Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency Announces David Cale as Inaugural Resident
David Cale headshot
David Cale. Photo by Albie Mitchell.

The Community Library of Ketchum, ID is pleased to announce the Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency, a special initiative within the Library’s Hemingway writer-in-residence program, presented in association with Sawtooth Productions and The Argyros Performing Arts Center.

The Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency is pioneering a radically new approach to supporting playwrights and the development of their new work. Annually, the initiative focuses on an individual playwright who receives a $10,000 commission to foster a single project from nascent idea to developed new work over the course of a year.

The Residency begins each October with the Library hosting the recipient playwright for a month-long residency in a studio apartment at the historic Ernest and Mary Hemingway House and Preserve in Ketchum. During their stay, the playwright will begin developing an original, full-length commissioned work for the stage. Over the course of the subsequent year, they will continue writing the piece with support from the Library, Sawtooth Productions, and the initiative’s Artistic Director, John Baker, a New York City-based new play dramaturg and producer. The following October, the playwright will return to Idaho to participate in a developmental workshop of the commission with local and national theatre artists, culminating with a public reading of the play at The Argyros Performing Arts Center. During both visits, the playwright will engage with the local community through other events, conversations, and receptions.

For its inaugural year, the Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency welcomes Obie Award-winning playwright, performer, and DG member David Cale. Cale’s works have included solo performances as well as collaborations for musicals, dance, and recording artists. As an actor, Cale has appeared in television and film, and he performed on Broadway in The Threepenny Opera and off-Broadway, most notably in The Total Bent and Mouth to Mouth.

Cale’s most recent works include the solo play, Harry Clarke, starring Billy Crudup, for which Cale received the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. His solo musical memoir We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time, co-composed with Matthew Dean Marsh, received the 2019 Jeff Award for Best New Musical, a 2020 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, and a 2020 Obie Award, among others.

While in residence at the Hemingway House, Cale will write and develop a new work centered on the connection between a reclusive Idaho artist and a New York City woman who discovers his work and the transformative effect of the relationship on both their lives.

“With the Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency, we are combining local and national resources to galvanize positive change that will have an impact on artists, the Wood River Valley community, and the national theatre landscape,” says Baker. “I’m so incredibly thrilled to welcome David Cale—an artist whose work is surreal, vivid, dark, and funny—as the inaugural resident. I’ve known and admired David and his work for years, and I cannot wait for the Wood River Valley to get to know him and vice versa.”

In addition to being an acclaimed dramatist and performer, Cale is also a prolific photographer. During his residency, Cale will share selected images that were featured at his recent solo photography exhibition, The Smiling Squirrels of Tompkins Square Park. The exhibition premiered in 2021 at The Wild Project Gallery in New York City and will be on display in the Library’s Treehouse during the month of October. The Library will host an outdoor reception and conversation with Cale on Monday, October 4, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the Library’s Cimino Plaza outside the Children’s Library to introduce Cale to the community and celebrate his exhibit.

The community will also have the opportunity to view Cale in action on October 29 at The Argyros for a work-in-progress preview of Sandra, his newest solo play. For this one-time-only presentation, Cale will read the role of Sandra, a café owner in Brooklyn whose closest friend goes missing in Mexico. After flying to Puerto Vallarta to try to track down his whereabouts, Sandra’s search for clues leads her into both a highly charged love affair and increasingly dangerous territory. Sandra will have its World Premiere off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City in Spring 2022. Admission to the reading is free, and tickets may be reserved through The Argyros beginning September 22.

The Community Library is a privately funded public library serving the Wood River Valley of central Idaho. Its mission is to bring information, ideas, and individuals together to enhance the cultural life of the community. The Hemingway Writer-in-Residence program is a signature initiative to support and cultivate literary work in a place that Hemingway loved. Since the launch of the residency program in 2019, it has hosted screenwriters, poets, novelists, essayists, journalists, academics, and musicians.

For more information, visit Residency and event inquiries should be directed to Martha Williams at