The Drama League Stage Directing Fellowships


A partnership with Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights’ Center, Keen Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, New York Stage and Film, and Red Bull Theater

The Drama League Stage Directing Fellowships provide a wide range of opportunities for emerging and rising directors, creating multiple avenues for future success in the theater industry.  Providing significant financial support and health insurance reimbursement, creative retreats, network development, and residencies at multiple theater companies, The Drama League Stage Directing Fellowships also offer opportunities to direct readings and productions throughout the two-year experience.

Icarus Jones, directed by Chika Ike
Martin Fisher, Cherrye J. Davis, and Eric Lockley in alum Chika V. Ike's production of The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones by Marcus Gardley, directed as part of the Drama League Stage Directing Fellowships. Photo by Brian Gustaveson

The Drama League Stage Directing Fellowships are for stage directors in the early- and mid-career stages of their professional career.  Please see our F.A.Q. page for eligibility questions.  Applications are especially welcome from directors who identify as members of populations that have historically been denied equity, access, inclusion or belonging in the field and in society, who have been marginalized, underrepresented, and/or those whose paths to direction may have been nonlinear or nontraditional.

Fellowship Outline

Fellowship Duration

24 Months Total
May 2024-April 2026

Fellowship Frequency

Offered every other year (2024, 2026, etc.)

Fellowship Recipients

Two recipients each cycle

Scholarship Prize

$100,000 ($50,000 per year)

Health Insurance Reimbursement

$10,000 ($5,000 per year)

Fellowship Timeline

Year One

Click each month for program details

Year Two

Click each month for program details

Additional Benefits

  • Travel and housing expenses for some program activities
    (see program description for details)
  • VIP Pass to all publicly offered Drama League programming during Fellowship
  • Opportunity to serve as a Drama League Awards Nominator following the Fellowship Period
  • Access to Alumni Programming and Events
  • Lifetime Drama League Artistic Membership
  • Tickets to theatre series productions at partner theaters
Stump Sprouts Ensemble Photo - 2018 (1) (1)
2018 Fellows, staff, and actors at the Directing Intensive. Photo by John Concado

You may find your answer on our F.A.Q. page for artists, 
which includes information about eligibility, application materials, and more. 

About the Partners

The Drama League Stage Directing Fellowship is a partnership between The Drama League of New York, Inc. (Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Artistic Director), Berkeley Rep (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director); Keen Company (Jonathan Silverstein, Artistic Director); Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director); New York Stage And Film (Liz Carlson, Interim Artistic Director); Playwright’s Center (Nicole A. Watson, Producing Artistic Director); and Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director).

The Drama League Logo, blue in a bold and wide font

The Drama League is a creative and career development home for directors, and a platform for dialogue with, and between, the audiences they inspire in theater, television, film, opera, online, and anywhere live performance is found.  Launched in 1916, the organization is one of the longest continuously-operating arts service organizations in the United States.  To support its programs for artists, or to become a member of its community, please visit

The 2022-23 season marked Lynne Meadow’s 50th Anniversary as Artistic Director of MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB. Meadow was joined in summer 2023 by Chris Jennings, MTC’s new Executive Director. MTC’s mission, which Meadow created in 1972 and has implemented over five decades of award-winning theatrical productions, is to develop and present new work in a dynamic, supportive environment; to identify and collaborate with the most promising new as well as seasoned, accomplished artists; and to produce a diverse repertoire of innovative, entertaining, and thought-provoking plays and musicals by American and international playwrights. Since 1989, MTC Education, which uses the power of live theatre and playwriting to awaken minds, ignite imaginations, open hearts, and change lives, has also been an important corollary to MTC’s work, reaching thousands of students and educators worldwide each season. Since its beginnings on East 73rd Street in New York City, MTC has grown from a small off-off-Broadway showcase theatre into one of the country’s most prestigious and award-winning producing companies, creating over 600 world, American, New York and Broadway premieres. MTC productions have earned 7 Pulitzer Prizes, 28 Tony Awards, 50 Drama Desk Awards and 49 Obie Awards amongst many other honors. MTC has homes on Broadway at its Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and Off-Broadway at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). MTC is an anti-racist organization that respects and honors all voices, and upholds the values of community and equity.

Founded in 1971 by five writers seeking artistic and professional support, the Playwrights’ Center today serves more playwrights in more ways than any other organization in the country. One of the nation’s most generous and well-respected theater organizations, the Playwrights’ Center focuses on both supporting playwrights and promoting new plays to production at theaters across the country. The Center has helped launch the careers of numerous nationally recognized artists, notably Daniel Alexander Jones, Lee Blessing, Carlyle Brown, Sheila Callaghan, Karl Gadjusek, Marcus Gardley, Idris Goodwin, Sarah Gubbins, Jordan Harrison, Jeffrey Hatcher, Craig Lucas, Martyna Majok, Melanie Marnich, Qui Nguyen, Kira Obolensky, and August Wilson. Work developed through Center programs has been seen nationwide on such stages as The Guthrie, Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf, The Public, Woolly Mammoth, and many others.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its ambition, relevance, and excellence, as well as its adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. Over 5.5 million people have enjoyed nearly 500 shows at Berkeley Rep, which have gone on to win six Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, one Pulitzer Prize, and many other honors. Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. To formalize, enhance, and expand the processes by which Berkeley Rep makes theatre, The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work was launched in 2012. The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre engages and educates some 20,000 people a year and helps build the audiences of tomorrow with its nationally recognized teen programs. Berkeley Rep’s bustling facilities — which also include the 400-seat Peet’s Theatre, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, and a spacious campus in West Berkeley — are helping revitalize a renowned city.

Keen Company is a Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning Off-Broadway company creating theater that connects. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, we celebrate the complexities of hope and the joys of the human condition, provoking identification, reflection, and emotional connection. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, the company tells stories about the decisive moments that change us. Through our educational arm, Keen Teens, we raise the quality of plays written for the high school stage and provide a free professional training program for teens. On-stage Keen champions the impact of integrity, and we uphold that same mission backstage. It is important to our company, and our work, that everyone feels safe, valued, and inspired to do their best.

New York Stage and Film is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater, film and television. Since 1985, New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development of new stories, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York.

Red Bull Theater brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, it was the first London theater to reopen after the Restoration. This bold spirit is central to Red Bull’s identity. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries at its cornerstone, Red Bull Theater is New York’s home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time as well as new works that are in conversation with the classics. Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences. A diverse and inclusive home for artists, scholars and students, Red Bull strives to make the work accessible and welcoming to all theatergoers. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen understanding of the human condition and in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences. Red Bull recognizes the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times while keeping a rich and vital tradition thriving. Founded in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles, Red Bull Theater has been acclaimed by The New York Times as “a dynamic producer of classic plays.” Time Out New York agreed, naming Red Bull “the most exciting classical theater in New York.” In its 20-year history, Red Bull Theater has produced 24 Off-Broadway productions and over 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of 65,000. The company’s unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim, and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Calloway, Off Broadway Alliance, and Obie nominations and awards.