Orchard Project


The Orchard Project is the premier program of The Exchange. Started in 2007, the Orchard Project invites the most cutting-edge theater artists to retreat to New York’s Catskill Mountains to collaboratively develop new plays. 

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 industry members from around the country to play an active role in the development of new works.

Orchard Project companies and artists are supported by the Core Company at the Orchard Project, a nationally sourced apprentice program where young artists train and create new work alongside resident artists and companies. This program for innovative theater makers of the future continues with the support of programs like the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. 

The Orchard Project has helped to develop dozens of shows that have been performed globally. Recent shows developed at the Orchard Project include Jordan Harrison’s Maple and Vine (recently at NY’s Playwright’s Horizons and San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater), Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way (which premiered at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and will be on Broadway in 2014), The Rude Mech’s I’ve Never Been So Happy, The Talking Band’s The Peripherals (recently at NY’s Dixon Place), and many, many more.



Initial applications for the 2014 Residencies were due by 11:59 PM EST, January 27, 2014.

Unlike other programs, we judge people, not projects. What that means is that the Orchard Project team and other artists who we have supported in past years assess whether the applicants are likely to create amazing work, and whether we think they will benefit from our program. 

Applications to participate in the Core Company were due by April 1, 2014. New applications will be available shortly.