Nine New Musical Theatre Works Headed to Rhinebeck Writers Retreat for Summer Development Residencies | Playbill

Industry News Nine New Musical Theatre Works Headed to Rhinebeck Writers Retreat for Summer Development Residencies Among the selected writers are Tony nominee Beth Malone, the Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers, and current Dramatist Guild Fellow John-Michael Lyles.
Beth Malone and John-Michael Lyles

Rhinebeck Writers Retreat will host the writing teams of nine new musicals in development for in-person residencies this summer. The series of week-long retreats launches June 27 in the Hudson Valley.

Writers include Tony-nominee Beth Malone, Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls, and Broadway alum Lynne Shankel; Jonathan Larson Grant recipients Avi Amon, Sara Cooper, Ty Defoe, and Anna Jacobs; and Dramatists Guild Fellows Nolan Doran, David Gomez, and John-Michael Lyles.

The full lineup of participating teams are:

  • Avi Amon, Ty Defoe, and Nolan Doran with The Lesson, a fantastical queer reimagining of Beethoven and Mozart meeting
  • David Gomez and John-Michael Lyles with Shoot for the Moon, about a forbidden love affair between prizefighter Mercy Wheatley and poet Federico García Lorca
  • Noel Carey and Scott Weinstein with That's All Folks, a two-hander between animator and his most beloved character
  • David Darrow and Kira Obolensky with Four Measures, based on the “21 Grams Theory” and the experiments to prove the weight of the human soul
  • Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson with Mexodus, about the enslaved people of the U.S. who traveled south on the Underground Railroad
  • Sara Cooper and Lynne Shankel with Perpetual Sunshine & The Ghost Girls, about the women factory workers poisoned by United States Radium Corporation
  • Amisho Baraka, Art Hooker, Justin Merrick, Gregory Thompson, and Anasa Troutman with Union: The Musical, about the 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Anna K. Jacobs and Anna Ziegler with A House Without Windows, about the 1939 disappearance of former child prodigy Barbara Newhall Follett
  • Beth Malone, Erin Ortman, and Emily Saliers with Starstruck, a modern-day queer retelling of Cyrano, set in Idaho.

All the writers’ costs are covered by donors, including an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, and The Noël Coward Foundation. Major individual support comes from Liz Armstrong, Rick Farrar and Jeff Zadroga, Liz and Bill Mills, Steve and Paula Reynolds, and Alex Robertson.

UPDATE JULY 13, 2021

The writers of Union: The Musical are unable to attend the retreat; Kate Leonard and Daniel Mertzlufft will be filling the residency with their musical Fashion Show, about three high school students posing as a couture fashion house.

To read more about the selected writers and their works, visit

Industry News

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