Do I have to pay for the retreat?
No. All expenses are covered. All you have to pay for is your travel to the nearest city (San Francisco or San Antonio, currently). We will organize all ground transportation from the airport to the retreat site.
Would I have to stay for the entire retreat?
Absolutely. Barring emergencies, everyone needs to arrive and leave the retreat location together. This communality is an integral part of the experience.
I have food allergies/restrictions. Can those be accommodated?
Almost certainly. We will ask for this information from you during the confirmation process.
Can I expect to finish an already started project during the retreat?
No. Participants have learned over the years that coming in open to completely new work, without plans or expectations, yields by far the best experience. This is a rare opportunity to write in what may be a new way for you, using a new process of silence and the curated prompts and exercises. Trying to write something you already have in mind will conflict with that process and may prove frustrating and less productive.
Is the retreat for playwrights only?
Traditionally the retreats have been for accomplished playwrights and will continue to consist mainly of playwrights. However, if you are an artist practicing in a related discipline, and feel this writing retreat is right for you, we welcome your application.
Is there internet access at either retreat?
There is limited wireless internet at both retreat centers which you can access if you truly need to. The idea is to refrain as much as possible though, and not to let anyone else know if you are using it.
Will I be able to Skype/talk to my family during the retreat?
Not recommended. Generally speaking, committing to what our retreat leader Erik Ehn has called the “fellowship of silence” and disconnecting from your life has always been a part of what makes these retreats work. And there are practical obstacles. At both retreats, sound travels in the living quarters, and it would not be possible to have a conversation without breaking the silence. Lack of cell signals rules out taking a walk to talk to family, or makes it at best unreliable.
We know this can be difficult for some, and it may be that if you are unable to disconnect for a week to ten days, this may not be the right time for you to do a silent retreat. All that said, if you’ve been invited to come and you’re concerned about this, talk to us.
I have a physical disability. Are the locations accessible?
The Texas location unfortunately is not wheelchair accessible. Green Gulch Farm common areas are accessible, and one guest room is, though it may or may not be available during our retreat. If you need accessible accommodations, let us know (email us) when you apply, and we will do our best.