Live & In Color (formerly The Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat) is a creative home for faces and stories that reflect today’s beautiful, multicultural and landscape. They develop new work for the stage that promotes and celebrates diversity in theatre. Emphasizing non-traditional casting, multi-ethnic participants, and bold theatricality, LIC offers unique development opportunities for new plays and musicals that encourage dialogue among artists from a variety of cultures. Their 2016 writer in residence, Masi Asare, described the company and the retreat as “…nothing short of miraculous.”
Live & In Color centers around an annual two-week retreat at The Bingham Camp in Salem, CT. Each season, participants work on the development of a new musical and a new play. It culminates in a presentation to an invited audience of local supporters, national art advocates and other professionals. Live & in Color thrives under the artistic direction of Devanand Janki who has a personal connection to the Bingham Camp. Devanand is a New York-based Director and Choreographer who grew up spending summers at The Bingham Camp. His career spans all facets of the performing arts including theatre, opera, ballet and corporate entertainment. He began as a performer, appearing in numerous productions including Broadway’s Miss Saigon, Cats, The King & I, and Side Show. For the past 15 years, he has been a freelance director working regionally and in New York on over 50 shows including Aladdin, Junie B. Jones, Man of La Mancha, Rent, The Full Monty and Off-Broadway’s Zanna Don’t for which he won the Lucille Lortel Award. His passion has always been creating new work for the stage. He is excited that The Bingham Camp, which inspired so much of his own creativity, is now a home for other theatre professionals.
This creative environment is collaborative and supportive with the ultimate goal of creating high-quality work that has potential to be produced commercially so its message can reach larger audiences. The quietude of the countryside around The Bingham Camp offers the opportunity for participants to work without the interruption and distraction of a city. All artists receive a stipend plus on-site housing and meals.
Their mission is simple:
We envision an American Theatre where established and aspiring artists of color have generous opportunities to practice their craft, on- and offstage.
What Live & In Color offers writers
In pursuit of this goal, Live & In Color will:
- Provide a safe, beautiful space in Salem, CT where artists can gather to develop new works that give voice to under-represented communities;
- Engage the communities of Salem, New York City and the American Theatre in dialogue, to advance the stories and artists associated with Live & In Color;
- Offer youth opportunities to learn from leaders in the field, in creative and administrative capacities that support our programs.
From the many submissions that pour in each year, we select a play and a musical to workshop and develop. Once selected, the writers get to work, collaborating with staff to further develop the piece usually with workshops in New York City.
When September arrives, artists from New York City and across the country join with local artists from the Connecticut community to begin working to bring the shows to life. The company connects through shared meals, cooking, exploring the outdoors, and creating together. Over the two weeks, they rehearse and collaborate at the camp, bringing together their diverse experiences to strengthen and explore the piece. Writers also have opportunities to engage with the community through events such as cabaret night and outreach events with local elementary schools and universities. In addition, there are opportunities for readings and exploration of other work while on-site. Resident artists are encouraged to bring other forms of art, such as music, writing or drawing to explore during downtime at the retreat.
Along with the retreat, Live & In Color offers educational internships designed for young arts administrators and stage managers. This program gives young professionals the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a professional non-profit arts organization. Working alongside established professionals in the industry, our interns get first hand experience in the field, strengthening their skills and giving them practical hands-on experiences to build their resume and confidence as they head in to the workplace. These interns live and work alongside the company during the two weeks adding to the collaboration and community and are able to work in social media, event production, company management and much more. We also conduct an educational community outreach program. Through this, we invite local students and teachers from surrounding areas to the readings and presentations during the retreat. Afterwards, lively discussion ensues, touching on the themes and impact of each year’s show, including diversity, the artist as citizen and the artistic process.
Celebrating Diversity in Theatre
At the beginning of the year, Live & In Color begins looking for playwrights, composers, and lyricists of color interested in developing their new musical or play. Staying true to the commitment to celebrating diversity in theatre, the work must be able to be performed with a multiethnic cast. The winning musical submission will have a two-week workshop this fall at The Bingham Camp in Salem, Connecticut culminating in a staged presentation to an invited audience and the winning play submission will have a one-week development period this fall at The Bingham Camp in Salem, Connecticut culminating in a reading for an invited audience.
Our productions have gone on to be produced in New York City and across the country at regional theatres. These productions have included: Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical, Present Perfect, The Home We Left Behind, Pangaea, Invictus Mingus, The Family Resemblance, The Galilee House, Call it Courage and Esspy.
Live & In Color was named one of SDC’s “Top 10 Standout Moments” for diversity in theatre and inclusion and hopes to carry on this mission.
We hope that through our work, we may inspire and create more diversity in theatre works that can be produced on Broadway and beyond all while creating a strong and vibrant community through the musicals we develop, the friendships we create and be the change we hope to inspire in the artistic community.
Are you ready to change the story?
The musical must be able to be performed with 4 actors or less.
All submissions should include:
- Single page synopsis
- Single page character breakdown
- Demo of score (2-3 songs)
- Sample of dialogue (~10 pages)
- Brief production/development history (properties with prior full productions not accepted.)
Deadline: March 31, 2021
All digital materials or any questions must be sent to [email protected]