Alumni Spotlight


I've never been part of a theater project that was so generous, un-pretentious and community driven

MJ Kaufman, Writer

We gather together as a community united in the sole purpose to support and encourage our writers and their distinct voices. Their tales spin a perspective on our culture that reflects our very essence and soul. Be kind, their words and stories will outlive us all.

James Houghton, NHP Artistic Director, 1997-1999

Each year, the conference provides much needed artistic and spiritual rejuvenation that helps us continue our lives and careers in NYC. The trials and tribulations of this profession are put into perspective when you can take the time to breathe in the creative, healing, and renewing energy that surrounds The Project.

Lori and David Hudson, New Harmony Project Participants

We come here from all avenues of American life... from the complete spectrum embracing a diversity of experience, and together, explore stories that ennoble the human spirit.

Andrew Tsao, NHP Artistic Director, 1995-1996

The New Harmony Project is a place for artists to gather in celebration of work. It is a place where we recognize and acknowledge our gifts, our inspiration and perhaps mostly deeply, our privilege. It is a place for our stories to be uncovered, explored and most importantly, told. And we know that the opportunity to tell them together is a blessing.

Anna D. Shapiro, NHP Artistic Director, 2000-2002

There are a lot of script development programs, but our mission is specifically about finding scripts that celebrate and elevate the human experience. We’re looking for glass half-full plays, not works that are negative or violent. That’s not to say there aren’t sad, dramatic, or dark scenes, but we see the characters overcome it.

Carrie Preston, Actress, True Blood, The Good Wife

The New Harmony Project honors a landscape scored with the history of drams and dreamers by cherishing writers who help us embrace the complexity of life with a vision of hope and a belief in the resiliency of the human spirit.

Paul Walsh, NHP Artistic Director, 2007-2012

Having been a professional actor for over 30 years, there are virtually so few places where writers can be nurtured and supported in an environment that is absent of producers and commercial pressures. And the New Harmony Project is one of the preeminent stops for playwrights who need time to nurture their craft.

Dede Lovejoy, Actress

We aim to foster the growth of new plays that reflect the breadth and diversity of the world we live in - the challenges, the revelations and the hopes of American life today.

Mead K. Hunter, NHP Artistic Director, 2013-Present

New Harmony reminds us all that this craziness is just unnatural. They push the process in the absolute opposite direction, with the assumption that when a writer feels safe and supported by the entire community - actors, directors, dramaturgs - the work will sing.

Theresa Rebeck, Writer, NBC's SmashDead Accounts, Mauritius, Seminar

I didn't consider what a wonderful experience it would be working with people who were trying to create art that offers hope and solace. Sometimes "hopeful" stories are the opposite, because they don't consider the reality or the scope of the problems they address. But I found all of the work at the Project to be honest, forthright, and realistic in its consideration of the obstacles facing us. That was remarkably inspiring.

Rebecca Gilman, Writer, Spinning into Butter, Boy Gets Girl

My favorite cliché is a "creative community". I've read about them since I was a child. I read about Bloomsbury, Gertrude Stein's salon... Algonquin's Round Table. And I stepped into my very own here at The New Harmony Project.

Melissa Manchester, Singer/Composer

It’s whispered about backstage at shows across the country and described as an escape for actors, directors, writers and theater production professionals to develop, create and be inspired. The New Harmony Project is the best kept secret in new theater and screenplay development and has provided writers with a two-week creative retreat in the historic town for 29 years now.

Kelly Gifford, Evansville Courier & Press

I think what they do and what they do really well at NHP is that they make room for each individual writer’s process.

Lee Blessing, Writer/Director, A Walk in the Woods, Eleemosynary


The New Harmony Project has served over 200 writers over the years in our effort to cultivate works of promise and support artists. NHP frequently invites its alumni and other supporters back to the annual conference to further their engagement and relationship with the project. Many of our alumni have gone onto win awards and have their works experience full production on regional, national, and international stages.

 Dan O’Brien – The Body of an American

Dan O’Brien developed The Body of An American at the 2012 New Harmony Project conference. This work recently received the coveted Horton Foote Prize and prestigious Edward M. Kennedy for Drama Award, which is given to writers whose work is inspired by American history. It was also shortlisted for Evening Standard’s Charles Wintour Ward for Most Promising Playwright. Mr. O’Brien’s play is currently being produced nationwide and received its international debut at London’s Gate Theatre in the United Kingdom.

George Brant’s work Grounded was developed at the 2012 New Harmony Project conference. Mr. Brant’s piece received the 2012 Smith Prize for new play on a political theme, and has been produced at both national and international levels. Grounded completed a wildly successful run at The Public Theatre in 2015 starring Anne Hathaway and directed by Julie Taymor. It was recently announced that a screenplay adaptation was in the works for a film version, starring Anne Hathaway.

 George Brant – Grounded


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