The Orchard Project is a leading American institution committed to the to creation of bold new work by the most innovative artists from the US and around the world. Committed to providing neccesary support to theater makers and other artists at the forefront of their form, the organization's pivotal role in promoting new voices is undisputed through its work at the Orchard Project, its summer accelerator, which has propelled over 250 ideas to production in ten years. We are committed to providing necessary support to theater makers and other artists at the forefront of their form, as well as on building diverse audiences and educating young members of the theater community.


To cultivate bold, theatrical ideas that inform, inspire, and provoke conversation, and to support the voices and artists making work at the forefront of the form. 


The Orchard Project is the current name of the organization once known as the Jean Cocteau Repertory, which was originally founded founded in 1971. The organization was put under the Artistic Direction of Ari Edelson in 2007, where its name was changed to the Exchange, and eventually, the Orchard Project. 

Abby Marcus
Staff/Board: staff
Abby Marcus
Managing Director
Ari Edelson


Ari Edelson is a director and producer who has worked both in the United States and internationally, from off-Broadway to London to Tokyo, working in the fields of plays, musicals, and opera. He is also the co-founder of Culture Craver, a tech company that helps people discover culture they'll love. Ari graduated from Yale University and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Staff/Board: staff, board
Ari Edelson
Artistic Director
James Kennedy


James Kennedy is a playwright, director, and composer based in New York City who has been a member of the Orchard Project team since 2015 and is a Core Company alumnus. His work has been produced at Actors Theatre of Louisvile, Williamstown, Playing for Others, and Superhero Clubhouse, among others. He holds a degree in theatre from Emerson College.

Staff/Board: staff
James Kennedy
Artistic Associate, Education and Outreach
Staff/Board: staff
Mary Birnbaum
NYC Greenhouse Curator
Mia is an actor and artist based in New York City. She has been a member of the Orchard Project team since 2017 and is a Core Company alumnus. As an actor she has been seen on BBC Scotland, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Mint Theater Company, 59E59, and Virginia Shakespeare Festival. She holds a BFA from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Staff/Board: staff
Mia Hutchinson-Shaw
Episodic Lab Coordinator
NYC-based playwright/actor/producer. Recent playwriting work includes Why We Have Book Club (3 Days Prior, De Frente Productions), Dear College, (Lionheart New Works Festival, Award for Playwriting), Missed Connections, (Manhattan Repertory Theatre: Fall One Act Competition Winner), and Juliet and the Falcons (Northlight Educational Theatre). Her play Double Tap was a semifinalist for the National Playwrights' Conference. As an actor, she has worked with Goodman Theatre, Timeline Theatre, and Rave Festival, among others. University of North Carolina School of the Arts: BFA Drama. New Play Exchange: Grace Parker.
Staff/Board: staff
Grace Parker
Artistic Liaison
Rachel B. Karp is a NY based producer and director. She is a Resident Artist and founding producer with the Brooklyn-based production company 3DaysPrior (3daysprior.com). She is a Core Company 2016 alumnus, and has worked with the Orchard Project every summer since. Rachel holds a B.S. in Theater and English from Skidmore College, and has trained at the Moscow Art Theater School. rachelbkarp.com
Staff/Board: staff
Rachel Karp
Associate Producer
Sophie Blumberg is a NYC-based creative producer and dramaturg. Some of her favorite places that she has worked include Octopus Theatricals, CalArts Center for New Performance, TeatrStudio (Warsaw), Goodman Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and REDCAT. She holds an MFA in Creative Producing from the California Institute of the Arts.
Staff/Board: staff
Sophie Blumberg
Creative Almanac Producer