice."
Eric Sorrels &
“Rhinebeck Writers Retreat is a precious opportunity in this industry as it truly puts the writers and their needs front and center of the development process. There is no other program like it that dedicates itself exclusively to new musical theatre writing in this way. The trust this program puts in its chosen writers by the simple offering of time, space, and peace of mind for a week will pay dividends — not just for the writers fortunate enough to participate, but for the future of musical theatre."
-Cheeyang Ng, Eric Sorrels & Desdemona Chiang
& Ben Thornewill
"This was a very different show before and after our week. We had many questions we’d been tackling for months, and we solved them in four days. We wrote a new beginning, four new songs, and seven new scenes, and we rebuilt the entire second act. This week allowed for so much creativity and productivity, and breathed new life into our project more than we ever imagined possible."
-Coyle Girelli, Ben Thornewill & Laura Zlatos
Justin Halpin, Jeffrey James & Arpita Mukherjee
A SONG FOR WHAT COULD BE
"Justin, Jeff and I just wanted to express our gratitude for last week. Not only did it help us break open our musical and find the core of the story we want to tell, it also offered much needed inspiration. At a meta level, being three people that make art in a house on the lake was a reminder of the very reason humans do this, not robots."
"This was the most fruitful and creative week in the history of our show. I know we will look back at this as a watershed moment for the three of us and for the future of our musical."
"Rhinebeck affords creatives the space, and more specifically the silence, that is so difficult to find in our everyday lives. Artists need that silence to let ideas speak to them. In our society we are rarely given that time, that creative breath of fresh air. We found it on this retreat"