The Orchard Project is a leading American institution committed to the to creation of bold new work by the most innovative artists from the US and around the world. Committed to providing neccesary support to theater makers and other artists at the forefront of their form, the organization's pivotal role in promoting new voices is undisputed through its work at the Orchard Project, its summer accelerator, which has propelled over 250 ideas to production in ten years. We are committed to providing necessary support to theater makers and other artists at the forefront of their form, as well as on building diverse audiences and educating young members of the theater community.


To cultivate bold, theatrical ideas that inform, inspire, and provoke conversation, and to support the voices and artists making work at the forefront of the form. 


The Orchard Project is the current name of the organization once known as the Jean Cocteau Repertory, which was originally founded founded in 1971. The organization was put under the Artistic Direction of Ari Edelson in 2007, where its name was changed to the Exchange, and eventually, the Orchard Project. 

Abby Marcus
Staff/Board: staff
Abby Marcus
Managing Director
Ari Edelson


Ari Edelson is a director and producer who has worked both in the United States and internationally, from off-Broadway to London to Tokyo, working in the fields of plays, musicals, and opera. He is also the co-founder of Culture Craver, a tech company that helps people discover culture they'll love. Ari graduated from Yale University and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Staff/Board: staff, board
Ari Edelson
Artistic Director
Sherri Barber


Sherri Eden Barber is a New York-based theatre director and Artistic Director of Ricochet Collective. She has developed new work with Rattlestick, NYTW, Harlem Stage, Classic Theatre of Harlem, Primary Stages, Flea Theater, Culture Project, 24 Hour Play Company, and Old Vic. Sherri is a Drama League Directing Fellow and recipient of the US/UK Exchange Award. MFA: The New School for Drama.

Staff/Board: staff
Sherri Eden Barber
Artistic Associate
James Kennedy


James Kennedy is a playwright, director, and composer based in New York City who has been a member of the Orchard Project team since 2015 and is a Core Company alumnus. His work has been produced at Actors Theatre of Louisvile, Williamstown, Playing for Others, and Superhero Clubhouse, among others. He holds a degree in theatre from Emerson College.

Staff/Board: staff
James Kennedy
Artistic Associate, Education and Outreach
Staff/Board: staff
Mary Birnbaum
NYC Greenhouse Curator