National Directors Fellowship Now Accepting Applications

National Directors Fellowship Now Accepting Applications

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National New Play Network, and Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation have announced open applications for a fourth round of fellows of the National Directors Fellowship (NDF).

Applications from early-career professional directors will be accepted online January 22-26 at the O'Neill website (

NDF offers tools, networks, training, and practical experience to arm the next generation of storytellers for the stage and propel the advancement of new play production in America. NDF expands fellows' careers geographically by working in other regions, socially by expanding their collaborator and playwright network, and professionally by transitioning them away from assisting roles toward directing new work.

Leading the program, Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director of the O'Neill's National Playwrights Conference states: "NDF fills a very specific need in our field since few opportunities exist for emerging directors with a new play focus. Evidenced by the success of our first three classes of fellows, I've been encouraged by the industry's collective response, ensuring strong support networks, mentorship, practical experience for the directors who will shape storytelling on our stages for generations to come."

NDF seeks directors with demonstrated commitment to new play development/production and a passion for supporting the work of contemporary, living playwrights. These directors have established a themselves within a specific theater community and are seeking to expand their impact geographically, socially, and professionally. Strong preference is given to those with at least one directing credit outside an educational setting.

Key Fellowship Dates: (July 2018 - December. 2019)

  • Jul. 21-26: Orientation Week; National Playwrights Conference & Workshops

  • Jul. 28 - Aug. 5: Attend Kennedy Center and NNPN MFA Workshop; Meetings with the Kennedy Center, NNPN Member Theaters artistic and literary leaders, and D.C. theaters

  • Dec. 7-9: Attend NNPN National Showcase of New Plays

  • Jan. 2019: O'Neill Winter Symposium

  • Jul.-Dec. 2019: NNPN Member Theater Directing Placements (dates vary)

For additional information, application requirements and deadlines, visit or email

2015 fellows:

Lavina Jadhwani - Chicago, IL (bio)

Portia Krieger - Brooklyn, NY (bio)

Larissa Lury - Las Cruces, NM (bio)

Evren Odcikin - San Francisco, CA (bio)

Martin Wilkins - Charlotte, NC (bio)

2016 fellows:

Jessica Holt - Atlanta, GA (bio)

Laley Lippard - Chicago, IL (bio)

Jeff Liu - Los Angeles, CA (bio)

Madeline Sayet - Norwich, CT (bio)

M. Graham Smith - San Francisco, CA (bio)

2017 fellows:

Sherri Eden Barber - Baltimore, MD (bio)

Estefania Fadul -Hanover, NH (bio)

Kareem Fahmy - Sherbrooke, Quebec,Canada (bio)

Leora Morris - Toronto, Canada (bio)

L. Williams - Cleveland, OH (bio)

About the National Directors Fellowship (NDF):

Founded in 2015, NDF is 18 months of practical, hands-on training, mentorship, and - most importantly - concludes with a professional directing opportunity. It connects directors to a vast network of playwrights and theaters, expands access to professional support services, and provides laboratory-like settings for observation and experimentation, equipping tomorrow's stage directors with the skills, knowledge, and network to advance new play development and production around the country.

Under the leadership of National Playwrights Conference Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg, Fellows begin in July of each year, observing and participating in the National Playwrights Conference at the O'Neill Fellows then travel to the MFA Playwrights' Workshop and Directing Intensive in August, led by NNPN and the KCACTF, and the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays in December. In January, they reconvene for an intense two-week Directing Symposium at the O'Neill, and the fellowship concludes with a professional directing opportunity at an NNPN Core Member theater.

Funding for the National Directors Fellowship provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and key funding provided by: David Auburn, James Bundy, Blake Robison, Cincinnati Playhouse; Doug Hughes; Thomas Kail; Jack Tantlefff and Kevin Crosby, Paradigm Agency; Todd Haimes, Roundabout Theatre; Daryl Roth; Jordan Roth, Jujamcyn Theatricals; Molly Smith, Paula Vogel, and Martin Wilkins

About the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center:

The O'Neill is the country's preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for the American theater. Founded in 1964, and named in honor of Eugene O'Neill, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and America's only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Launchpad of the American theater, the O'Neill has been home to more than 1,000 new works for the stage and thousands more emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O'Neill have gone on to full production at theaters around the world. O'Neill programs include the National Playwrights Conference, National Music Theater Conference, National Critics Institute, National Puppetry Conference, Cabaret & Performance Conference, and National Theater Institute - which offers six credit-earning undergraduate training programs. In addition, the O'Neill owns and operates the Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. The O'Neill is the recipient of two Tony Awards and National Medal of Arts.

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