Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Directing Fellowship Program provides the next generation of theatrical directors with assistant directing opportunities as well as a forum for developing their own work. WTF’s 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 early-career directors, placing them in an assistant directing role on a Main Stage or Nikos Stage production, and challenging them to develop their own work in the vibrant atmosphere of the Festival.
Each Fellow is provided with 2.5 weeks of development and/or rehearsal, culminating in a “barebones” presentation for audiences in the Directing Studio. A budget for this project is provided and can be allocated toward paying collaborators (including actors) and/or for minimal technical and physical production elements. Producing and project management support is provided by the Professional Training Programs Manager and by WTF’s Production Department. Any and all additional resources are part of the project budget and determined in collaboration with WTF’s Artistic Director and administrative team. Fellowship projects are chosen in consultation with the Artistic Director. Please note that the emphasis for these projects is on process, not “project.” Fellows may use the “barebones” project to incubate a new collaboration, explore a design process, or explore the staging of a small-scale production. The resources allocated are meant to provide for a laboratory experience to further the Fellows’ practice.
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 as well as by invitation. Applicants may apply to either or both Directing Fellowships. Given its reputation for launching directors’ careers, the Directing Fellowship Program is highly competitive. WTF typically seeks directors who are working in the field and have already begun to establish themselves professionally. If this does not yet apply to you, please consider our Summer Intensive Program.
Directing Fellows are provided with a $2500 stipend, on-campus housing (single dorm room with shared living spaces), and round-trip transportation between NYC and Williamstown.
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 in 1987 by WTF Trustee Emeritus Marge Champion in memory of her late husband and is awarded to a director with significant experience who is making the transition to a professional career.
WTF is currently in the process of planning the 2023 season. Please check back here soon for updates!
View Fellowship Projects Here
J. MICHAEL FRIEDMAN FELLOWSHIP
In honor of the late American lyricist and composer J. Michael Friedman, this Fellowship identifies an early-career theater artist who demonstrates a passion for their craft and how it could be honed at Williamstown Theatre Festival. The Fellowship invites them to create or collaborate on a project that nurtures their artistic and career development while encouraging them to venture outside of their area of expertise. The Fellowship provides an emerging theater artist the opportunity to work and learn alongside industry professionals and contribute to the life and community of the Festival.
Recent alums of the Festival’s training programs and recent employees will be contacted with an invitation to apply.