The Boris Sagal Fellowship/Drama League Residency

The Drama League Arists Residency Program, made possible in part by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, gives theater directors and their collaborators unique, supportive opportunities to develop new plays and musicals. Dedicated to focused creative process, and specifically designed to avoid the creative stressors and economic pressures of public performance, these developmental residencies nurture collaboration at its central creative core.

Initiated in 2013, The Drama League Artist Residency Program has already developed many award-winning productions, including The TEAM’s RoosevElvis (Vineyard Theatre, London’s Royal Court Theatre); Ripe Time’s The World Is Round (BAM); Rady&Bloom’s The Upper Room (New Ohio Theatre); Georama (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); and Piehole’s Hand Foot Fizzle Face (JACK).

THE BORIS SAGAL FELLOWSHIP/DRAMA LEAGUE RESIDENCY is a partnership of The Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Drama League Of New York.  Two of the nation’s preeminent programs for emerging directors join forces to establish a first-of-its-kind commissioning program. This commission of a director to create, refine, and present a new play or musical is designed to be an artist-driven process of creation that places the director at the center of the creative process.


Combining the history, opportunity and resources of Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF)’s Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship and The Drama League’s Resident Artist Program, this program will give life to a director-centered creative project in several stages: early development of the work at Williamstown as part of the Sagal Fellowship, followed by a professional workshop and industry presentation at The Drama League Theater Center in New York City.

Many of America’s finest directors are alumni of both the Williamstown and Drama League programs. Bringing both organizations’ shared passion together into one unprecedented initiative, the Directing Commission breaks new ground in the professional development of directors, supporting new pathways in the creation of plays and musicals.


PHASE ONE: The Boris Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown Theatre Festival (Spring/Summer 2017).  The Sagal Fellow – with the support of a playwright or lyricist/composer, WTF designers and staff, and actors from the Non-Equity company — builds a new play or musical from the ground up. They begin generating material during the spring before their arrival in Williamstown. At WTF the team embarks on a three-week rehearsal process that culminates in a barebones production.

PHASE TWO: Residency at The Drama League Theater Center (Fall 2017).  The Sagal Fellow returns to New York City to further refine, hone, edit, and shape the work with a complement of artists, which may or may not include members of the original company from Phase One.  The focus of the residency will be on text work and conceptual soundness, not layering in needs of physical production. WTF artistic staffers will serve as production support and in an advisory/dramaturgical role during the residency. At the end of the residency, the work will be presented to a select audience of industry professionals, including WTF and Drama League executive staff.

Applications for 2016 are now closed. Thank you to all who applied.