Artist Retreat

Playwrighting Retreat

Four BIPOC artists stand on a deck in front of Lake Anna. Picture taken during Spring 2022 artist retreat.

Each spring Unexpected Stage hosts four writers at its annual Playwrights’ Retreat in support of BIPOC playwrights.

The retreat takes place on scenic Lake Anna, to provide playwrights time to develop work in a peaceful, picturesque setting. 

In the months following the retreat, playwrights participating in the retreat will have the option to participate in a workshop of their new work.

As an organization, we are working to be actively anti-racist, and are prioritizing efforts to address the lack of representation for playwrights of color. Unexpected Stage believes targeted support is vital to creating a culture of equity, access, and inclusion.

Space is limited. Playwrights are asked to provide their own food during their stay, but otherwise there is no cost to the attendee. All attendees must be fully vaccinated.

For more information about the retreat, or to learn how to apply , please email We look forward to hearing from you!



Unexpected Stage has hosted multidisciplinary retreats since 2017, giving creative time and space for photographers, writers, directors, dancers, and puppeteers among others. The date of the next multidisciplinary retreat is TBD — if you are interested in more information about this opportunity, or to be notified when the retreat is scheduled, please email

Past artists for Unexpected Stage retreats have included…

Samuel Harps, Playwright

Melani Douglass, Playwright/Poet

Joseph Kennedy, Playwright

Denise J Hart, Playwright

Maria Cristina Garcia, Playwright

Kyosin Kang, Performer

Audrey Cefaly, Playwright

Michael Glaser, Former Poet Laureate of Maryland   

Kathleen Akerly, Artistic Director of Longacre Lea

Le Hinton, Poet, Featured in Best American Poetry 2014

Alex Vernon and Sarah Olmsted Thomas, Puppeteers

A campfire in front of a lodge