Kathy Evans created the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat in 2011, which provides weeklong retreats to musical theatre writing teams to develop their musicals in the Hudson Valley. In its first four years, over 70 writers participated, including Laura Eason, Joe Iconis, Michael Friedman, Andrew Gerle, Jenny Giering, Itamar Moses, Duncan Sheik, Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Alex Timbers, and Valerie Vigoda. Several musicals developed in Rhinebeck have been produced at major theaters across the country, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Second Stage, and TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. Before founding RWR, Kathy was Executive Director of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) for nine years. Under her leadership, NAMT’s membership grew to 150 organizations, representing some of the leading producers of musical theater around the world. At NAMT, Kathy raised $2.1 million to support new works programs, produced 17 conferences, and oversaw the annual Festival of New Musicals. Many of the NAMT Festival shows went on to commercial and critical acclaim, including The Drowsy Chaperone, I Love You Because, It Shoulda Been You, Ordinary Days, See Rock City and Other Destinations, and The Story of My Life.
Before devoting her career to musical theatre, Kathy worked in several media corporations. She was Executive Director at Scholastic Entertainment where she was responsible for worldwide video distribution, exceeding 2 million units in sales, and for the Webby award-winning web sites for Scholastic’s television division. She worked at Sony Pictures for five years heading up Programming and Promotion for international video, when revenues grew five-fold to $350 million. She also was a consultant to Viacom, WLIW, and Time Out New York.
Kathy has served on numerous arts boards and panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Samuel French’s first Advisory Board, and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Kathy received an MBA from Columbia University and a BA from Harvard College.