Summer Program Application Guidelines

Summer Program 2012

Application deadline:  Friday, March 30, 2012 at 5pm

Program Dates

The 2012 Summer Program runs from July 16 to August 19.

Application Requirements

Admission to the program is by selection only. All applicants to the Summer Program are asked to submit the following materials online only; there are no exceptions.  The Watermill Center uses Slideroom to gather applications and work samples for its International Summer Program.

The Application will be available online starting December 5, 2011 at:

There is a $10 USD fee per proposal.  Payment is accepted on the Slideroom website. If you are unable to make this payment for any reason, please notify us by using the Contact form and selecting "Summer program". 

Specific application instructions are available step-by-step via Slideroom. The sections include: Personal Info, Questions, References, Letter of Motivation & Resume/CV, and Media uploads.  Media samples should include current photograph/headshot and worksamples. Wherever possible, video work samples are strongly recommended. For any technical assistance during the process, please contact  If you have any work samples that are not electronic that you would like to include, please write to to determine if the items are appropriate for the application process.
Applicants will be contacted via e-mail upon receipt of their application. Final admission status will be announced at the beginning of May 2012. 

About the Program

During the Summer Program, every artist works collaboratively across SITE SPECIFIC EVENTS, PERFORMING ARTS PROJECT WORKSHOPS, DESIGN PROJECT WORKSHOPS as well as lectures, landscaping and design/build projects. Artists apply as individuals and work across the programmed projects and events.

The first two weeks focus on the realization of an evening of installations and performances staged across the entire eight acres. Throughout the following three weeks, each day the artists split their time across the total program listed above. All work is delivered through mentorship of Robert Wilson, his collaborators and a cross-section of multi-disciplinary producers and specialist within a workshop environment.

About Watermill

Click HERE to read The Watermill Center Mission Statement.

For the past 18 years, one of the most important programs of The Watermill Center has been the International Summer Program led by Artistic Director Robert Wilson. Each summer approximately 65 artists from over 25 countries gather at Watermill for five weeks of intense creative exploration and artistic development. The Summer Program provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists to learn from established professionals in a laboratory environment.  This program requires everyone, regardless of experience, to live and work communally; assisting in chores, cooking, gardening, construction or collection maintenance.  This approach is crucial to understanding the collaborative working process and respecting shared resources.

With the opening of its new building in 2006, the Center became a year-round performing arts laboratory for emerging artists. Expanded programs in the spring and fall include workshops and classes, artist residencies, conferences and lectures, and a variety of local and international educational partnership programs. Watermill collaborates with institutions such as Park Avenue Armory, Kampnagel Hamburg, CUNY's Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, ArteEast, Performa, Taipei Cultural Center, Chez Bushwick, CPR – Center for Performance Research, New York Theater Workshop, Summer Play Festival, MRI - Métamatic Research Initiative and RADIALSYSTEM V in Berlin.
The Center seamlessly combines performance and rehearsal sites with working and communal living spaces. Its flexible and multi-purpose interiors house formal and informal performance spaces, the Watermill Art Collection, a selection of Robert Wilson's own furniture designs, an extensive reference library, kitchen facilities, and a dormitory.
The Center is situated on six acres of wooded and landscaped grounds in a rural environment. The Center is located in Water Mill, New York (Southampton, Long Island), approximately two hours by car from New York City and JFK airport.
The Facility
The Watermill Center is about living and working as a community, so it is necessary that everyone shares responsibilities. Respecting the building, the site, fellow artists, and the rest of the Watermill community is integral to a successful experience. 
Participants receive access to an extensive collection of resources central to the Watermill experience: ongoing apprenticeships and daily workshops with Robert Wilson and his collaborators; lectures on various subjects from theatre and opera innovation, installation, design, and science led by international cultural luminaries, established artists, and scientists; opportunities to develop new work for public presentation during the annual Watermill Summer Benefit and Discover Watermill Day; access to 20,000 square feet of rehearsal/performance/design spaces; a theater production archive; a 6,000 volume library; outdoor stages; the Watermill Art Collection; and the Center’s landscaped grounds.
In addition to workshops, all participants share in the responsibilities of daily life: housekeeping, cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the Watermill grounds and gardens. Daily physical labor, including landscaping and the construction of site-specific installations, is an integral part of the Summer Program. This live/work environment reflects the Watermill idea that an artist works differently in an environment that he or she has helped to create and maintain.
All participants are lodged in shared rooms in either the Center's dormitory or rented summer houses. Shared vans are provided for transport to and from the Center. All participants spend the entire day (from 9am to 10pm, seven days a week) at the Center. All meals are prepared with trained chefs and served at the Center.