The Heroine's Journey

An immersive musical theatre intensive development accelerator harnessing augmented and virtual reality technologies to advance the future of storytelling.

Upcoming Class: Early 2023

Applications Open Soon!

How It Works

Beginning with Book, Music, and Lyrics, participants develop their shows in a collaborative virtual environment.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology and lean development methods, mentors interact with participants, while THEatre ACCELERATOR team provides frequent feedback throughout the iterative process. 

Staff and storytellers collaborate to design a custom distribution plan that includes brand development and audience analysis to get stories in front of the right audiences.

In the New Reality Edition, storytellers explore how AR and VR can be used to help create and/or distribute their musicals. As participants in the inaugural class, teams receive cutting edge technology to assist in their experimentation and investigation along with access to some of the top professionals in the emerging field today.


Applying the model that accelerates technology start-ups, THEatre ACCELERATOR treats storytellers as founders creating an opportunity to interact with experts in storytelling, production, distribution, and the business of show business.

How This Cohort is Different


THEatre ACCELERATOR has always emphasized utilizing technology to assist and improve the storytelling process, but this cohort is taking that mission one step further putting cutting-edge new reality tools into the hands of our creators to help you discover new ways to develop and share your musicals.

Technology need not play into your story but will be leveraged throughout the program to help you collaborate, experiment, and create. From playing a concert of your original songs in VR to previewing the latest real-time 3D creation tool, THEatre ACCELERATOR: New Reality Edition is a new take on our already out-of-the-box approach to new work development. 


The Journey

Phase I

Phase I brings together artists from around the world for two weeks in the form of a virtual lab aimed at identifying the product market fit for each project.

Underwritten by Apples and Oranges Arts, there is no cost to the participants and no percentage of ownership of the show. This phase of the program is free to artists.

This two week colloquium wraps with a pitch session where participants present their shows on Facebook Live to theatre and tech industry veterans. This helps guide the shows towards the next step in their trajectory.

Have questions? Check our FAQs page for more information.

Accelerate Concert

Held annually, the Accelerate Concert acts as a fundraiser and showcases songs and scenes from THEatre ACCELERATOR participants. Anyone who has completed Phase I can request that their work be featured in this concert.

Partners of Apples and Oranges Arts, donors, past THEatre ACCELERATOR mentors and alumni are invited to attend these events, followed by the general public. At our 2016 Accelerate concert, nearly 70% of the audience was general public meaning, the works from Phase I were able to reach an entirely new audience!

Phase II

Phase Two takes storytelling beyond the page and into the world. Through mutual collaboration, select shows merge into this phase of the program, where the focus shifts from the marketing to the creative development. We explore the right medium for the show, thinking beyond traditional models to offer several ways for artists to bring their stories to the world.

Apples and Oranges Arts develops a custom roadmap for your show. Built on the foundation discovered in Phase I, we refine and enhance the story while simultaneously defining and enhancing the brand and defining the path to monetization.

We “Take the Starving out of Artist” by providing financial resources to participants to foster the start-up culture and accelerate the creative process.

Demo Day

Much like the final stage of a traditional tech incubator, participants who complete Phase II present their work to industry producers, creatives, performers, as well as our THEatre ACCELERATOR patrons and potential investors.

Demo Day presents THEatre ACCELERATOR participants with yet another day to have their work seen by new audiences, this time with the promise of investors in the room.


THEatre ACCELERATOR: New Reality Edition brings together artists from around the world for two weeks in the form of a virtual lab aimed at identifying ways to use cutting edge technology to enhance their musicals. 

Underwritten by Apples and Oranges Arts, there is no cost to the participants and no percentage of ownership of the shows. This phase of the program is free to artists. 

After working with experts and mentors, the two-week colloquium wraps with a pitch session where participants present their projects to theater and tech industry veterans, helping to guide the shows towards the next step in their trajectory. 

Have questions? Check our FAQs page for more information. 

And Beyond!

Upon graduating THEatre ACCELERATOR, our teams become part of larger family with all our alumni community. Some shows may continue to move forward with our production company Apples and Oranges Studios, as one of our virtual productions, filmed stage musicals or live theatricals. Even if we do not produce the shows ourselves, we still help where we can as either an advisor or a connector. 


Deborah Barrera

Founder / Producer
Firemused Productions / An American in Paris

Alice Brooks

In The Heights (2021) / Home Before Dark (2020)

Matt Conover

Vice President, Disneyland
Disney Parks Live Entertainment

Sara Deshpande

Partner / Investor
Maven Ventures

Robert Diamond

CEO & Editor-in-chief

Jim Glaub

Owner / Founder
Super Awesome Friends

Paul Gordon

Writer / Composer
Jane Eyre / Daddy Long Legs

Deadria Harrington

Creative Producer
The Movement Theater Company

Donna Lynn Hilton

Goodspeed Musicals

David Hornik

General Partner / Tech Investor
August Capital

Renee Kaplan

CEO / Founder
The Philanthropy Workshop / Future Workplace Inc.

Van Kaplan

Matilda / An American in Paris

Frank Kavanaugh

Founder / Producer
Fort Ashford Investments / An American in Paris

KJ Knies

Ingenious VR

Jonathan Ledden

Senior Executive / Private Investor

Brian Moreland

Creative Producer
Sea Wall / A Life

Dessie Moynihan

Vice President, Creative Projects
The Shubert Organization

Shakina Nayfack

Founding Artistic Director / Actress
Musical Theatre Factory / Difficult People

Kent Nicholson

Playwrights Horizons

Stuart Oken

An American in Paris / The Addams Family

Maci Peterson

CEO, Co-Founder
On Second Thought

Julia Popowitz

Tech Investor and Advisor

Luke Rodehorst

Ticketing and Live Events

Jim Scheinman

Founding Managing Partner
Maven Ventures

Helen Situ

Creator / Advisory Board Member
Virtual Reality Pop / SXSW

Tara Smith

Xanadu / An American in Paris / Amelie

Brisa Trinchero

Producer / Entrepreneur
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical / Pippin

Kyle Wright

Director or Digital Projects
The Shubert Organization 

Randi Zuckerberg

Founder / Actress
Zuckerberg Media / Rock of Ages

Vital Stats

Our Winter 2022 Class runs from February 14th through February 25th and our Spring 2022 Class runs from May 16th through May 27th.

Applications for THEatre ACCELERATOR are currently closed. Please check back at a later date for updates.

Have questions not answered on this page? Check our FAQ for more information or Contact Us.