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Directing Fellowship Program

Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Directing 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. In line with WTF’s commitment to nurturing new work and the next generation of theatre artists, the Directing Fellowship Program remains one of the only director-centric developmental initiatives in the country. Annually, WTF awards the Boris Sagal and Bill Foeller Fellowships to two up-and-coming directors, challenging them to develop ambitious and ground-breaking new work in the vibrant and safe atmosphere of the Festival. Each directing fellow receives on-campus housing and a stipend. Each of the Fellows helms one of the following projects:

Fellowship Project #1 

Fellowship Project #1 gives a director an opportunity to stretch their artistic muscles and expand their range. This Fellowship provides space and resources to tackle work in a style or modality that is a departure for the director. This could be a new play or a canonical work. Working with members of the Non-Equity Company as well as early-career designers, the project allows a director to have a robust and rigorous process that culminates in a workshop production in the Directing Studio, the Festival’s blackbox theatre. The focus is on process, not “product.” This project will be designed minimally, with a few essential gestures to tell the story.

 

Fellowship Project #2

Fellowship Project #2 gives a director the opportunity to develop a new play identified by WTF’s staff. The process begins with a two-week workshop period on the WTF campus in the Berkshires. The Directing Fellow, along with the playwright, takes this time to develop the play material with a company of Non-Equity actors. In the second half of the summer, WTF designers join the team and embark on a more traditional, three-week rehearsal process, with the same company of actors, which culminates in a workshop production in the Directing Studio, the Festival’s blackbox theatre.

 

The Directing Fellowship Program regularly fosters alumni who go on to helm lauded productions in New York and around the country. Alumni include May Adrales, Oliver Butler, Evan Cabnet, Carolyn Cantor, Mike Donahue, 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.

The Directing Fellowship Program considers candidates via an application process (see instructions to the right) as well as by invitation. Applicants may apply to either/both Directing Fellowship Projects. Given its reputation for launching directors’ careers, the Directing Fellowship Program is highly competitive. WTF is seeking directors who are post-collegiate and have already begun to establish themselves professionally. If this does not yet apply to you, please consider our Directing Internship or Directing Assistantship instead.  

 

The Bill Foeller Fellowship is awarded to an early-career director who is a woman and/or artist of color seeking a boost to their career. Named for the late Bill Foeller, a director who worked at the Festival in 1997, the fellowship was established by his close friends Lewis Black and Gaylen Ross.

 

The Boris Sagal Fellowship was established by Trustee Emeritus Marge Champion in memory of her late husband in 1987 and is awarded to a director with significant experience who is making the transition to a professional career.

 

HOW TO APPLY

To apply for our Directing Fellowships, please assemble the following materials:

  • Your current directing resume and complete contact information
  • A link or links (no more than five) to your website, portfolio, and/or representative video of your work.
  • Describe a production you’ve been a part of that is quintessentially “you”  (750 words or less). To do so, think about the following:
    1. Outline ways in which the aesthetic, tone, style, and/or approach align with your directorial sensibilities.
    2. What do you gravitate towards artistically? What is currently happening in the theatrical landscape that feels “up your alley?”
  • Name, title, and contact information for two references who can speak about your work in terms of process and “product.”
  • A statement about your experience with and relationship to new work; feel free to name all past collaborators, titles, and venues. (750 words or less)
  • Fellowship Project #1 only (750 words or less): We invite you to propose a piece for this project. To do so, think about the following: 
    1. A synopsis or “elevator pitch” of your piece; we do not need the full text. If we’d like to engage further, we will follow up to ask for the script. WTF is not looking for a devised piece of theatre.
    2. How would your project bring a fresh approach to an existing work, or, in the case of a new play, exercise a lesser-used directorial muscle? 
    3. How is this a good fit for WTF and our early-career actors? 

If you are invited to interview, you will be asked to discuss one or more specific plays or musicals for potential development under the auspices of the Directing Fellowship.

If you have any questions about the Directing Fellowship Program, please contact Zach Krohn, Director of Professional Training, at zkrohn@wtfestival.org or 212.395.9090.

Once you’ve assembled all the materials, you may email them to fellowshipapplications@wtfestival.org. Please make sure sure all attached documents are sent as PDF files.

All applications must be received by January 13, 2020.

J. Michael Friedman Fellowship

In honor of the late American lyricist and composer J. Michael Friedman, the Fellowship identifies an early-career theatre artist of exceptional talent, versatility, impact, and humanity who has demonstrated an artistic commitment to Williamstown Theatre Festival and invites them to make new work for a summer. The purpose is for the Fellow to create or collaborate on work deemed important and meaningful to the Fellow’s artistic and career development and to the life and culture of the Festival.

Michael Friedman began his career at Williamstown in 1999, as the Music Intern, composing (and performing) shows that never started before midnight. He came back the next summer to write the music for the Free Theatre production of A Servant of Two Masters – written by Carlo Goldoni and directed by Will Frears – and returned every summer, for the next fifteen years, in various but always critical capacities. He provided music or music services for several productions at the Festival including The Blue Bird (2001, by Maurice Maeterlinck, directed by Annie Dorsen), The Winter’s Tale (2001, by William Shakespeare, directed by Darko Tresjnak), Landscape of the Body (2003, by John Guare, directed by Michael Greif), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2004, by William Shakespeare, directed by Nicholas Martin), The Cherry Orchard (2004, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Michael Greif), The Water’s Edge (2004, by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Will Frears), Bus Stop (2005, by William Inge, directed by Will Frears), Romeo and Juliet (2006, by William Shakespeare, directed by Will Frears), Three Sisters (2008, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Michael Greif), Knickerbocker (2009, by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by Nicholas Martin) and The Rose Tattoo (2016, by Tennessee Williams, directed by Trip Cullman) among others.  The first workshop of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was in Williamstown in 2006 and, in 2015, the Festival produced the world premiere of his musical, Unknown Soldier, with book by Daniel Goldstein, directed by Trip Cullman. His frequent collaborators included Steve Cosson, Nicholas Martin, Bess Wohl, Trip Cullman, Annie Dorsen, Will Frears, Daniel Goldstein, John Guare, Alex Timbers, Darko Tresjnak, Carolyn Cantor and Michael Greif, and his relationship to the Festival spanned five artistic directors:  Michael Ritchie, Roger Rees, Nicolas Martin, Jenny Gersten, and Mandy Greenfield.

This Fellowship is not open for applications, as it is awarded to an artist who is already participating in the current festival season.

If you would like to support the J. Michael Friedman Fellowship, please click here or contact Josh Martinez-Nelson, Director of Development & Communications, at (212) 395-9090 x108 or josh@wtfestival.org.

 

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Williamstown, MA 01267