A part of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s commitment to nurturing new work and the next generation of theatre artists, the Fellowship Program is one of the only director-driven developmental initiatives in the country. At the heart of the program are the prestigious Boris Sagal and Bill Foeller Directing Fellowships. Annually, WTF awards these fellowships to two up-and-coming directors, challenging them to create ambitious and ground-breaking new work in the vibrant and safe atmosphere of the Festival.
The Boris Sagal Fellowship/Drama League Residency gives the opportunity to a director—in collaboration with a playwright or lyricist/composer— to build a new play or musical from the ground up. The summer begins in the Berkshires with a three-week workshop period on the WTF campus. The Sagal Fellow, along with his or her collaborator, takes this time to develop and devise material with a company of Non-Equity actors. Afterwards, WTF designers join the team and embark on a more traditional, three-week rehearsal process that culminates in a public production at the Festival. In the fall, the Sagal Fellow returns to NYC to further refine and shape the work through a residency at The Drama League Theater Center. At the end of the fall residency, the work can be presented to a select audience of industry professionals.
In the upcoming 2017 season, the Bill Foeller Fellowship will be utilized to provide a full scholarship including a stipend for living expenses to an emerging director of color in the Directing Assistant corps. Joining the festival for the complete summer season, the director chosen will assist one of our Mainstage productions and direct two one-act plays in our Directing Studio.
The Fellowship Program is a fast-paced, artistically charged incubator for bold new work as well as a hotbed for the next generation of theatrical directors. Past Fellows have gone on to helm lauded productions in New York and around the country. The program’s alumni include May Adrales, Oliver Butler, Evan Cabnet, Carolyn Cantor, Davis McCallum, Patricia McGregor, Lila Neugebauer, and Moritz von Stuelpnagel. Past Fellowship projects, such as Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman’s BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Amy Herzog’s AFTER THE REVOLUTION, and Samuel D. Hunter’s POCATELLO, have gone on to Off-Broadway and Broadway productions.
Given the Fellowship Program’s reputation of launching directors’ careers, the Sagal and Foeller Fellowships are highly competitive. The Boris Sagal Fellowship/Drama League Residency is awarded through an open application process. To apply for the Bill Foeller Fellowship, please follow the instructions on the Directing Assistant page.
How to Apply
To apply for the Boris Sagal Fellowship/Drama League Residency, please assemble the following materials:
- A cover letter
- Your current directing resume and complete contact information
- The current resumes for your playwright, composer, or lyricist
- A one-page description of your relationship with the playwright, composer, or lyricist, which addresses the following questions:
- Have you previously worked with your collaborators? If so, please describe those collaborations and processes.
- Why do you think your collaborators would be a good fit for the Fellowship Program’s unique, director-driven developmental process?
- Please feel free to submit supporting materials (e.g. a writing sample, a script in development, or an audio/video recording), if appropriate. Note that the director and all collaborators must be available to participate in the fellowship interview process.
- A two-page description of the new play or musical you wish to create, which addresses the following questions:
- Are you proposing to create a play or musical?
- What makes it absolutely necessary for this particular project to be a live theatrical work?
- If applicable, what is your source material (e.g. a short story, a podcast, a news story, etc.)?
- What ideas, questions, or themes will the new work explore?
- How would you describe the tone and style of the piece?
- What challenges and opportunities does this project pose for you as the director?
- How is this play well-suited for Williamstown audiences?
- Our Non-Equity Company is made up of actors, typically under thirty years old, emerging professionally in NYC or from top MFA programs in the country. How would this project be using this ensemble effectively?
We realize it can be difficult to decide what to submit for the Fellowship Project. Here are a few pieces of advice:
- The Boris Sagal Fellowship/Drama League Residency needs to showcase the fundamental talents of a director: working with actors and story-telling. Submissions should be geared toward unique, bold, and ambitious story-driven work without access to large theatrical elements or spectacle.
- Though not limited by cast size, WTF favors projects that are ensemble-based, inclusive and diverse.
If you have any questions about the Fellowship Program, please contact the Director of the Professional Training Program, Jason McDowell-Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-395-9090.
All applications must be post-marked by January 9, 2017.
Once you’ve assembled all the materials, send them to:
The Boris Sagal Fellowship/Drama League Residency
Williamstown Theatre Festival
229 West 42nd Street, Suite 801
’62 Center for Theatre and Dance
1000 Main Street | Williamstown, MA
Box Office 413.458.3253