Directors Project

DirectorFest 2005:  2105 Tony Award nominees Moritz von Stuelpnagel and Steven Boyer met through the Directors Project.   Boyer (L) and Debargo Sanyal are seen here in von Stuelpnagel’s 2005 DirectorFest production of Audio/Video by Michael John Garcés.  Photo: Richard Termine.


Since its founding in 1984, The Drama League Directors Project has become the preeminent development program for early and mid-career theater directors, providing talented young artists with transformative experiences and opportunities in the professional theater.

The alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, which now number over 300, can be found working in all aspects of the entertainment profession. ‘Drama League Directors’ are directing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in film and television. They are the artistic directors and associates at over 60 theater companies across America. Others hold prominent positions as producers, writers, agents, administrators, and educators at some of our finest professional training programs. Their directing work has been honored Tony, Emmy, Obie, Peabody, Drama Desk, GLAAD, Drama League, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics, Evening Standard, Lucille Lortel, Bessie, Princess Grace, Garland, Drama-Logue, Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, and Joseph Jefferson Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. They have literally shaped the future of the American theater, with the praise of critics and audiences alike.

The Drama League is a dedicated advocate for increased diversity and for the inclusion of artists of color and of disability in all our programs. We aim to achieve full inclusion in all our programs, providing opportunities for directors to tell their stories, so that we make a theater that truly reflects the society in which we live; where each artist is considered on his/her merits as an individual; where the stories being told are drawn from authentic and diverse experiences; and where our individual humanity can be celebrated. To this end, the Drama League actively encourages and seeks applications from directors of all communities, especially those that have traditionally been denied equitable opportunities.

The Drama League does not and shall not discriminate, and will take affirmative actions to ensure against discrimination, on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, the selection of fellowship and residency artists; selection of staff, artists, partners, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors and clients; and provision of services.


DirectorFest 2012:  Fall Fellow Lily Whitsitt’s production of Slawomir Mrozek’s Striptease with (L to R) Denis Butkus, Jesse Perez, and puppeteer Kate Brehm.   Photo: Richard Termine.


To meet the needs of directors entering the profession today, The Drama League now offers eight different fellowship and residency programs, each with its own area of focus. Click below for more information on:

  • RESIDENCIES - Applications for 2017 residencies are now closed.
  • FELLOWSHIPS - Applications for 2017 Fellowships are OPEN! Deadline: Monday February 13th, 12pm. 


Directors Project Class of 2013 at the Drama League Awards Luncheon: (L to R),  Alexandru Mihail, Will Detlefsen, Danny Sharron, Nicole A. Watson, Elizabeth Carlson, Lian Walden, Roger Danforth, Louisa Proske, Samantha Saltzman, Jamila Reddy and Raphael Massie.


Click here for a complete list of our alumni. 

“Simply put, if it wasn’t for the Directors Project, I wouldn’t be directing theater in New York today.”
~John Rando, Fall Directing Program 1992
Tony Award-winning director of Urinetown

“The Drama League’s commitment to young directors is unparalleled. 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.”
~ Diane Paulus, Fall Directing Program 1997
Tony Award-winning director of the revival of “Pippin,”
& Artistic Director, American Repertory Theater

“What is unique about the Directors Project is the observing, the meet-and-greeting that goes on, and these young directors are actually given a show to direct. The Directors Project addresses the American theater’s biggest need: talented, intelligent, versatile directors who work all the time.”
~ Andre Bishop, Artistic Director, Lincoln Center



The Directors Project works with theaters across the country that support our fellows in various capacities – from meetings and seminars to seasonal residencies.
Our thanks to the following theaters for their invaluable participation in our work

American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, MA

Atlantic Theater Company, NYC


Classic Stage Company, NYC

Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, OH

Dallas Theater Center, Dallas, TX

The Goodman Theater, Chicago, IL

Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN

Hangar Theater, Ithaca, NY

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Cold Spring NY

La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA

LCT3, Lincoln Center, NYC

Manhattan Theater Club, NYC

Manhattan Class Company, NYC

McCarter Theater Center, Princeton, NJ

New Dramatists, NYC

NYSF/The Public Theater, NYC

New York Theater Workshop, NYC

Nikolai Binev Youth Theater, Sofia, Bulgaria

The Old Globe, San Diego, CA

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Ashland, OR

Playmakers Repertory Company, Chapel Hill, NC

Primary Stages, NYC

Prospect Theater Company, NYC

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, NYC

Red Bull Theater, NYC

Roundabout Theater Company, NYC

Second Stage Theater, NYC

Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA

Signature Theater Company, NYC

Signature Theatre, Washington DC

Soho Rep, NYC

Theatr Sfumato, Sofia, Bulgaria

Vineyard Theater, NYC

In addition, Drama League fellows have assisted on the following commercial productions on Broadway during recent years:

Cinderella (National Tour)

Dividing the Estate


Jersey Boys

On the Town (City Center Encores!)


The Addams Family (pre-Broadway tryout)

The Toxic Avenger (Off-Broadway)