Orchard Project Professional Labs | The Orchard Project

The Orchard Project is one of the preeminent theatre laboratories in the United States, designed to fuel innovation in performance and support bold voices and big new ideas. Founded by Artistic Director Ari Edelson in 2008, the Orchard Project supports professional artists and helps them to develop their bold ideas. It has birthed shows that have been performed for more than 2,500,000 people in New York, London, and as far afield as Tokyo and Stockholm.

Run by working artists for other working artists, The Orchard Project supports people over projects, and uniquely puts its faith in its artists to create new works while at the retreat. It is this faith that attracts leaders in the industry interested in developing their latest work — whether it is brand new or in later stage.

Companies join the Orchard Project for overlapping residencies, during which they are provided with free rehearsal space, room and board, and support from fellow artists. Throughout the residencies, open rehearsals invite peers and industry members from around the country to play an active role in the development of new works.

The Orchard Project has supported companies big and small, established and emerging. Each summer, it supports more than 100 artists, working on more than 30 separate projects. Past resident companies have included The Royal Court, the Public Theater, Tectonic Theatre Project, The Atlantic Theater Company, Pig Iron, The Rude Mechs, American Repertory Theater, Paines Plough, The TEAM, Mabou Mines, and more.

Shows developed at the Orchard Project have later been produced at stages including the Royal Court in London, The Public Theater in New York City, the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, American Repertory Theater at Harvard, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Atlantic Theater Company in New York City, Center Theater Group in Los Angeles, Playwrights Horizons in New York City, The National Theatre in London, Theatre Di Roma in Rome, Philadelphia Live Arts, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many other theaters across America and Europe.

Orchard Project-born shows include TONY®-winning 33 Variations on Broadway; The Royal Court’s Posh (also on the West End); Obie-winning The AliensThe Shipment, and Architecting; and Robert Schenkkan’s TONY®, Steinberg, and Kennedy-winning Broadway hit All the Way.

The Orchard Project prioritizes bold thinking, innovation, risk taking, creativity, community, and open mindedness — and it seeks to work with people who share those priorities. This applies to our resident artists and to our students.


The 2020 Orchard Project will include participants in four programs. Please note the different dates and focus areas of each program, as it will help determine which might be most appropriate for you and your work.

  • The Orchard Project Professional Labs (Applications Due Dec 2, 2019 -- apply here)
    • For professional theatre makers, writers, composers, teams, companies, and ensembles looking for support on one or more projects in development;
  • The Orchard Project Episodic Lab (Applications Due Dec 16, 2019 -- apply here)
    • For writers and teams working on new episodic television content;
  • The Orchard Project NYC Greenhouse (Applications Due Nov 15, 2019 -- apply here)
    • A two year program for collaborators to meet and generate new ideas and new work, including time at the Orchard Project and month meetings in New York City;
  • Core Company (Applications Due March 1, 2020 -- apply here)
    • Our elite apprentice company, whose members create work and study alongside professionals in residence