“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 to 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


Applications for the 2019 Working Farm are closed. Please check back in the late summer/early fall of 2019 for applications to the 2020 Working Farm.

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 (May 28th-June 2nd and September 17th-22nd, 2019). The writers’ remaining residency weeks are scheduled during the following Creative Residency weeks:

    June 10th-15th June 17th-22nd                July 8th-July 13th
  July 22nd-27th  July 15th-July 20th  September 9th-14th
October 7th-12th    

During their additional stays, Working Farm writers may invite a collaborator (e.g. a director, designer, dramaturg, actor) to join them on the farm, 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 6 hours of their time-in-residence to Ryder Farm and participate in short, informal sharings of the work accomplished while in residence.

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.

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.


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 May 28th-June 2nd, 2019 and September 17th-22nd, 2019.

Applicants must be available for at least three of the following weeks:  June 10th-15th, June 17th-22nd, July 8th-July 13th, July 15th-July 20th, July 22nd-27th, September 9th-14th, October 7th-12th.

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 2019 programs, with the exception of the Season Extension Residency.


Watch our online info session video with John Baker, SPACE's Director of Artistic Programs, to learn more about SPACE residencies and how to best represent your work in your application.

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 Fund, 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.