The Orchard Project Episodic Lab | The Orchard Project

The Orchard Project Episodic Lab

2020 Lab Dates: June 12-22, 2020

About the Lab

The Orchard Project, the nationally renowned accelerator for new performance, continues its annual lab for artists to develop television and episodic content in a setting where they can hone their skills, have the time and space to accelerate their work, and participate in intimate discussions about how to best bring their content to life within the episodic form.

Working with accomplished showrunners and producers, as well as non-writing creatives and executives, participants will both be able to further develop their work and receive the input of leaders and peers. The will participate in one-on-one creative story meetings, pitching sessions, mock writers’ rooms, and group conversations focusing on the key creative and tactical elements that are central to their success in episodic storytelling.

The Orchard Project Episodic Lab will be a 10 day long accelerator program uniting 6-8 artists with invited professionals from the episodic field. The Orchard Project Episodic Lab will invite 6-8 writers to bring a draft pilot and leave with a pilot and show bible. Matched with the participants will be industry professionals, including television and film producers, directors, show-runners, etc. Built into the Episodic Lab will be ample development opportunities for readings and writing time.

Over the past ten years, the Orchard Project program has become a “go-to” place for today’s top theatre artists to accelerate their next big project. The objective of this development retreat is to “bridge the gap” for artists of promise and use the unique support of the Orchard Project to take projects and fully flesh out ideas with the support of their peers and leading industry partners. Writers will spend time both improving their pilot script and working on the formal pitch of the project. Writers will also be able to develop skills and foster community amongst innovative peers. With a combination of round-tables on different topics and one-on-one meetings between playwrights and industry pros, the Episodic Lab will provide ample opportunity for the fellows to enhance their scripts with unparalleled support.


Who the Lab is For

The selected Fellows are chosen through a rigorous outreach and selection process, open to the public. Anyone can apply, there is no age requirement, and applicants can be either represented by an agent or not. To honor the history of the Orchard Project and the constituency it serves, the program will be aim to include at least some with a live performance interest or background. There are two rounds in the application process, including a submission of a pilot sample and series overview. If selected for the second round, applicants will be asked to submit their full draft pilot script at that time. The Episodic Lab will consider writing teams of up to two people.

Essential Info

2020 Lab Dates:
June 12 - June 22, 2020

Saratoga Springs, NY

Application Deadline:
First round applications are due at 11:59pm PST on December 16, 2019. For more information about the application, see the FAQ.

Accommodations, and meals for up all participants are covered. Beyond the application fee ($30 before April 7, $40 after), there is no fee to participate. There are also travel allowances from all artists to travel to Saratoga Springs.

In return for participation and to support, fellows will be obligated to sign an agreement meant to be seen as a vehicle whereby participants help The Orchard Project, a non-profit organization, sustain its commitment to supporting artists on an ongoing basis. That agreement will stipulate that (a) in the case of sale or option of their pilot, they will include terms that allow a contribution to made to the Orchard Project of the greater of either (1) 0.5% of the portion of their show's final budget that exceeds $1,000,000, (2) 10% of any Production Company Fee paid for as part of a pattern or amortized show budget; (b) The Orchard Project will receive 1% of 100% of the shows receipts, and (c) The Orchard Project will receive a credit line and logo placement in the show's end titles. Projects that have already been sold or optioned can be considered for the program; in those cases, different stipulations will apply.

Additional Information

  • Pilots considered for the Episodic Lab through the general application process should not have been sold at any point to a studio or network. However, co-sponsored residencies are available for attached content. If you are interested in learning more, email us
  • The submitted pilot may be original or adapted from optioned source material. 
  • The Episodic Lab is entirely open minded about the formats and length of series that it support, from one-hour dramas to single camera half-hour comedies to webseries. We will also consider episodic content for a limited series (fewer episodes than the usual 10 or 13 for cable), however, the candidate must notify us of this intention prior to applying so that we can determine whether or not the project meets our criteria.