Theatrical Fellowship Program
The Playwrights Horizons Theatrical Fellowship Program (formerly known as the Residency Program) offers excellent practical experience in training for a career in the arts and affords an opportunity to learn from some of the top professionals in the American theater. Fellowships are offered in Casting, Costumes, Digital Marketing, Directing, General Management, Literary Management, Marketing, Musical Theater, New Works Lab Management, Properties, and Stage Management.
Because our fellows are fully integrated in the day-to-day life of the organization, a fellowship at Playwrights Horizons offers significantly marketable experience in one’s chosen field. We are proud of the fact that many alumni have gone on to become some of the most active directors, writers, composers, and arts administrators in the country. In addition, many current staff members are former residents/fellows, including our artistic director, Tim Sanford.
March 1, 2017: Applications due for Directing and Stage Management fellowships
March 15, 2017: Applications due for all other fellowships
For more information, please contact Karl Baker Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasonal Fellowships usually begin in early September and continue through the production season, concluding the following spring or summer.
The Casting Fellow acts as an assistant to the Casting Director and Associate Casting Director, 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 fellowship is offered.
The Costumes Fellow is an active member of the Costume Shop for the duration of the Playwrights Horizons season and lends support to the Costume Shop Supervisor on six productions. Duties include 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 with application materials. One full-time fellowship is offered.
The Directing Fellow 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 fellowships are offered: the Directing Fellows rotate shows, each working on two Mainstage productions and one Sharp Theater production. Please note that successful applicants for this fellowship have graduated from college and spent at least one to two years pursuing work as a director in New York.
The Digital Marketing Fellow is an integral member of Playwrights Horizons’ marketing team responsible for promoting six annual productions by an exciting slate of writers, and the overall institution. This position provides a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to build a professional portfolio of assets and immerse themselves in the activities of a fast-paced, high-achieving marketing team. They will work closely with the Manager of Digital Media in capturing and editing stunning video and photo for both show and institutional brand campaigns, collaborating with the company’s digital agency to launch engaging campaigns in a range of media, and more. Additional opportunities will be afforded to the successful candidate, who will be highly motivated to learn about new media, possess impeccable technical and communication skills, have some experience in DSLR photography and videography, some knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite, including Premiere, Lightroom, InDesign, and Photoshop, and experience in maintaining a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Experience in web content management and email design is a plus. One full-time fellowship is offered.
The General Management Fellow will work closely with the Company Manager and the General Management team on all the daily aspects of running a 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 fellowship is offered (two days per week).
Under the guidance of the Associate Artistic Director and Literary Director, and working closely alongside the New Works Lab Fellow, the Literary Fellow contributes significantly to the creative life and administrative operations of Playwrights Horizons’ Literary Department by reading, evaluating and responding to script submissions, maintaining the playwright database, scouting readings and productions, contributing to dramaturgical research and script maintenance for season productions, and performing other general tasks as needed. One full-time fellowship 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 Fellow 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 Fellow 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 Fellow 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 fellowship is offered.
In addition to general administrative tasks, the Musical Theater Fellow assists the Director of Musical Theater with evaluating musical theater submissions, coordinating in-house musical readings, and scouting readings and productions. One part-time fellowship is offered (two days per week).
New Works Lab Management
Under the guidance of the Associate Artistic Director and Literary Director, and working closely alongside the Literary Fellow, the primary focus of the New Works Lab Fellow is the administrative, producorial, and dramaturgical support of play development activities at Playwrights Horizons. The New Works Lab Fellow spends significant time in the rehearsal room, serving as a stage manager for all new play labs. In addition, they will enjoy immersion in our Literary Department, learning to read and evaluate script submissions, and performing other general tasks as needed. The ideal candidate will have some stage management experience and an interest in new play development. One full-time fellowship is offered.
The Properties Fellow acts as assistant to the Props Supervisor 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 fellowship is offered.
The Stage Management Fellow 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 Fellow works backstage. Two full-time seasonal fellowships are offered: the two Fellows rotate shows, each working on two Mainstage productions and one Sharp Theater production. This fellowship is not available during the summer.
How to Apply
A complete application includes an application form, cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references. If selected to interview, applicants may be asked to provide writing samples or a portfolio.
Applications should be sent digitally (in PDF format) to Karl Baker Olson at email@example.com.
Playwrights Horizons has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and to the principles that promote inclusive practices. The organization is particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people.
Frequently Asked Questions
WhEN is the application deadline?
March 1, 2017: Applications due for Directing and Stage Management fellowships
March 15, 2017: Applications due for all other fellowships
I'm interested in multiple Fellowships. Can I apply to more than one?
Applicants are welcome to express interest in more than one fellowship. However, as each one varies a great deal, we find that the most successful applicants are those who are drawn to a specific department.
what are the application requirements?
The initial round of applications requires submission of an application form, cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references. If you are selected to interview, you may be asked to provide writing samples or a portfolio.
For Costumes and Properties fellowships, applicants are asked to submit a resume, cover letter, list of three references, and photos and/or samples of your work.
Are the fellowships full-time?
On average, Casting, Marketing, Literary, and New Works Lab Management fellows work five days per week during normal business hours (10 AM – 6 PM), as do our Costumes and Properties fellows. When involved with a show, Directing and Stage Management fellows work the six day rehearsal/performance schedule (Tuesday–Sunday). Fellowships in Digitalk Marketing, General Management, and Musical Theater are part-time; fellows in these departments work two or three days per week.
Is there a stipend?
Playwrights Horizons is pleased to offer a $40 daily stipend to help offset the cost of housing and other living expenses. All fellows also receive an unlimited 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 fellows to find other ways of supporting themselves during their time outside of office hours or their rehearsal schedule. Directing and Stage Management fellowships may allow opportunities for outside work during "off" periods between shows. Consideration should be given to the financial implications of being a full-time fellow.
I'm not from New York. What about housing?
Unfortunately, we do not offer housing to our fellows.
i'm not a us citizen. can i apply to the program?
You do not need to be a US citizen to be a fellow at Playwrights Horizons. Because a stipend is taxable income, you will need to provide a US taxpayer ID.
Is prior experience required?
Prior experience in and knowledge about the theater is encouraged, but more than that we seek fellows who have demonstrated a passion for working in the arts and are at a point in their educations or careers to strongly benefit from this kind of immersive training experience.
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 (Academy Award)
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
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 - Playwrights Horizons: Fly By Night; Other Off-Broadway: Tigers Be Still; TV: "New Girl"
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 - Playwrights Horizons: The Flick, The Big Meal, Kin, Circle Mirror Transformation; Broadway: Fun Home (Tony Award), The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses.