About The Watermill Center
Founded in 1992 by avant-garde visionary and theater director Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities located on Long Island’s East End. With an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, Watermill integrates performing arts practice with resources from the humanities, research from the sciences and inspiration from the visual arts. The Center is unique within the global landscape of experimental artistic practice and regularly convenes the brightest minds from across disciplines to do, in Wilson’s words, “what no one else is doing.”
Searching for a new artistic base and incubator for his work, theater director Robert Wilson found a former Western Union research facility in 1986. Abandoned since the 1960s, the building, on the outpost of the Shinnecock Reservation in Water Mill, NY, was in terrible condition, but it had the potential he had been looking for. The building also had a storied history as it was the site where the stylus for the first fax machine had been developed.
“a towering figure in the world of experimental theater and an explorer in the uses of time and space on stage.” —The New York Times
Born in Waco, Texas, Wilson is among the world’s foremost theater and visual artists. His works for the stage unconventionally integrate a wide variety of artistic media, including dance, movement, lighting, sculpture, music and text. His images are aesthetically striking and emotionally charged, and his productions have earned the acclaim of audiences and critics worldwide.
The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, operator of The Watermill Center, is an organization founded by Robert Wilson to provide a supportive environment for emerging artists to explore new ideas and foster their career development. Watermill provides a haven for the next generation of artists who embrace avant-garde, multidisciplinary approaches. The Foundation also documents the work of Robert Wilson and his collaborators and manages The Robert Wilson Archive and The Watermill Study Library. A not-for-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation was chartered in 1969 in the State of New York.
The Watermill Center is committed to ensuring that each and every community member has the resources and tools to attend and fully experience each public event. Our main building/facility is wheelchair accessible by a ramp from the parking lot on the north side of the building, and we provide dispersed wheelchair seating for open rehearsals and other public events. We provide ASL interpretation, large-print materials, and scalable PDFs of written materials upon request. firstname.lastname@example.org