“SPACE on Ryder Farm changed me. I really dropped into my writing in a new way that I could not do before. The Working Farm arrived at exactly the right time for me, and I am grateful every day. SPACE is a beautiful, rigorous, thoughtful place. A place to ask questions, take risks, be heard and listen. Their radical generosity and commitment to excellence fostered a fierce and loving drive in me to make stronger work.”

- Erin Courtney, The Working Farm ‘17


Apply for the 2020 Working Farm!
The deadline to apply to the 2020 Working Farm is November 6th, 2019 at 11:59pm EST

The Working Farm, SPACE’s resident writers’ group, offers eight playwrights, composers, lyricists and/or librettists five fully-subsidized residency weeks on Ryder Farm during the course of the June-October season. While in residence, the artists each focus on developing a single new work and are strongly encouraged to structure their days and weeks to best suit the needs of their project.

The eight Working Farm writers are in residence together twice over the course of the season (June 1st-June 6th and September 15th-September 20th). The writers’ remaining residency weeks are scheduled during the following Creative Residency weeks:

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During their additional stays, Working Farm writers may invite a collaborator (e.g. a director, designer, dramaturg, actor) to join them on the farm for a day, subject to availability.

During their time on the farm, The Working Farm writers are housed in Ryder Farm’s historic buildings, served three daily farm-fresh communal meals and provided with artistic and administrative resources.

While at SPACE, the only requirements of The Working Farm are that they join in the three communal meals daily, “give back” 3-4 hours per week of their time-in-residence to Ryder Farm and participate in short, informal sharings of the work accomplished while in residence.

All Working Farm residencies are fully-subsidized. Residents cover their travel to and from the farm. For reference, a round-trip off-peak Metro North ticket from Grand Central Terminal to Brewster Terminal is $30.00. Transportation between the Brewster Terminal and Ryder Farm is provided by the SPACE team on the first and last days of the residency.

The Roving Dinner

One of the highlights of The Working Farm is The Roving Dinner, which occurs during the group’s September residency week. During this celebration of The Working Farm writers, excerpts of the eight SPACE-developed works are paired with an eight-course farm-fresh meal and performed at eight historic locations around Ryder Farm.

The Working Farm Reading Series

Following the five-week residency at Ryder Farm, Working Farm members are offered the opportunity to present a public reading of their SPACE-developed project through SPACE’s partnership with Playwrights Horizons. These readings customarily take place in the winter or early spring.


Applications for the 2019 season are due November 6th, 2019 at 11:59PM EST. Before applying, please review the guidelines below as well as the FAQ page. If you have questions about applying to SPACE, please contact us at residencies@spaceonryderfarm.org.

Semi-finalists will be notified by late December 2019. Finalists will be interviewed in February and March 2020. Final decisions will be made by early April 2020.


All Working Farm applicants must be at least 18 years old. 

Applicants cannot apply as a writing team.

Applicants must be available to be in residence at SPACE June 1st-June 6th, 2020 and September 15th-September 20th, 2020

Applicants must be available for at least three of the following weeks: June 15th-20th, July 27th-August 1st, August 3rd-8th, August 17th-22nd, August 24th-29th, August 31st-September 5th, October 5th-October 10th, 2020.

Previous members of The Working Farm cannot reapply for the program.

Applicants cannot be listed on any other SPACE applications as a primary applicant for any of our other 2020 programs.


Watch our informational session from September 17th on the SPACE on Ryder Farm Facebook page. On Wednesday, October 16th from 6:30-8:30pm we will host an in-person informational session at 440 Lafayette Street, New York, NY. Registration is required for the in-person session -- please click HERE to RSVP.

Have further questions? Check out this FAQ.

Still have questions? Write to us at residencies@spaceonryderfarm.org.

The Working Farm 2019


2018: Will Arbery, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Dave Harris, Antoinette Nwandu, Michael Thurber, Anne Washburn, Stefanie Zadravec

2017: Kevin Armento, Erin Courtney, Emily Feldman, CA Johnson, Ethan Lipton, Charly Simpson, Shaina Taub, Andrea Thome

2016: Eliza Bent, Adam Bock, Alex Borinsky, Cusi Cram, Daisy Foote, Ryan King, Basil Kreimendahl, James Tyler

2015: Heidi Armbruster, Rob Askins, Jeff Augustin, Clare Barron, David Cale, Sam Hunter, Boo Killebrew

2014: Rachel Bonds, Suzanne Heathcote, Dan Lefranc, Max Posner, Jen Silverman, Mfoniso Udofia, Joe Waechter

2013: Sarah Burgess, Madeleine George, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Justin Kuritzkes, Greg Moss, Erika Sheffer, Mat Smart


"The Working Farm offered me an abundance of time, which allowed for me to take a lot of deep breaths and to write a new play that slowly emerged and found its way on the page. The long walks through the trees and the long sits by the lake along with time around the dinner table grounded me so I could then let myself go in the writing."

- Charly Simpson, The Working Farm ‘17


The Working Farm is supported in part by the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.