Television and Film Directing Fellowship

A Program for Mid-Career Theater Directors

Applications Open Autumn 2024

The trailer for the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning Disney+/Nat Geo series “A Small Light.” Drama League Television and Film Fellows NJ Agwuna and Justin Emeka served as shadow directors on five of the eight episodes in Prague and Amsterdam.

The Drama League Television and Film Directing Fellowships are an opportunity for mid-career theater directors interested in expanding their work to include film and television. The program offers learning opportunities, on-set experience, and introductions to film/tv mentors and professionals.


Please see our F.A.Q. page for eligibility questions. This program deeply encourages applications from early-career stage directors who self-identify as Global Majority, Black, African-American, Hispanic, Latine (Latino/Latina), AAPI (Asian-American/Pacific Islander), Indigenous, MENASA (Middle Eastern/North African/South Asian), Biracial persons, Mixed-Identity persons, Persons of Color, and/or people of historically marginalized communities. Applicants currently enrolled in a program of higher learning will not be considered until after it is completed. Applications are welcome from directors whose paths to direction may have been nonlinear or nontraditional.   

What is a "shadow director"?

Shadowing a director is the television and film business’ gateway, a rare opportunity to observe, up close, the process of a major studio production. Simply put, following an episodic director through the directying experience allows you to see how the job is done, from prep to post-production. Shadowing is a necessary step that much of the industry views as a requirement to enter the field as a director; unlike associate or assistant directing in professional theater, shadowing is an opportunity to watch, learn, and discover the often-obscured elements that go into making a television episode or a film. At The Drama League, our Fellows have shadowed on productions for CBS, NBC, ABC, Disney+, Nat Geo, Hulu, and more.


Program Duration

Four to six weeks (on location), chosen by the studio.

Program Frequency

Offered every year. Number of Fellowships vary per year.

Scholarship Prize

$850/week to cover on-location shadow directing assignment expenses, not to exceed six weeks ($3400-$5100 total, depending on weeks)

Health Insurance Reimbursement

Up to $750

Travel Coverage

Round-Trip Economy Airfare to/from set location of shadow directing assignment, from home city in the continental United States. In-City transportation, airport transfers, and baggage fees are not included. 

Housing Coverage

For directors living more than 25 miles outside of the production area, if housing is not offered by studio/project, a supplement of $400/wk will be offered to the recipient. The securing of their own housing. is the responsibility of the Recipient.

Liability and Insurances

Recipient will not be an employee of TDL or its partners, instead a recipient of an educational program and will be considered as such under insurance policies.

Other Benefits

VIP Pass to all publicly offered Drama League programming during the Fellowship period; access to alumni-focused programs and events; and a lifetime Drama League Membership.


Click each month for program details
The NBC drama DOUBT was an early production in The Drama League Television and Film Directing Fellowship.


The Drama League Fellowships are career-transforming opportunities for stage directors focusing on creative learning, skill building, and career development.


The Drama League Residencies develop and incubate director-led projects for live performances, utilizing the resources of the Drama League in New York City.

About the Drama League

The Drama League is the preeminent creative development home for directors, offering access and opportunity to them, their collaborators, and the audiences they inspire across the world in theater, film, television, online content, and anywhere live performance is found.  Launched in 1916, The Drama League is one of the longest continuously-operating arts service organizations in the United States.  To be a part of supporting future generations of artists, please visit