Named for Audrey Bernfield, Susan’s mom, who passed away in 2012 (an innovative mentor and of course a great supporter of our company), the residencies expand on prior play development programs by adding a year-long residency component to time spent working in The Room on a new-works project.

To select this group, we whittled affiliated artist applicants down by lottery, then enlisted a panel of last year’s residents (Alexandra Aron, Lizzie Olesker, Mia Rovegno, Peggy Stafford) to spend an utterly inspiring day along with Susan and Sarah meeting cool colleagues and hearing about their highly theatrical works-in-progress.

This year, we will support 11 residents working on 7 new works, with up to 3 weeks in our workspace over the course of the year, monthly resident dinners, and additional resources as they come up.  Our residents are a fantastic mix of brand-new affiliates and longtime members of our artistic community, represent a breadth of theatrical disciplines, and are almost all tackling something new for them, in terms of process, aesthetic or collaboration. Without further ado!

Director Elena Araoz and visual artist/designer Susan Zeeman Rogers will co-direct a new chamber opera adapted from a late-20th-century novel, exploring epic scale and proportion through staging, installation and technology that set live singers against massive video projections of miniature dioramas.

For the first time, playwright Cusi Cram will direct her own work, in an exploratory process to create a hyper-theatrical experience entitled FORGIVEN.  Through story, movement and music, she will excavate the complicated terrain of how we forgive other people for doing truly terrible things.

Playwright Gina Femia will develop the burlesque that occurs within the theatrical arc of her play ACCIDENTAL BURLESQUE, in collaboration with director Taylor Reynolds and a team of actors, modern dancers and burlesque performers.

Writer/director Leigh Fondakowski has spent her career making epic plays about real-life tragedies; for once, she leaves all that behind to create a two-person comedy, an intimate kind of thing, set in a diner, in which two unlikely strangers meet and… talk.

Playwright MJ Kaufman and director Adrienne Campbell-Holt will instigate a Joint Stock-type process to create a new play about body hair, social stigma, gender regulation, avant-garde fashion, the ecological benefits of fur and, of course, the promise of Mars.

Playwright Carson Kreitzer, director Elyse Singer and actor Carolyn Baeumler will collaborate on SOUTH STREET ANNIE, a time-spinning tale of fish, loss, sex and architecture set in a progressively sanitized New York City — splintering Annie’s performative life among a mixed-age ensemble to explore a woman who refuses to be what is expected.

Brenda Withers will undo her “instinctual mistrust of solo pieces” by inviting a different actor to work with her each month – all interpreting her text in a different way, encouraging a variety of colors, voice, perspective and range – as she develops CRYING/SHAME, a so-far solo script that deconstructs the physical process of crying and the place of human beings in the animal kingdom.