The Writers’ Room

Production shot of At the Old Place, a work developed by Rachel Bonds over a four-month residency at the Arden Theatre Company. Photo by Mark Garvin.

The Arden Theatre Company launched The Writers’ Room, a playwright residency program to give audiences behind-the-scenes access to the creative process of a theater production. Initial playwrights invited to the program, Wendy McLeod and Rachel Bonds, received monetary support, as well as six weeks of writing time toward a new play, followed by four weeks of development and rehearsal and a two-week production at the Arden. The Arden offered patrons access to each phase of the residency: attendance at a script reading, an observation of the rehearsal process, and conversations with the playwright and producer. These opportunities to engage with the playwrights were meant to cultivate greater interest among Arden patrons in the production of new plays and instill an overall sense of ownership among general audiences in the work. The new residency program also inspired open exchange within the company, as the Arden’s artistic, marketing, and development departments worked together at each stage of the process, toward the common goal of promoting the project.

Michael Hollinger is the Arden’s third playwright-in-residence. A play he develops during his residency will premiere in the Arden’s 2014/15 season.1


Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded through 2013 following which a new funding category, Advancement grants, was introduced to support substantial long-term organizational development. Learn more>>.

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia connects the region’s arts organizations and for-profit businesses.

In December 2012, the Center welcomed Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, who introduced the findings of a new report, “Arts Organizations and Digital Technologies.”

Yancey considers whether arts organizations be expected to approach their businesses with the same degree of courage and creativity that they expect of presenting artists.

In fall 2011, the Association for Public Art was featured in USA Today Travel as “the main reason Philadelphia is now said to have more public art than any other city.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

Dr. Ian Bogost is a video game designer, critic, and researcher. In fall 2012, he visited the Center as part of a series on “gamification” in the arts and culture sector.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Janine Antoni creates work in performance art, sculpture, and photography.

AUX Curatorial Fellow Jamillah James will moderate a conversation between Philadelphia-based artists Salem Collo-Julin and Maria Dumlao.

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will identify and implement optimal strategies for integrating contemporary art into all areas of the museum’s work and connecting with 21st-century audiences.

Grants & Grantees

Juggler, playwright, and solo theater artist Sara Felder developed and produced the world premiere of a whimsical theatrical reflection on art, aging, and grief.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Sarah Stolfa is executive director of Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.

This project investigated various issues surrounding (co-)authorship in cultural production, asking questions around definitions of authorship, collaboration, audience participation, the influence of marketplace, and other concepts.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Linda Shearer has been the Executive Director of Houston’s Project Row Houses since 2009.