The Theatrical Residency Program

The Playwrights Horizons Theatrical Residency Program offers excellent practical experience and training for a career in the arts. Being a resident at Playwrights Horizons enables you to work side by side with some of the top professionals in the American theater. Residencies are offered in Directing, Stage Management, Costumes, Props, Casting, Development, Theater Management, Literary Management, Musical Theater, and Marketing.

Because our residents provide invaluable support to our institution and are treated like staff members, a residency at Playwrights Horizons will give you marketable experience in your chosen field as well as professional contacts that will help you get a "foot in the door" in the future. We're most proud of the fact that many alumni of our residency program have gone on to become some of the most active directors, writers, composers, and arts administrators in theater. In addition, many current staff members are former residents—including Tim Sanford, our Artistic Director.

in their own words

Listen to an interview with the Playwrights Horizons 2011/12 Season Residents (Marketing, Directing, Literary, Casting, Musical Theater, Development, and Stage Management) as they discuss their experiences at Playwrights Horizons. A co-production by 2011/12 Season Marketing Resident Lianne DiFabbio, 2012 Summer Marketing Resident Dave Ciano, and 2012/13 Season Marketing Resident Katie Stoppiello.

Upcoming Deadlines

April 1: Applications due for 2015-16 Seasonal Production Residencies (Directing, Stage Management, Costumes, and Props).

April 15: Applications due for 2015-16 Seasonal Administrative Residencies (Casting, Development, Literary Management, Marketing, Musical Theater, and Theater Management).


If you have any questions about the residency program, please feel free to contact Karl Baker Olson, Residency Coordinator, at


Playwrights Horizons, its staff, and the artists who grace its stages together form a perfect environment for anyone interested in how great theater gets made. During my year as Musical Theater/Artistic Resident, I made impressive connections, got valuable career advice, and witnessed breathtaking art take shape in the rehearsal room.

—Robert Lopez, 1997/98 Artistic and Musical Theater Resident, Composer & Lyricist- Broadway: The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q (Tony Awards); Film: Frozen (Golden Globe Award, Oscar)


Seasonal Production Residencies (Directing, Stage Management, Costumes, and Props) may begin as early as the end of July depending on show schedules. Seasonal Administrative Residencies (Casting, Development, Literary Management, Marketing, Musical Theater, and Theater Management) generally run from late August through the end of May, though residents often stay through the summer.


The availability of Summer Residencies varies year to year depending on the needs of our office. This year we accepted applications for residencies in Casting, Development, and Theater Management. The deadline for applications was March 1.

Playwrights Horizons has been the single most influential institution on my career in the theater. I applied to their Directing Resident program the minute I graduated college because I was interested in developing new American plays, and Playwrights Horizons was the home for the writers I admired and the development of their work. Immediately upon moving to New York, I was sitting in a room with great playwrights, actors and directors, assisting some of the finest directors working Off-Broadway and learning the whole landscape of the professional theater. It was a monumental education. Ten years later I was lucky enough to be asked back to direct a play for Playwrights Horizons, and that play, Circle Mirror Transformation, launched my career. And it all started with The Directing Resident Program.

—Sam Gold, 2000/01 Directing Resident. Director- PH: Circle Mirror Transformation, Kin, The Big Meal, The Flick; Broadway: Picnic, The Realistic Joneses. Other Off-Broadway: Fun Home


Below are descriptions of each of the Playwrights Horizons Residencies. When applying, please indicate which residency you are applying for and whether you are applying for a summer or seasonal position. You may apply to more than one residency.


The Casting Resident acts as an assistant to the Casting Director and Casting Associate, helping to coordinate and run auditions. Specific duties include communicating with agents and artists, preparing audition materials, maintaining casting files, and attending casting meetings, readings and plays. One full-time position is offered.


The Costume Resident acts as an assistant to the Costume Shop Supervisor on six productions constructing and altering costumes, organizing costume stock, purchasing, exchanging and returning show garments and aging and distressing costumes. Experience with sewing, basic data entry and book-keeping encouraged. Please include samples of work. One full-time position is offered.


The Development Resident is an integral member of a six-person development department that raises close to $4M a year. This position is a great opportunity to learn the full range of activities of a non-profit Development office, and a good fit for someone working towards a graduate degree in arts or non-profit administration or looking for work experience before entering the job market. Resident duties include: proposal and letter writing, digital communications to individual donors, prospect research, special event duties and administrative tasks including mailings and database entry. Experience with databases plus strong writing and communications skills are essential. Proficiency with Microsoft Office required and knowledge of The Raiser’s Edge or Tessitura, InDesign, and Photoshop (or Adobe Creative Suite) preferred. One position is offered. Full-time commitment is ideal but not required.


The Directing Resident acts as an assistant to the director on three Playwrights Horizons productions — assisting with research and attending  production meetings, design meetings, rehearsals, and preview performances. Specific duties vary depending on the nature of the show and the needs of the director. Two full-time seasonal positions are offered: the Directing Residents rotate shows, each working on two Mainstage productions and one Sharp Theater production. Most successful applicants have graduated from college and spent at least one-two years pursuing a career as a director. This residency is not available during the summer. 

Literary Management

In addition to general administrative tasks, the Literary Resident assists the Director of New Play Development and Associate Literary Manager in evaluating and responding to script submissions, maintaining the playwright database, coordinating in-house readings, and scouting readings and productions. One full-time position is offered.


The marketing department at Playwrights Horizons operates as a full-service agency with one client: Playwrights Horizons. Working with a six-person team, the Marketing Resident actively participates in all areas of subscription and single-show marketing campaigns, as well as supporting colleagues in the development and artistic departments, in addition to the Playwrights Horizons Theater School. The Resident will be exposed to a range of activities, including but not limited to campaign planning, brand management, institutional communications, digital media, promotions, ticketing and database use, events management, and market research. Opportunities exist for a motivated and proactive Resident to work as part of a team and independently, enabling them to pursue interests and develop skills for the future. Prerequisites: superior communication, careful organization, and strong attention to detail; box office and CRM experience desirable. One full-time position is offered.

Musical Theater

In addition to general administrative tasks, the Musical Theater Resident assists the Director of Musical Theater with evaluating musical theater submissions, coordinating in-house musical readings, and scouting readings and productions. One part-time position is offered (two days per week).


The Properties Resident acts as assistant to the Prop Master on six productions constructing props, shopping, performing research, updating paperwork and attending productions meetings and rehearsals. Experience with wood working, metal working, soft goods, painting, and general crafts encouraged. Driver's license required. Please include samples of work. One full-time position is offered.

Stage Management

The Stage Management Resident acts as a second assistant to the Equity Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager throughout each show's four week rehearsal period. Common duties are tracking properties, blocking, scheduling, script changes, prompting, etc. During technical rehearsals and the run of the show, the resident works backstage. Two full-time seasonal positions are offered: the two Residents rotate shows, each working on two Mainstage productions and one Sharp Theater production. This residency is not available during the summer.

theater management

The Theater Management Resident will work closely with the Company Manager and the General Management team on all the daily aspects of running a prestigious non-profit off-Broadway theater including drafting contracts; tracking production expenses; monitoring and reporting on ticket sales, availability and house seats; assisting with theater rental coordination; reporting weekly to the unions, prepping for board meetings, and more.

An ideal candidate will be passionate about new plays and producing theater, and will have experience with the Microsoft Office suite, along with great oral and written communication skills. One part-time position is offered (two days per week, ideally Monday and Thursday).

Playwrights Horizons was my first open door. My duties included two stints as an assistant director, first on Keith Reddin's HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING, followed by Alfred Uhry's DRIVING MISS DAISY. Andre Bishop was in his office with Wendy Wasserstein or Chris Durang and Ira Weitzman asked me to write coverage on not one but three un-produced Sondheim musicals. The lessons and inspirations of that year continue to be foundational in my life and work to this day. It was my first artistic home.

—Christopher Ashley, 1986-87 Directing Resident. Artistic Director, La Jolla Playhouse; Director- Broadway: Memphis, Xanadu


Applications for 2015-16 Seasonal Residencies (due April 1 or April 15 depending) can be sent via e-mail to Karl at the address below.

For Costumes and Props residencies, please submit a resume, a cover letter, three references, and photos and/or samples of your work (these can be mailed in to our administrative offices. See below for address).

For all other residencies, the initial round of applications requires submission of a resume, cover letter, and three references. If you are selected to interview, you may be asked to provide writing samples or a portfolio.

Karl Baker Olson                                                                                                       Playwrights Horizons
416 West 42nd Street
New York NY 10036

For me, a career in the theater was something I hadn't even envisioned as a possibility. But I can clearly remember sitting in my rolly chair in the corner of the literary office of Playwrights, watching my bosses doing these jobs I didn't even realize existed. You could actually make a living reading and thinking critically about plays. It may seem silly, but that concept blew my mind and expanded my perception of what was possible. On top of that, I spent the year receiving a rigorous theater education.

—Kim Rosenstock, 2003-04 Literary Resident. Playwright- Tigers Be Still, Fly By Night, 99 Ways to F*** a Swan; TV: New Girl


What is the application deadline?

The deadline for Seasonal Production Residencies in Stage Management, Directing, Costumes and Props is April 1. All other Seasonal Administrative Residency applications are due April 15. 

I'm interested in multiple Residencies. Can I apply to more than one?

You may express interest in more than one residency in your cover letter. However, each residency varies a great deal and we find that the most successful applicants are ones who are drawn to a specific area of arts administration or production and are able to articulate their suitability for that one specific residency.

what are the application requirements?

For Costumes and Props residencies, please submit a resume, a cover letter, three references and photos and/or samples of your work (these can be mailed in to our administrative offices. See above for address).

For all other residencies, the initial round of applications requires submission of a resume, cover letter and three references. If you are selected to interview, you may be asked to provide writing samples or a portfolio.

Are the residencies full-time?

Mostly. On average, Casting, Development, Marketing, and Literary Management Residents work 5 days per week during normal business hours (10am-6pm). When involved with a show, Production Residents (Directing, Stage Management, Costumes and Props) work the 6 day rehearsal/ performance schedule (Tuesday-Sunday). Residencies in Theater Management and Musical Theater are part-time; residents in these departments work 2 days per week during normal business hours.

Are the residencies paid?

Yes. Positions pay a $40 daily stipend. Full-time residents will also receive a monthly MetroCard. Other benefits include numerous free or discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.

Can I work a second job to support myself?

It is possible for residents to find other ways of supporting themselves during their residency outside of office hours (10am-6pm) or their rehearsal schedule. Production positions may allow time for temporary work during the down periods between shows. Consideration should be given to the financial implications of being a full-time resident.

I'm not from New York. What about housing?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer housing to our residents. Past residents have found affordable housing by staying with relatives or friends, finding a share, house-sitting, etc. If you don't have housing prospects already, you should be prepared to deal with it before committing to a residency.

i'm not a us citizen.  can i apply to the program?

Yes. You do not need to be a US citizen to be a resident at Playwrights Horizons.  Because a stipend is taxable income, however, you do need a US taxpayer ID.

Is prior experience required?

Prior experience in and knowledge of the theater is encouraged, but more than that we look for people who have demonstrated a passion for working in the arts and who are at a point in their careers/education to strongly benefit from the experience we offer.