Carey Institute Seeks Re-enactment Script Writer

Anti-Rent Band

The Carey Institute seeks proposals from qualified contractors to provide professional script writing services for “Down with the Rent!” a multi-disciplinary artistic exploration of New York State’s Anti-Rent Wars. The project blends community and participatory theater, live music, readings and exhibition.

This RFP describes the basic services required and the process for selecting the qualified consultant for this project.

Carey Institute for Global Good Request for Proposal (RFP)

Services:         Writer – Dramatic Re-enactment Scriptwriting

Project: Down with the Rent! A multidisciplinary telling of the Anti-Rent Wars, 1839-1845

Closing Date: July 30, 2021

Primary Contact:

Rebecca Platel Program Manager

General  Purpose

The Carey Institute seeks proposals from qualified contractors to provide professional script writing services for “Down with the Rent!” a multi-disciplinary artistic exploration of New York State’s Anti-Rent Wars. The project blends community and participatory theater, live music, readings and exhibition.

This RFP describes the basic services required and the process for selecting the qualified consultant for this project.

Submission of Proposal

Prospective consultant shall submit one (1) electronic copy (sent via e-mail) of their proposal and fee schedule no later than 5:00 PM on July 30, 2021 to: The proposal may be sent in an Adobe PDF or Word format.

Please use “Anti-Rent Script Writer” in the e-mail subject heading.

All submissions must be received by the RFP closing date. Incomplete submissions and submissions  received after the closing date will not be accepted.

Background Information

The Carey Institute for Global Good is located in Rensselaerville, NY. Our mission is to build a strong, educated and just society through a focus on dialogue, community and capacity-building. We do this through three programs: the Logan Nonfiction Program, the Center for Learning in Practice and Hilltowns Brewing, a local program supporting creative rural development.

The Anti-Rent Wars were an organized revolt of tenant farmers against the Dutch leasehold system in upstate New York during the period 1839–1845. The struggle first sparked off in the Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County on the Van Rensselaer Patent before spreading west to the Catskills and east across the Hudson River. Over this period, the farmers became increasingly organized and used strategic tactics to avert collection of back rents and ultimately challenge the leasehold system.

This quiet chapter of local history—its legacy of revolt and multigenerational connection to the land— evokes a sense of pride and curiosity among area residents and families whose ancestors participated in the events. But the Anti-Rent Wars have broader impacts and implications that are lesser known and discussed. The project seeks to celebrate and keep alive this local history while exploring its complexities from historical and contemporary perspectives.

“Down with the Rent!” was first developed in summer 2019 as an “Anti-Rent Pub Crawl” in partnership with Hilltowns Brewing staff, local artists and community members. The event was structured as a walking tour through time in the Hamlet of Rensselaerville with stops at four locations, or “stages.” The backbone of the production was a live performance of anti-rent ballads and poems, scored and performed by “Big Thunder and the Anti-Rent Ramblers,” an arrangement of local, professional musicians. The music tells the story of Anti-Rent Wars and was performed in four scenes across each of the four tour stops. A selection of four events described in the music was re-enacted by local actors. Audience members were invited to participate in each scene as ‘anti-renters’ through simple costumes and props, key phrases and songs. A guide/docent accompanied the tour to provide additional historical information between scenes to help tell a more complete story and answer questions.

Due to COVID-19 we were unable to host the event in-person in 2020 or 2021. However, with the financial support of a grant from the Arts Center of the Capital Region, we hope to focus our efforts this year on improving the overall narrative and theatrical elements of the production by consulting a professional script writer.


The goals of the production are to:

  • Explore and learn about this lesser-known chapter of local history and its modern-day implications and
  • Offer a collaborative and creative experience for artists of varying disciplines and abilities, both professional and amateur, with room for flexibility and
  • Create a community/participatory production that draws upon local talent and attracts people from across the region to rural Albany County.


The Carey Institute and partnering artists and community members seek a qualified consultant with professional script-writing experience to help us build upon and improve the 2019 production. The selected candidate will:

  • Revise the storyline and structure as needed to improve the production’s overall quality, comprehension, and
  • Improve cohesion/connectivity of the production’s multidisciplinary components, including live performance of anti-rent ballads, historic re-enactment and storytelling of key events from the period, and participatory elements and cues for the
  • Revise and/or re-write production script with up to five re-enactment scenes, est. 10-15 minutes
  • Consider a variety of sources and viewpoints about the Anti-Rent movement to develop scenes and narratives that characterize the politics of the time and perspectives of the different communities
  • Issue a complete storyline/draft script for review and complete revisions according to feedback from
  • Consult with project participants in all phases of project development to ensure that the finished product builds upon the work already done and meets the goals and vision for the future of the production, as described in the Background


Carey Institute will submit the final draft script to project participants for review and feedback. The selected consultant/contractor will work directly with project staff and participants to develop the storyline, draft the script and carry out any additional research necessary.


The selected consultant/contractor shall:

  • Possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for developing a high-quality theatrical script that appeals to both amateur and experienced artists.
  • Possess knowledge and understanding of multidisciplinary productions, participatory/community theater and/or historical
  • Provide writing portfolio from experience in script writing, historical reenactments and/or interdisciplinary

Consultant Submittal

Proposals from qualified applicants shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

  1. Statement of Solution

Describe how you will address the challenges of completing this project, including any perceived opportunities that should be considered.

  1. Project understanding, approach and coordination methods:
    1. Consultant shall describe understanding of the project and identify their approach to fulfill the deliverable requirements.
    2. Consultant shall summarize the key elements of the proposal and outline reasons why you should be selected.
  2. Similar Project Experience:
    1. Applicant shall identify similar and/or relevant project experience and provide a reference for By submitting a response to this RFP, the respondent hereby authorizes the Carey Institute to contact references and make such further investigations as may be in the best interest of the organization.
  3. Schedule
    1. Applicant shall identify the key work tasks, milestones, and critical path based upon the Carey Institute’s proposed project completion date of July 2, 2021. Any proposals that project work beyond the Institute’s preferred project completion date must provide clear justification for the scheduling overage.
  4. Fee
    1. The consultant will be compensated at a flat fee of $3,000.00. Additional funding is available for travel, materials/supplies, printing, is available, as needed.
    2. Please note that this is a work for Intellectual property and copyright will remain the property of the Institute.

Evaluation and Selection Process

Shortly after the submission deadline a selection committee will review all proposals. At its discretion, the Institute may elect to conduct interviews with prospective consultants as part of the selection process.

The Institute utilizes the following criteria in recommending an applicant that provides the best overall value to Institute in meeting project requirements:

  • Consultant’s Statement of Solution
  • Project understanding, approach, and coordination methods
  • Previous experience with similar projects
  • Writing

Upon approval by the Institute, the successful candidate will be notified, and a consultant agreement will be finalized. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified after the consultant agreement has been executed. Work on this project is projected to commence no later than June 7, 2021.

The Institute reserves the right to cancel the RFP at any time, or for any reason that is in the best interests of the organization. The Institute also reserves the right to reject proposals based on the evaluation of submitted materials, and to negotiate the specified dollar amount or any portion thereof.


Questions regarding this RFP or the associated project should be directed to:

Rebecca Platel Project Manager