FutureNow Stage Directing Fellowships

A Partnership with Chautauqua Theater Company and TheaterWorksUSA

Applications Open Autumn 2024

Jennifer Ikeda and Andy Lucien in the world premiere of tiny father by Mike Lew, directed by Drama League Directors Project alumnus Moritz von Stuelpnagel, at Chautauqua Theater Company
The FutureNow Stage Directing Fellowships are sometimes as a ‘gymnasium for rising directors,’ given the volume of experience packed into its framework. Recipients direct multiple projects, assist on mainstage CTC productions, and attend The Drama League’s career accelerator, Professionals Week. A compressed schedule invites rapid growth and development, under seasoned mentors.

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. This includes, but is not limited to, Black, Indigenous, Latine (Latino/Latina), AAPI (Asian-American/Pacific Islander), MENASA (Middle Eastern/North African/South Asian), Biracial, Mixed-Race, Global Majority, LGBTQIAA2+, non-binary directors, disabled, and/or immigrant directors or directors not born in the United States. Please see our F.A.Q. page for eligibility questions.

Program Partner: Chautauqua Theater Company

In beutiful upstate New York, Chautauqua Theater Company produces high-quality live theater in a vibrant nine-week summer season. The company is committed to the development of new work and the next generation of theater artists. They produce galvanizing world premieres, exceptional contemporary plays, and infuse fresh insight into the classical canon. CTC is a national home for exciting new plays: commissioning, developing and producing new and established American playwrights.

Program Partner: TheaterWorksUSA

Since 1967, TheaterWorksUSA has created transformative theatrical experiences for youth and family audiences that tour to venues across the country for school-time and public performances. For six decades, TWUSA has captured the imaginations of 100 million theatergoers with its award-winning repertoire of over 140 original productions. Through this work, TWUSA fosters a deep appreciation for the art form, giving all generations theater, joy and understanding.


Program Duration
  • Professionals Week: Mid-May (1 week, in-person)
  • CTC: June-August (11 weeks, in person)
  • TWUSA: TBD (2-3 weeks between September and March, in person)
Program Frequency

Offered every year. Number of Fellowships vary.

Scholarship Prize

$10,000, plus additional Directors Fee for TWUSA National Tour Remount (TBD annually)

Health Insurance Reimbursement

Up to $1000

Travel Coverage
  • Professionals Week: Travel to/from New York City is provided from a U.S. Continental city, if the Recipient lives more than 25 miles from New York City. Baggage fees, airport transfers, and in-city transportation are not provided.
  • CTC: Travel to/from Chautauqua, NY is provided from a U.S. Continental city, if the Recipient lives more than 25 miles from Chautauqua. Airport transfers and in-city transportation will be provided in Chautauqua. Baggage fees, airport transfers, and in-city transportation are not provided.
  • TWUSA: Travel to/from city of production origin for rehearsal period is provided from a U.S. Continental city, if the Recipient lives more than 25 miles from the city of production origin. Baggage fees, airport transfers, and in-city transportation are not provided.
  • NOTE: All travel for the FutureNow Fellowship is provided by The Drama League, who will coordinate bookings with the Recipients.
Housing Coverage
  • Professionals Week: Housing provided for directors living more than 25 miles outside of New York City metropolitan area.
  • CTC: Housing will be provided by Chautauqua Theater Company.
  • TWUSA: Housing is not provided for this period, and will be 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

About The FutureNow Fellowships

Originally founded as the Hangar Fellowship in 1989, The FutureNow Directing Fellowships have provided early opportunities to many of America's most exciting directors, including Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Lear deBessonet (Once Upon A Mattress), Sam Gold (Romeo and Juliet), and Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Pictured are alumni Nicolas Polonio, Cara Hinh, Jasmine B. Gunter, and Christian Avila.


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 dramaleague.org/membership.