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M.Z. Ribalow's Jeannie Hopper, playwright Susan Haar, and actor Patricia Randell in conversation with the playwright, poet, novelist, critic, and activist who died last month (August 2012) after an illness. Known to his colleagues as Meir, he curated and hosted our widely admired New River Dramatists series featuring readings of new plays, poetry, and fiction. In this final interview he talks about supporting and developing writers at New River and his own remarkable life.

New River operates a retreat in Grassy Creek, North Carolina, outside of Healing Springs. As Founding Artistic Director, Ribalow championed a communal supportive atmosphere through workshops where actors and writers work together, exchange positive feedback, risk failure, focus on the quality of the work, and learn to follow heart and soul. Recently, Patricia Randell was appointed Associate Artistic Director. The project is expected to carry on.

M.Z. (Meir) Ribalow was an internationally acclaimed Renaissance writer of all forms: from poetry to screenplays, song lyrics to children's books. His plays have been produced in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, and have traversed to the remoter corners of the globe--even to Canada. In addition to a prolific creative writing career, Meir contributed articles to several well-known periodicals providing critique on film, theatre, and music. He directed numerous plays, and served as the Artistic Director of the American Repertory Company and the Production Associate at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Meir attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Princeton University, was an Artist-in-Residence at Fordham University. He was the Artistic Director of New River Dramatists and a generous, creative partner with the Clocktower Gallery and


New River Dramatists


A program of stories, plays, and poetry co-produced with New River Dramatists.

New River Dramatists, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, is a not-for-profit project that distinguishes itself in that it is looking for writers to assist, not works to produce. Engaging writers on the strength of their individual talents instead of the potential merit of a single piece, payment of Honoraria to all participants, the absence of casting and the commitment to process first are among many factors that, taken all together, make New River Dramatists unique.