The Drama League has announced the stage directors who will receive fellowships, assistantships, and residencies as part of the 2022 Drama League Directors Project.
NJ Agwuna, Jean Carlo Yunén Aróstegui, Jennifer Chang, Andrew Coopman, Justin Emeka, Nadia Guevara, Emily Hartford, Susanna Jaramillo, Ibi Owolabi, Logan Gabrielle Schulman, Noam Shapiro, Jessica Natalie Smith, and Kendra Ware have all been selected. The recipients will also receive a formal introduction at the 88th Annual Drama League Awards May 20 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.
The two-year Drama League Stage Directing Fellowships have been awarded to Nadia Guevara and Ibi Owolabi. The fellowship offers each recipient $100,000, health insurance support, and professional engagements with Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theater Center, Dallas Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, and Red Bull Theater, in addition to other opportunities. Guevara will have a residency at McCarter Theater Center while Owolabi will be in residence at Manhattan Theatre Club. Owolabi will also serve as as assistant director for the Broadway production of Martyna Majok's Cost of Living, which will be directed by Jo Bonney.
Receiving the Drama League FutureNow Directing Fellowships are Andrew Coopman, Emily Hartford, and Logan Gabrielle Schulman. The three will direct and produce projects at Ithaca, New York's Hangar Theatre, followed by pre-production for TheaterWorksUSA national touring productions.
NJ Agwuna and Justin Emeka have been selected for the Drama League Film and Television Directing Fellowships. The fellowship aims to support mid-career theatre directors who wish to expand into film and television directing. Agwuna and Emeka, under the mentorship of Tony Phelan, will shadow on episodes of A Small Light, and upcoming show from Disney+ and National Geographic. For their second year, each will also direct a short film.
Drama League Stage Directing Assistantships have been awarded to Jean Carlo Yunén Aróstegui, Susanna Jaramillo, Jessica Natalie Smith, and Kendra Ware. As early-career directors from historically marginalized communities, each of the recipients will be paired with an established director. On productions across the country, Aróstegui will assist director Lisa Portes, Jaramillo will assst Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Smith will assist Nicole A. Watson, and Ware will assist Jennifer Chang.
Finally, Jennifer Chang and Noam Shapiro have been announced as the 2022 Directors In Residence. As the Beatrice Terry Directing Resident and Next Stage Directing Resident, respectively, each will develop a new project. Exploring themes of American consumerism and emotional trauma, Chang will write and direct a currently untitled work. Based on Pulitzer winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas' Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, Shapiro will lead developmental workshops and presentations of a stage work of the same name.
READ: The Drama League Revamps Its Directors Project Programming
“After an organization-wide reinvention of our programming over the last four years, I’m overjoyed to introduce these extraordinary artists as the newest members of the Drama League community,” says Drama League Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks in a statement. Stelian-Shanks stated that the recipients cone from across the United States, including Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Sarasota, Florida; and Washington, DC.
Previous Drama League fellows include Christopher Ashley, Rachel Chavkin, Sam Gold, Michael Mayer, Pam MacKinnon, Diane Paulus, John Rando, Rebecca Taichman, Alex Timbers, Mark Brokaw, Moritz von Stuelpnagel, May Adrales, Arin Arbus, Lear deBessonet, Anne Kauffman, Lila Neugebauer, Whitney White, and Mike Donahue, among others.