The Leo Shull Musicals Fellowship

in partnership with Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA  



Laura Brandel is a NYC-based director/choreographer of new musicals, plays, and devised work.  Artistic Producer, NYTB’s New Works Series (2008-2016).  Director of Dramatists Guild Fellows Presentation (Playwrights Horizons).  Directing: Mackenzie & The Missing Boy (MTF), The Good Girl and Body and Soul (Manhattan MT Lab), Deux Femme (The Lark), Missing Karma (Samuel French OOB-Festival), A.R.T./New York Gala honoring S. Epatha Merkerson.  Choreographer: Cry Eden (Access Theater), Hit the Wall (Barrow Street), a cautionary tail (The Flea). Consultant to Larry Keigwin on Rent Off-Broadway, Assistant Director Doctor Faustus (CSC).  Member SDC, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, DNA’s Choreolab. BA in Dance/Dance Education from Hunter College. www.LauraMovesPeople.com.


in partnership with Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA

The Leo Shull Musicals Fellowship is a five-week immersion in the art and craft of developing and directing new works for the musical theatre.

Open To: Early and mid-career stage directors

The Leo Shull Musicals Fellowship is an intensive career development initiative for early-career directors interested in learning the techniques required for the development of musicals. Through network building with industry figures and assisting a major director on a musical at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA -- the Fellow will experience a diverse set of artists and methodologies that will adequately prepare them for a career in the creation of musicals. 




May 14-19, 2018: Professionals Week is an intensive immersion in the professional theater.  Fellows will attend performances, participate in seminars and workshops with prominent industry professionals, and participate in discussions designed to prepare you for the demands and expectations of the field.


The stipend amount will be determined in April 2018.  For the 2017 cycle, the Stipend was $2,125 for the 5 active weeks of the fellowship (between late May and late January), paid in equal installments. The amount of the Stipend will be disclosed prior to acceptance.


Fellows will be provided with transportation to Washington D.C., and a rental car if necessary.  Transportation to/from New York City is not available for Professionals Week.


January 2019: The New York Directing Fellows stage one-act productions as part of DirectorFest, The Drama League's annual festival dedicated to the art of professional directing in the United States.  The festival takes place in New York City for an audience that includes artistic directors, producers, interested industry professionals, and others. DirectorFest is fully produced using professional casting directors, designers and production personnel. Post-production, the directors meet with theater professionals for an in-depth discussion of their work.


Fellows will be provided with housing in New York City (if needed) during Professionals Week and housing in Arlington, VA for the five-week period at Signature.


Start at Signature Theatre, VA: 

August 19th-September 26th 2018


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.


“Honestly, it wasn’t a fellowship.  Everyone that I encountered treated me as a professional theater artist.   I was in the midst of a professional working environment where I had the opportunity to learn and grow in a fashion that I feel is most effective. Simply by doing.”

Nick Potenzieri, alumnus, Musical Directing Program 2009
Artistic Director, The Infinite Theatre