McCarter Theatre Center has announced that the 2012 Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat will take place from June 7through June 16. The twelve artists participating are Julia Cho, Lydia Diamond, Emily Mann, Michael Friedman, Marcus Gardley, Daniel Goldstein, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Meg Miroshnik, Heather Alicia Simms, Paula Vogel (Pulitzer Prize winner for How I Learned to Drive), John Weidman, and Blanka Zizka (founding artistic director of Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre).
For ten days, McCarter provides a supportive environment for these major theater artists to work at their own pace on whatever inspires them. It is a respite from their day-to-day responsibilities with no requirements and no formula, no deadlines and no concrete goals.
"It is lonely work that we do, easily encroached upon by the constant demand of professional distractions and the personal demands of family," said playwright Lydia Diamond. "Ten days of concentrated work in a beautiful environment gives a rare opportunity to find or finish a play, roll around in one's thoughts, share ideas with peers, and sleep peacefully."
At its core, McCarter's Artists' Retreat is an act of faith: faith in the artists and their singular ability to perceive what their projects most need, be it a week of solid writing or a week of silent waiting for the next idea to emerge.
The many plays that have been developed over the course of the past eleven Artists' Retreats and have gone on to production include Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon; Will Power's Fetch Clay, Make Man; Beth Henley'sRidiculous Fraud; Danai Gurira's The Convert; Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays; Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House; Lydia Diamond's Stick Fly; and, Take Flight by John Weidman, David Shire, and Richard Maltby, Jr.
"McCarter Theatre has maintained an impressive track record in commissioning and producing new plays that make a lasting contribution to the theatrical canon, and the Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat is central to our success," said McCarter Artistic Director/Resident Playwright Emily Mann.