Press Release

New York’s Summer Play Festival and the Watermill Center announces new Residency Program

New York, NY - May 14, 2010

New York’s premier play festival, the Summer Play Festival (SPF), is partnering with Southampton’s Watermill Center to create a new opportunity for theatre artists to collaborate in a unique, developmental laboratory.  For the inaugural year, The Watermill Center / SPF Residency Program provides an artistic project, proposed by an SPF alumnus/a, the opportunity to utilize the Watermill Center as a home and workshop.

Projects will be selected in July 2010 by Watermill’s distinguished, international Selection Committee of artists from a variety of arts backgrounds including Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic, Alanna Heiss, Albert Maysles, Gerard Mortier, John Rockwell, Jonathan Safran Foer, Richard Sennett, Nike Wagner and others.   In future years the Residency participants will be chosen from the current Summer Play Festival, allowing the artists to continue the development of their work directly after festival.

Arielle Tepper Madover, Founding Executive Producer of the Summer Play Festival, said “We are excited to be partnering with the Watermill Center to provide our alumni artists with another opportunity to continue their career and artistic development after they’ve worked with us. Along with our existing post-SPF programs in the United Kingdom and Germany, the Watermill Residency enhances our commitment to our artists, before, during and after the Festival.”

Jorn Weisbrodt, Creative Director of the Watermill Center, added “We couldn’t be more pleased to be working with the Summer Play Festival, and some of the 1300 artists that have passed through SPF’s unique Festival. Like our growing number of collaborations with organizations both here in the U.S. and internationally, we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with SPF and its artists.”

The Watermill Center is situated on six acres of spectacular landscaped grounds and offers over 20,000 square feet of multifunctional spaces. Founded on the site of a former Western Union communications research facility in Watermill, New York, it is a continuation of Robert Wilson’s downtown living, research and rehearsal space on 147 Spring Street in the 60s and 70s where he and his Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds developed all of his early pieces. Its flexible and multi-purpose interiors house formal and informal performance spaces, the Watermill Art Collection, a selection of Robert Wilson’s own furniture designs, an archive of his work, an extensive reference library, kitchen facilities, workshops and dormitory.

SPF has provided numerous resources to thousands of emerging theatre artists including writers, directors, designers, actors, stage managers, and interns to present their work in a protected environment.  The Summer Play Festival has had tremendous success in helping to identify talented, emerging artists, and many of our writers have enjoyed Broadway, off-Broadway, international and regional productions.  Others are now developing projects with film and television companies.

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The Watermill Center

The Watermill Center is a laboratory for performance founded by Robert Wilson as a unique environment for young and emerging artists from around the world to explore new ideas.  Watermill draws inspiration from all the arts and cultures as well as from social, human and natural sciences. Watermill is a global community of artists. Living and working together among the extensive collection of art and artifacts lies at the heart of the Watermill experience.  Watermill is a haven for the next generations of artists, supporting their work among a network of international institutions and venues that embrace new interdisciplinary approaches.  Watermill is operated by The Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation, a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization chartered in 1969 in the state of New York.  

About the Living Room For Artists / Summer Play Festival

The Summer Play Festival (SPF) stages original new plays and musicals by emerging writers during the summer months at the legendary Public Theater in New York City. Since its inception in 2004, SPF has provided numerous resources to emerging theatre artists, produced over 600 public performances, and has provided an opportunity for 82 writers, as well as over one thousand directors, designers, actors, stage managers, and interns to present their work in a protected environment.  Founded by Broadway producer Arielle Tepper Madover, SPF is also committed to providing a low ticket price of only $10 to bring in new audience members. As a result, the Festival has sold out its four-week performance schedule for each of the past five years and has attracted a diverse audience of over 45,000 theatre patrons, the majority under the age of 35.

The Living Room For Artists was formed in 2005 as not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization to sustain and support the Summer Play Festival and its goals. The mission of The Living Room for Artists is to fuel the growth of emerging theatre artists and encourage people of all ages to create, attend and work in the theatre.

Press Contact
Jennifer Taylor
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Living Room for Artists