Directors Project Recipients
2023

Each season, from hundreds of applicants, The Drama League selects extraordinary  directors working in theater, film, and television to participate in The Directors Project — an umbrella of Fellowships, Residencies, Exchanges, and Assistantships designed to amplify their artistry, advance their careers, and accelerate their growth.  Below are the current cohort, who join over 400+ Directors Project alumni working on and off Broadway, in Hollywood, and in every facet of the creative industries. We place production opportunity, financial stability, personal well-being, and expansive resources at the forefront of our programs. Learn more by clicking here.

Fellowships

NJ Agwuna
Film/TV Fellow

NJ AGWUNA (she/her) is a director of stage and screen from central Maryland. She approaches theatre with curiosity and wonder, believing that theatre can not only heal us, but show us all the possibilities of the world that we inhabit. She is the 2022 recipient of the SCDF Barbara Whitman Award, and is the Associate Director of Moulin Rouge! on Broadway. Selected Credits: 7 Minutes by Stefano Massini (HERE Arts), boys don’t look at boys by jeremy o’brian (NYSAF), Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage (Associate Director, Second Stage), The Magic Flute (Glimmerglass Festival), The Woman’s Party by Rinne B. Groff (Clubbed Thumb, AD), Till: A Musical (won Best Direction), The Lover by Harold Pinter (DirectorFest 2020), Blanks by Gethsemane Herron (JAG Fest, Roundabout), The Tempest (Lenfest), Freedom Train (TWUSA National Tour ‘18, ‘19), What She Found (won Best Drama at FRIGID). She is a Drama League alum and an associate writer/teaching artist with Tectonic. Directing MFA, Columbia University; SDC associate. www.njagwuna.com

Héctor Alvarez
FutureNow Fellow

HÉCTOR ALVAREZ (he/him) is a theater director and writer based in Los Angeles. His practice draws from post dramatic theater, the legacy of the avant-garde and non-Western performance traditions but is committed to accessibility and the power of storytelling. His directing work has been praised as “visually gorgeous and fulsome, so rich and sensitive in detail” (The Chicago Reader). In parallel, he has worked extensively with incarcerated populations in prisons and juvenile detention centers, and as a teaching artist in public schools. He was the executive director of Still Point Theater Collective in Chicago, a nonprofit organization that provides arts outreach programs to adults with developmental disabilities, incarcerated women, and senior citizens. Héctor is a Princess Grace Award Winner, a United World College Scholar, a Watson Fellowship recipient, and has won numerous literary awards for his poetry and fiction in Spanish. Hector-Alvarez.squarespace.com

Justin Emeka
Film/TV Fellow

JUSTIN EMEKA (he/him) is a director, actor, writer, and Capoeirista who is recognized for his ability to incorporate diverse cultural traditions within classical and contemporary theater. He has worked at many theaters around the country, including Yale Rep, Old Globe, Karamu House, Seattle Rep, Syracuse Stage, Langston Hughes Performance Center in Seattle, Philadelphia Theater Company, Seattle Theater Group, and Classical Theater of Harlem. Some of his favorite directing projects include: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Sweat, Sunset Baby, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo n Juliet, Wedding Band, The Bluest Eye, Death of a Salesman, Paradise Blue, and Macbeth. He previously received a Drama League Fellowship in Classical Directing. He is a tenured professor of Theater and Africana studies at Oberlin College, as well as a member of SDC and Actors Equity. He authored the chapter “Seeing Shakespeare through Brown Eyes” in the best-selling book, Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches. He serves as the Resident Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater. JustinEmeka.com

Nadia Guevara
Stage Directing Fellow

NADIA GUEVARA (she/her) Directing credits include: Fefu and Her Friends (American University Guest Director), N (Keegan Theatre), Palabras de encanto: Tales of Borikén (The Academy for Classical Acting at Shakespeare Theatre and George Washington University), Little Women (Johns Hopkins University Barnstormers), Guadalupe in the Guest Room and Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans: A Salsa Fairy Tale (NVA), El encuentro (Old Globe Arts Engagement). Readings: Madre de Dios (Round House Theatre National Capital New Play Fest), L’HÔTEL (Fulton Theatre Stories in Diversity Playwriting Fest), Azul (San Diego Repertory Theatre Latinx New Play Festival). Associate/Assistant Director: Show Way (Kennedy Center, dir. Schele Williams), Daphne’s Dive (Signature Theatre, dir. Paige Hernandez), Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie: Starring Indigo Blume (Kennedy Center, dir. Lili-Anne Brown), Put Your House In Order (La Jolla Playhouse, dir. Lili-Anne Brown). Proud recipient of the 2022-2024 Drama League Stage Directing Fellowship. @nadiaguevaradc. NadiaGuevara.com

Alex Keegan
FutureNow Fellow

ALEX KEEGAN (she/her) is a director and writer of new work, adaptations, and devised pieces. Recent directing: Affinity co-adapted with Rebecca Adelsheim from Sarah Waters’ novel, Manning by Benjamin Benne, Uhuru by Gloria Majule, Measure for Measure (Yale Drama), That Poor Girl… by Jen Silverman (AADA), Birds of North America by Anna Ouyang Moench (Chester Theatre), Auntie Vanya by Reed Northrup (Ars Nova ANT Fest), and new work in development with NYTW Adelphi Residency, Primary Stages, Signature Theatre, MCC FreshPlay, The Drama League. Alex is a Directing Fellow at Rattlestick Theater, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater at Wesleyan University, EST/Sloan Project Commission recipient, and former Artistic Director of Yale Summer Cabaret. Member/Alum: New Georges Jam, Roundabout Directors Group, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, The Civilians R&D Group, Williamstown Directing Corps, Geva Directing Fellowship. BA: Brown. MFA: Yale School of Drama, where she received the Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize for Directing. alex-keegan.com

Ibi Owolabi
Stage Directing Fellow

IBI OWOLABI (she/her) is an Atlanta-based director. Her work has been seen at 7 Stages, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, Theatre Emory, The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, and the DC Black Theatre Festival. Ibi graduated from Georgia Southern with a degree in theatre, and was awarded the SDC Fellowship her sophomore year. Post-graduation, she moved to Actor’s Express for a directing internship, and then went on to become the Kenny Leon Fellow at the Alliance Theatre. Ibi directed several Zoom productions, including Well-Intentioned White People, Good Bad People, White-Ish, Stew, and Faith. Ibi’s recent in-person productions include These Shining Lives at USC, The Bluest Eye at Synchronicity Theatre, and Intimate Apparel at Actor’s Express. She is also a producer for Weird Sisters Theatre Project, a mixed media production company by women, for everyone. IbiOwolabi.com

EJ Soto
FutureNow Fellow

EDGARDO J. “EJ” SOTO GONZÁLEZ  (he/they) is a latinx stage director and producer from Puerto Rico. He has an unconventional approach to commercial theater and a style that is unapologetic, minimalistic and resourceful. He has had the opportunity to train with renowned companies such as The Public Theater (NYC), Aria Entertainment and Selladoor World Wide (London). Edgardo is the current Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Puerto Rico Theatre Lab and the Programing and Production Manager of The Department of Arts and Culture of the City of San Juan. His credits include Constellations (PRTL), “El Juego” (Pompearte), Almost Maine (PRTL) and the original pieces Here & There (Camden Fringe), “Buen Día Mundo” (TBC Comedy Festival) and “Armonía” (PRTL). His first short film “El Último Mensaje” premiered on WAPA Television in 2022. He holds an MA from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama & is an Alumni of the YALE University Directors Intensive Program. www.ejsotopr.com

Assistantships

Michelle Chan
Irene Gandy Assistant Director

MICHELLE CHAN (she/her) is a director, theatremaker, and arts facilitator from Hong Kong. She is a first-generation Taiwanese-American who holds a degree in Theatre Directing and English Literature from Pace University.  She is currently an Associate Artist at Sanguine Theatre Company, a Resident Artist at Breaking & Entering Theatre Collective, a member of the Fled Collective and the 2023 Moxie Arts Incubator, and Teaching Assistant to Suzan-Lori Parks at NYU Tisch. Michelle has also been workshopping/co-directing We Are Not the Gorilla Girls, an original work created and performed by a diverse ensemble playing over 25 different roles inspired by the anonymity of the Guerrilla Girls. Upcoming projects include the premieres of C. Julian Jiménez’s Buck Stars at Keen Company and Alyssa Chin-Haddad’s You Should Be So Lucky at WP Theater. michchan.com @michellechaann

Diego Alejandro González
Irene Gandy Assistant Director

DIEGO ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ (he/they) is an NYC-based director, playwright, community builder, and theater-maker by way of the México-Texas border. This year, Diego has co-founded The Borderlands, a cultural arts company, and MUXE Creative, an indie creative agency. Directing credits: Guadalupe: un recuerdo, Peter/Starcatcher (Thirteen O’Clock), The Little Mermaid (24 HR Musical, Abilene TX), Annie (All Star Theater, RGV). Dramaturgy credits: Doublespeak and Pablo y Pedro (Thirteen O’Clock). Documentary credits: “WHAT DO I STAND FOR?” and “REVOLUTION” (Lawrence Township). Diego was the Associate Artistic Director for Thirteen O’Clock Theater (2015/16) in the Rio Grande Valley. They have led, served, and facilitated work with the teams at Ars Nova, The Public (PUBLIC WORKS), Dance Lab NY, Roundabout Theater Company, Tectonic Theater Project, The Civilians, ¡OYE! Group, Baltimore Center Stage, Abrons Arts Center, and CNTR ARTS. Up next, Diego is creating with One Nation/One Project (a national arts and wellness initiative). diegogzz.com

Sanhawich Meateanuwat
Irene Gandy Assistant Director

SANHAWICH MEATEANUWAT สัณหวิชญ์ เมธีอนุวัตร (he/they) recently graduated from the MFA in Directing program at Illinois State University. Originally from Thailand, their directing work focuses on creating dynamic theatre that supports social movements and explores and asks questions that impact the larger society, especially in the context of cultural diversity. Their recent works include Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty, Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, and Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists. During their graduate program, they also developed an adaptation, Walk to the Stars, combining a story from a socialist Thai children’s book with interview excerpts with young protesters in Thailand. The play demands democracy and equality. In 2022, they received the National SDC Directing Fellowship Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. They worked as a Directing Fellow at the National Playwrights Conference 2022 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. sanhawich.com

Vanessa Ogbuehi
Irene Gandy Assistant Director

VANESSA OGBUEHI (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based director and performer of new and devised theatre that inspires others to see their own lives as beautiful, complicated myths. Her work emerges as cabaret, performance art, or virtual experiments made from the uncanny arrangements of improvised movement, music, and visual design. Recently, she served as Associate Director for Pig Iron Theatre Company’s immersive collaboration, The Path of Pins or the Path of Needles, working alongside award-winning filmmaker Josephine Decker. Other directing work includes Resilient: Black Bottom at Drexel University; The Bodice Ripper Project, a solo, digital cabaret performed by Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Maren Montalbano; and Metamorphoses at Villanova University. Vanessa is an alum of the Pig Iron School/University of the Arts’ Graduate Certificate in Devised Performance. vanessaogbuehi.com

Residencies

Nehprii Amenii | Next Stage Director in Residence

NEHPRII AMENII (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based stage director, playwright, and puppeteer.  She has a passion for both personal narratives and grand-scale spectacle. She is known for creating experiences that dismantle the wall between players and audiences. Nehprii has worked with Bread and Puppet, Lumberyard Performing Arts, The Public, La Mama, The O’neill, Connecticut Rep, Pan Asian Rep, Virginia Stage Company,  Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, The New York PhilHarmonic, and more.  Her work has been shared internationally in India, Haiti and South Africa. She’s been awarded  The Lipkin Prize for Playwriting, and from The International Rotary Club, LMCC, Puffin Foundation, The Jim Henson Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently in fellowship with New Victory Theatre, and is a member of The Stage Directors and Choreographer’s Society and  the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Nehprii is Artistic Director of Khunum Productions, a platform for creative anthropology. nehpriiamenii.com

Lyam B. Gabel | Next Stage Director in Residence

LYAM B. GABEL (they/he) is a trans* performance-maker, scholar, and community archivist who creates containers for collective remembering and radical celebration. They are a founder of trans-media oral history and performance collective LAST CALL, and a director of the NEFA NTP ‘18/ MAP ‘16 performance Alleged Lesbian Activities. Their current work the dance floor, the hospital room, and the kitchen table, exploring queer care from the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis through COVID-19, received a NPN Creation Fund commission and was performed at the 2022 TCG conference. He regularly collaborates on work by playwrights and solo performers and has developed work at The Brick, Judson Church, Pipeline, Ashland New Plays Festival, The Theater Offensive, and The New Orleans CAC among others.  2021 Drama League Next Stage Resident, Drama League Fellow 2017. Lyam is an Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing at Lehigh University. lyambgabel.com

Ann Kreitman | Beatrice Terry Director in Residence

ANN KREITMAN (she/her) is a director and playwright utilizing theatre to share lesbian history and inspire queer mythmaking. Ann has presented original work in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, and Iowa City. She is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographer’s Society and formerly served as the Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre in Chicago. She holds a BA in Directing from the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University and will complete an MFA in Directing from University of Iowa in May 2023. While in Iowa, Ann helped to found the LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library with a mission to collect, preserve, and share Iowa’s queer history. annkreitman.com

Global Exchanges

Maksima Boeva (Bulgaria) | Avto Diasamidze (Georgia) | Natalie Ester (Romania) Dima Levitskiy (Ukraine) Stefan Prohorov (Bulgaria) Lisa Rothe (United States) Anna Smolar (Poland) Mei Ann Teo (United States)