The New Harmony Project Announces Artists for 2018 Spring Conference

The New Harmony Project (Mead Hunter, Artistic Director; David Hudson, Executive Director; Lori Wolter Hudson, Incoming Artistic Director) an organization dedicated to supporting writers whose work emanates hope, is pleased to announce that ten writers will be in residence for their 2018 annual conference, which will take place from May 21-June 2 in the idyllic town of New Harmony, Indiana.

Each spring since 1986, The New Harmony Project has brought together writers whose works sensitively and truthfully explore the positive aspects of life. Over the course of the conference, The New Harmony Project offers a retreat from the outside world, and space for writers to fully immerse themselves in their work. The peaceful serenity of New Harmony, the site of two former utopian societies, is a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Writers in full development are joined by a full cast and creative team, and spend the conference working on one specific project, hand-picked following a rigorous selection process that saw nearly 500 submissions this year! Writers in residence are offered support to work on multiple projects, and afforded the freedom to immerse themselves into their personal process.

This season The New Harmony Project is thrilled to welcome Kennedy Award-winning playwright Dan O’Brien as a writer in full development. New Life concludes the trilogy of O’Brien’s poetic memoir-for-the-stage, with The Body of an American (Primary Stages, NHP 2011) and The House in Scarsdale (Theatre @ Boston Court, NHP 2016), and dares to dream of healing after trauma, and of telling the truth of war as entertainment. Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Paul Watson, who served as an inspiration for and character in the trilogy, will also join the company.

In addition, The New Harmony Project will welcome David McFadzean (Roseanne, Home Improvement), Vichet Chum (Knyum at Merrimack Rep), Emily Feldman (Shank Playwright-in-Residence at Playwright’s Horizons), José Cruz González (2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist), Arlene Hutton (The Nibroc Trilogy), Daria Miyeko Marinelli (Weston Award in Playwriting), and James Still (Four-time Pulitzer Prize Nominee, Indiana Repertory Theatre Playwright-in-Residence) as writers in residence.

As part of the 2018 conference, The New Harmony Project is also excited to announce the beginning of its year-long support of a new musical project by James Lecense, writer of the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film Trevor and co-founder of The Trevor Project, and Ryan Amador, a singer, songwriter, and theater director best known for his queer-related music videos “Define Me” and “Spectrum.” In addition to a residency at the 2018 conference, their project will be further supported with two additional workshops in the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019. This represents a drastic expansion of programming for The New Harmony Project, and an enhanced commitment to creating, nurturing, and promoting groundbreaking, life-affirming work.

The New Harmony Project boasts an impressive roster of past participants including Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning writer Robert Schenkkan (All the Way, The Kentucky Cycle), Theresa Rebeck (NBC’s Smash, Seminar), Lee Blessing (Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee, A Walk in the Woods), Steven Dietz (Lonely Planet), John Pielmeier (Agnes of God, The Exorcist), James Still (four time Pulitzer Prize nominee, The Velocity of Gary), Meredith Stiehm (Emmy winner, Homeland, Cold Case), Danny Strong (two time Emmy winner, Empire, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), George Brant (Grounded, Marie and Rosetta), Idris Goodwin (How We Got On, The Way The Mountain Moved), Regina Taylor (Drowning Crow, Crowns), Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51, Actually), Jim Leonard (Major Crimes, Dexter), Mark St. Germain (Freud’s Last Session, The Cosby Show), Angelo Pizzo (Rudy, Hoosiers), and Matt Williams (five time Emmy nominee, Home Improvement, Roseanne).

In April of 1986, a group of theater, film, and television professionals gathered in Indianapolis to explore the trend in the entertainment arts toward exploitative and sensational material. They concluded there was a need to engage and support writers whose work sought a goal beyond mere entertainment, work that sought to empower and uplift. It was out of this meeting that The New Harmony Project was created. For more than three decades, The New Harmony Project has been serving writers whose work emanates hope, courage, and the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. We elevate stories for theater, television, and film that inspire, enlighten, and endeavor to make the world a better place. Following a leadership transition in the fall of 2017, The New Harmony Project has begun to drastically expand its programming in Central and Southwestern Indiana, and is working tirelessly to expand its impact across the state and around the country.