The Leo Shull Musical Directing Fellowship

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a partnership with New York Stage and Film, New York City/Poughkeepsie, NY

Funded in part by the Leo Shull Foundation for the Arts

Open To: Early-Career Directors; interested Mid-Career Directors should contact The Drama League to determine if the program is a suitable match for their needs.



Alex Lacamoire, left, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, right, during rehearsal for “The Hamilton Mixtape” during New York Stage and Film's 2013 Powerhouse season. (Photo: Vassar & New York Stage and Film/Buck Lewis/Courtesy photo)

The Leo Shull Directing Fellowship for New Musicals, a partnership between The Drama League and New York Stage and Film and funded in part by the Leo Shull Foundation for the Arts, is an intensive career development initiative for directors interested in exploring techniques involved in the development of new musicals. 



May 13-17, 2019: Professionals Week is an intensive immersion in the professional theater. Fellows will attend performances, participate in seminars and workshops with prominent industry professionals, and participate in discussions designed to prepare you for the demands and expectations of the field.


Early June-Late July: As part of NYSAF’s Powerhouse Season at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, each summer, the selected Fellow will be placed as an assistant or associate director on 2-3 musicals undergoing developmental processes.  The Fellow will experience a diverse array of artists and methodologies that will prepare them for a future in the creation of new musicals. 


The stipend amount will be determined in April.  For the 2017 cycle, the Stipend was $5,000 for the 12 active weeks of the fellowship (between late May and late January), paid in equal installments. The amount of the Stipend will be disclosed prior to acceptance.


Fellows will be provided with transportation to NYSAF.  Transportation to/from New York City is not available for Professionals Week.

January 2020: The Fellow will stage a one-act production as part of DirectorFest, The Drama League's annual festival dedicated to the art of professional directing in the United States.  The festival takes place in New York City for an audience that includes artistic directors, producers, interested industry professionals, and others. DirectorFest is fully produced using professional casting directors, designers and production personnel. Post-production, the directors meet with theater professionals for an in-depth discussion of their work. 


Fellows will be provided with housing in NYC (if needed) during Professionals Week and housing at NYSAF for the duration of their assistantships. Housing may be available for the rehearsals and run of DirectorFest, please inquire.


The Drama League is a dedicated advocate for increased diversity and for the inclusion of artists of color and of disability in all our programs. We aim to achieve full inclusion in all our programs, providing opportunities for directors to tell their stories, so that we make a theater that truly reflects the society in which we live; where each artist is considered on his/her merits as an individual; where the stories being told are drawn from authentic and diverse experiences; and where our individual humanity can be celebrated. To this end, the Drama League actively encourages and seeks applications from directors of all communities, especially those that have traditionally been denied equitable opportunities.

The Drama League does not and shall not discriminate, and will take affirmative actions to ensure against discrimination, on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, the selection of fellowship and residency artists; selection of staff, artists, partners, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors and clients; and provision of services.


“My Fellowship not only altered the shape of my career, it altered my life.  Even now, long after my Fellowship, The Drama League remains there for me.  It's a family."

Sami Saltzman, 2015 Musical Theatre Fellow; Resident Director, Matilda: The Musical 1st National Tour