What’s happening this week on Ryder Farm? Four artists, two new projects, and a public showing on July 19! Get to know the new artists in residence and the projects they will be working on this week.


Young Jean Lee—


Photo by Ruby Washington, New York Times


Young Jean Lee is an OBIE award-winning playwright and director who has been called “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by the New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. She has written and directed nine shows in New York with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and toured her work to over twenty citirs around the world. Her plays have been published by Theatre Communications Group (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays, The Shipment and Lear) and by Samuel French (Three Plays by Young Jean Lee). She is currently under commission by Plan B/Paramount Pictures, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwright’s Horizons, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a member of New Dramatists and 13P and has an MFA from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program at Brooklyn College. She has received grants from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, Creative Capital, NYFA, NEA, NYSCA, the Jerome Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, and Rockefeller MAP Foundation. She is also the recipient of two OBIE awards, the Festival Prize of the Zuercher Theater Spektakel, a 2010 Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Lee plans to work on the first draft of her new play, Straight White Men, on the farm.


Matthew Strother, Max Sturm & Joe Alessi—


Matthew Strother(Writer, Actor, Executive Producer) is a graduate of Yale College where he majored in English Lit and directed many plays, including The Importance of Being Earnest at The Yale Rep. His work has also been seen at The Flea Theater, the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Hangar Theatre, and other places you wouldn’t know. In 2010, Matthew bankrupted himself financially and emotionally by taking an original work to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Afterwards, he realized the real-life story of his efforts to create the play were far more interesting than the play he created. Ever since, he has been collaborating with 60.46 Productions on a feature film script inspired by his Edinburgh experience. The current working title is The Man Who Was Thursday.

Max Sturm (Writer, Director, Producer) is a graduate of Vassar College where he concentrated in Psychology and Drama. He has also studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His films have aired on PBS and have been showcased at Anthology Film Archives associated with the Angelika Film Center in New York City. A co-founder of 60.46 Productions, Max is presently in post-production on the documentary Opera Kids, pre-production on Indianapolis (a short film adaptation of one of Sam Shepard’s short stories) and in the writing phase of a few feature films (including The Man Who Was Thursday). A sampling of both his documentary and narrative work can be found at: www.sixtyfortysix.com

Joe Alessi (Writer, Director, Producer) studied history and drama at Yale. He has credited roles in The Manchurian Candidate, Rachel Getting Married, and he served as production consultant on the documentary Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains. In 2010, he starred in the Summit Records spoken album of Stravinsky's A Soldier’s Tale, which received a five-star review in AllMusic guide. He is a co-founder of 60.46 Productions, where he is currently developing documentaries, shorts, and feature films (including The Man Who Was Thursday).

On July 19 at 6:30pm, SPACE will open its doors to the community for a public showing. Strother, Sturm, and Alessi will discuss their film The Man Who Was Thursday in development at the farm. In addition to their work on The Man Who Was Thursday, Joe, Max, and Matt are in the midst of developing two other projects. Opera Kids is a documentary that follows a fifth grade class on their yearlong journey to create an original opera. 42 ten-year olds develop the story, compose the music, write the lyrics, design the sets, lights, costumes and makeup, publicize the show and perform it. “Indianapolis, Highway 74” is a film adaptation of a short story by Sam Shepard (published in “The New Yorker” and in his collection “Day Out of Days”) about a man driving through a blizzard and a woman searching for her family. After 40 years apart, the pair of once lovers collide at a Holiday Inn with just one room available.

In addition, Sydney Shepherd and Alec Shaw, two of SPACE’s own interns, will be performing live music. Sydney and Alec will be entering their senior year at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts BFA Drama Program this fall. Sydney is an accomplished vocalist and cellist, and also plays the banjo, lap dulcimer, guitar, dulcijo, piano, and Celtic harp. She is working on releasing her first EP, Gypsy Life. Alec is a pianist, guitarist, trombonist, and writer who enjoys finding new creative outlets with friends.

A talkback followed by farm-fresh bites will follow the entertainment. Suggested donation is $15.00. Check out www.spaceonryderfarm.com to learn more!