The New Colony develops NEW ART and NEW ARTISTS in order to educate and build NEW AUDIENCES
The New Colony develops content for many of our new plays and musicals using our own collaborative workshop process. Starting with nothing more than a concept or brief outline, The New Colony draws from the ensemble's areas of expertise and begins early development of a project by exploring all of the moving parts before we put anything on paper.

For our Mainstage productions, this often starts in the form of a short story with rough character sketches. The production's ensemble and creative team are selected based on the needs of the story, and together they and the company embark on a four to six month process that will result in a full-scale production.

Our process is grounded in the idea that there are three fields of creative expertise in any production:

1. The actors are experts in who the characters are and how they think and feel at any given moment. We believe that since the actor will be immersing themselves in the character every rehearsal and every performance, then they will inherently understand these characters on a level that even the playwright will never know. With that in mind, we begin the development process by empowering our actors to develop their characters and inform the playwright and director of who these people are. Once we enter the scripting phase, the actors are then charged with the responsibility of letting the playwright know when they have written something that isn't true for their character, or to give the playwright information that may help make scenes more true and result in the story arc necessary to the character's place in the story.

2. The playwrights are the experts on the story. They know what is being told, why there is a need to tell it and how to shape it. As information is generated by the actors, playwrights use the development process to ask questions and start conversations they need to have before beginning to write their script. They also "know what they don't know" and can utilize the actors' deep understanding of their characters to fill in the holes in their story and script. Ultimately, the playwright becomes a sort of fictional documentarian. Using the actors, their research and their characters, the playwright is able to carefully pull what they need, graciously discard what they do not, and move forward with writing their first draft with these actors in mind.

3. The directors and designers are experts on the audience experience. They are the only ones who get to truly see the project from the outside. Their feedback and input is all based on how the experience would feel for the audience. For the director, that means helping the playwright to tell their story in a way that is compelling to the audience. Similarly, the director helps the actors to fully realize their characters on stage. So the director ends up being the facilitator between the story teller and their characters, moving back and forth between the two parties to help fuse them into the best audience experience possible. The designers then take on the role of finding the non-verbal needs of the story, and using their own expertise to help the playwright's story come to life in ways that even dialogue cannot express.