Artist F.A.Q.s

General Questions

The Drama League offers Fellowships, Residencies, Assistantships, and other Opportunities to engage, learn, and join the community.  You can find each set of programs, with the resources each program offers, in links from our homepage.
A lot!  The Drama League recently altered and expanded its programming, and each has its own application and area of focus.  We strongly encourage you to read about each of them in depth.
The two-year programs aren’t for everyone, we understand; they are for directors who are interested in a deep, extended commitment…which means, of course, that other opportunities may not be possible during the time period. Please make sure that you are fully committed to participating in the entire program as your personal priority BEFORE applying. Applicants must be available for all program components during the program period without exception. Conflicts with the program components will result in the cancelation of those components, without being rescheduled, and a resulting reduction in the program and its effectiveness.
The Drama League supports your directing career… congratulations on the gig! Conflicts with program components, however, will result in the cancelation of those components and a reduction in the program, without being rescheduled. Therefore, we encourage you to prioritize this program should you decide to apply. We promise, it will be worth it… and it offers a number of directing opportunities as well!
Yes… but not all directors are suited for all programs. Drama League programs are specifically designed for directors facing certain moments in their career paths, and others are intended for directors that have faced inequity in their fields. Some programs are two years in duration, others just a few weeks. The Stage Directing Fellowship and The FutureNow Directing Fellowships, for instance, were designed for early-career directors, while the Film and Television Directing Fellowships are intended for directors in the middle of their careers. More information can be found on each individual program’s pages.

In very loose, general terms, we think of an Early-Career Director as someone who has:

  • Worked as a director in a professional or semi-professional capacity for roughly 1-6 years;
  • Not directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, or a LORT A+, A, B+, B, C, or D theatre
  • Completed fewer than five directing assistantships

A Mid-Career Director, then, might be someone who has:

  • Worked as a director in a professional or semi-professional capacity for roughly 5-12 years;
  • Not directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, or a LORT A+ theatre
  • Completed fewer than seven directing assistantships

And an Established Director would be anyone who has done more than that. 🙂 We understand these guidelines, even as general as they are, are not incredibly effective when elucidating the needs of artists. Just because you’ve worked consistently for ten years does not mean, for instance, that opportunity has come your way; similarly, directors who have only been working a few years may have moved quickly to big opportunities, and not need the same things their peers need. In truth, every individual comes to directing on their own individual path; to speak with Drama League staff about your specific experience and its appropriateness for any specific opportunity, please email with your questions.

Of course!  It is hoped, however, that they will note this in their application narratives, and address the reasons they feel they are the ideal candidate for the opportunity.
There’s no such thing as a perfect fit.  Perfection is a myth!  If you feel a program is generally of use to you, we look forward to reading your application.

Applications - General Questions

Yes.  Applicants must have directed at least three non-collegiate stage productions, and cannot be enrolled in any university undergraduate or graduate degree program during the program’s period of support.

No.  We understand that directors come to their profession from a variety of paths and experiences.

The answer is (a qualfied) yes. Our programs are available to any director who feels they are right for them. However, any applicant who is not a U.S. citizen will need to obtain all documents and permissions (visas or otherwise) to spend the right amount of time in the United States…which ranges from one week (residencies) to two years (certain fellowships). AND, even though our programs are educational in nature, they come with a monetary scholarship prize that some nations may consider taxable. Please check with your own country’s embassy, ministry or municipality to ensure you understand the responsibilities you undertake when applying.


One other thing: The Drama League offers air travel for some of its programs, but these are based on domestic (U.S. originating) flights. You will have to fly to/from the States first, and The Drama League will handle travel in those programs in country.

All of our applications require your legal name, address, telephone number, and email address.  In addition, you’ll be asked to provide your pronouns, a headshot or professional photo of yourself, your professional website, a URL link to samples of your directing work (either photos or videos), and two professional references.  You will also have to submit a number of short essays answering various questions related to your directing. For the Directing Residencies, which develop new works, you’ll also need to upload work samples of the script, and have the permission from the author to apply.

No.  Our application software, Submittable, allows you to begin your application and save your work to return to at a later time.  The Drama League will not be able to view your application until you confirm that it is complete in their system.
Yes.  To apply to any program, the fee is $20 per application.  However, if you are facing financial hardship of any kind, you may request an application fee waiver by emailing  We want to support directors who want to be a part of this community, and the application fee should not be a barrier.

We generally review Fellowship and Assistantship applications from January-April each year, and Residency applications from March-May. Notifications for Fellowships and Assistantships are usually (but not always) in April; Residencies follow soon after.

To be fair to all applicants, there will not be a deadline extension. We suggest finishing your application and submitting it at least 72 hours before the deadline.

Drama League Stage Directing Fellowship

About the Drama League Stage Directing Fellowship

The scholarship prize for this opportunity is $100,000 over two years.  For twenty-two months, it is disbursed in equal installments.  For the final two months, payments will be scheduled in conversation with you, so that it can cover expenses for your final directing opportunity once it is scheduled.
Many!  In addition to network expansion and learning opportunities, there will be two staged readings (one each at The Drama League and Red Bull Theater), two assisting experiences (at Dallas Theater Center and New York Stage and Film), a residency at a major theater company that will include internal or external directing opportunities (Manhattan Theatre Club or McCarter Theatre Center) and a festival production (DirectorFest).

Film & TV Directing Fellowship

Yes.  This Fellowship is a bridge for theater directors to make their first foray into these related, but different, fields.
No.  However, we do expect there to be interest and curiosity beyond a passing interest.

FutureNow Stage Directing Fellowship

The scholarship prize for this opportunity is broken into two parts. Over the first period, from May to August, the first amount is paid in equal disbursements (note that one of the weeks is in mid-May, the others will be over the summer).  Additionally, TheaterWorksUSA will also hire you on a contract, under their Collectively Bargained Agreement (CBA) with SDC, to direct a remount production for tour in either fall or winter.  The amount of that will be determined at a later date.

Beatrice Terry Directing Residency

Great question!  The residency begins with the writing process, and ends with the Open Rehearsal presentation of the piece directed as an in-progress reading. We respect, however, that directors work at different paces, so we’ll work with you to make sure your distribution of rehearsal hours support your particular process of creation as a writer-director. The entire process must begin in July, and the reading completed by the following May…but within that year, we’ll work with you to create a timeline that’s most effective for you!

The Beatrice Terry Residency is designed for early or mid-career stage directors who identify as writer-directors… who most often write the productions that they also direct. While anyone who identifies in this manner is welcome and encouraged to apply, it is our hope that this dual focus is a longtime, integral part of your artistry.

We get this question more often than one might expect. For the Beatrice Terry Residency, we employ an inclusive understanding of women and nonbinary folk. The Residency seeks to make space and resources for these communities, who often encounter additional barriers when they choose to both write and direct their work simultaneously…barriers that men have historically NOT faced in the field. While we accept applications from everyone, of course, we ask that you consider the legacy of sexism, misogyny, transphobia, and bias that have historically plagued the arts sector, and our attempts to counter those forces specifically in this opportunity.

Next Stage Directing Residency

The idea behind the Next Stage Directing Residency is to assist in that sometimes-difficult middle section of a piece’s development — that period when the piece is past its genesis, but needs deep thought, refinement and interrogation by artists before it is ready to be produced. Simply put, we’re hoping to take your piece to the “next stage” of its journey, in a director-led, rehearsal-based developmental workshop that follows the questions and impulses of the director.

At The Drama League, we’re deep believers in the idea that community is key to artistic endeavor, and that providing a moment of open interaction in a developmental process can provide crucial insights for the creators and joyful discovery for everyone involved. We’ll work with all recipients to make sure the moment of open rehearsal is safe, supportive, enjoyable, and art-forward.


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Due to volume, it may take us up to three (3) business days to answer, but we will!