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The Drama League Names Fellows for '10-'11 Director's Project


The Drama League (Jano Herbosch, President; Gabriel Shanks, Executive Director; Roger T. Danforth, Artistic Director of the Directors Project) has announced the roster of Directing Fellows for The 2010 Directors Project.

This year's Directors Project participants are comprised of an eclectic group of promising young talent, including Summer Directing Fellows Joy Brooke Fairfield (Harvard Univ./NYU), Sanaz Ghajarrahimi (NYU's Tisch School of the Arts), Nick Potenzieri (Binghamton Univ.) and Ryan Purcell (Boston Univ.); Fall Directing Fellows Jeremy Bloom (Northwestern Univ.), Tyrone Brown (Western Washington Univ./Seattle Univ.), Rafael Gallegos (Univ. of New Mexico) and Lila Neugebauer (Yale); and New Directors/New Works Directing Fellow Steve Day (Baylor Univ.)

Since its inception in 1984, The Directors Project has become the preeminent developing program for theatre directors by providing talented young artists with career-changing experiences in the professional theatre.

Directors Project alumni now number 242, and Drama League directors can be found working in all aspects of the profession - directing on and off-Broadway, at regional theatres across the country, and in film and television. They serve as artistic directors, associates or resident directors at 46 regional theatres, and they are training the next generation of directors at some of our finest professional training programs.

The work of Directors Project alumni has been honored with a number awards, from Tonys to Emmys, and with the praise of critics and audiences alike. Notable alumni include Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley, Tony Award winners Michael Mayer and John Rando, Diane Paulus, Jonathan Silverstein, Pam MacKinnon, Sam Gold, Carl Forsman and Joe Calarco.

"The need for our programs grows every year," said Roger T. Danforth, Artistic Director of the Directors Project. "We had over 150 applicants for our 2010 programs. We are delighted to present this year's fellows, selected from one of the largest and most completive group of young directors in years."

"The Drama League's commitment to young directors is unparalleled," said 1997 Fall Directing Program almuna Diane Paulus. "The degree of support and respect they give you is astonishing. They opened the door to my professional career - and continue to be there for advice, encouragement, and an invaluable sense of community."

"Simply put, if it wasn't for the Directors Project, I wouldn't be directing theatre in New York today," added Tony Award winner John Rando, an alumnus of the 1992 Fall Directing Program."

Originally structured as one program, The Directors Project has grown to four individual programs running throughout the year:

Summer Directing Program
Each summer, the Directors Project sends several young directors to the Hangar Theater in Ithaca, NY where they serve as the artistic leaders of their own space - The WEdge Theater - where they select all the plays, run a company of 26 college-age actors, designers and stage managers, and produce the Hangar's entire Second Stage season. They will direct three plays including a play for young audiences, and a new play with a writer-in-residence.

Fall Directing Program
The Fall Directing Program is the Directors Project's original program, now in its 26th year. The directors' journey begins in April when a panel of prominent theatre professionals selected them for this program from a pool of 99 candidates. The program commences in August with an orientation week in New York, followed by a directing retreat with a master director. Each participant then spends three months assisting a prominent professional director. Last year, they assisted on productions at PlayMakers Rep and Shakespeare in the Park, assisted alumni Kevin Moriarty at Dallas Theater Center and Diane Paulus at The American Repertory Theatre, and on the Chicago tryout of The Addams Family. Their program calumniates in DirectorFest, a December festival of one-act plays.

Musical Theatre Fellowship
This summer, the Directors Project is pleased to announce the beginning of its newest program. One participant (Directing Fellow Nick Potenzieri) will be sent to Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he will assist on the development of two new shows in the Musical Theatre Lab run by composer William Finn.

New Directors/New Works
This program supports the development of exciting new projects from talented young directors and their collaborators. The Directors Project adjudication panel is currently evaluating submissions and in June will select additional projects for development.

The goals of the Directors Project are:

• To enhance young directors' artistic growth, broaden their knowledge and hone their skills by providing opportunities to work with and learn from leading directors, playwrights, actors and designers around the country.

• To provide opportunities for young directors to present their work and for the professional community to view and assess that work.

• To augment the network of professionals to whom new directors can turn for counsel, support, and employment.

• To accelerate the process through which new directors gain acceptance within the professional community, bringing their unique skills and vision into the working life of the American theatre.

To learn more about the Directors Project and The Drama League, visit


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