Design and Directing Fellowships

Interested graduate design students should submit a resume with reference contact information, and a brief cover letter via email to We will arrange for an interview as appropriate.

The 2018 directing fellowship has been filled.


07XX16 TracyChristensen CB 03Started in 2005, the Directing Fellowship provides a very valuable opportunity for early career directors to work side by side with experienced professionals and with future colleagues (young actors, directors, writers and designers). It also exposes emerging artists to the inner workings of an exceptional seasonal, professional company and conservatory.

In 2006, as a way to commit to emerging designers in the same way that we have always been committed to emerging actors, Chautauqua Theater Company instituted the Design Fellowship program as part of our Conservatory.

The fellowships provide a very valuable bridge between training and career, offering the opportunities for graduate level design students to both hone their skills working side by side with experienced professionals and to work with future colleagues (young actors, directors, writers and fellow designers).

What is entailed in a Design or Directing Fellowship?

071416 chelseamarcantel CB 02The Design Fellows serve first and foremost as Assistant Designer on all full productions. They also design both of our New Play Workshop signature readings (within the given constraints) giving them the opportunity to work closely with professional directors and playwrights in intensive one-week collaborations. Involvement in special projects and additional programming varies in each department. As CTC is a small but substantial operation, Fellows are also expected to provide additional skilled labor as needed within their departments. Fellows work under the supervision of both the artistic director and the production manager.

The Directing Fellow is first and foremost Assistant Director on two of the three full productions and one of the New Play Workshop signature readings in the season. They are expected to participate in all rehearsals, production meetings, and any attendant activities. They also direct (and help create) the end of season Late Night Cabaret, featuring the entire acting conservatory. Some responsibilities within the artistic office will also be required. Opportunities to participate in master classes with the acting conservatory are also available. Time for additional projects is very limited.

Is there a Stipend?

Yes. Like the conservatory actors, the design fellows receive scholarships from the Chautauqua Institution which cover the cost of housing (double occupancy residence hall) and board. Unlike the conservatory actors , the design fellows will also receive a stipend in recognition of their role as working members of our production team. The term of engagement is for nine weeks, with a staggered start by department.

Who should apply?

Applicants for the Design Fellowship program have generally been designers who are currently enrolled in graduate training programs. Those having recently completed their training, or at an equivalent stage in their artistic journey are also welcome to apply. In past seasons the positions have been filled by graduate students from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Yale School of Drama, The University of Texas at Austin, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University and CalArts among others.

For the Directing Fellowship program, early career directors with a good amount of previous directing and/or assisting experience are encouraged to apply. Actors who are looking to transition into directing and interested in artistic direction are also welcome to apply. In the past, directing fellows have generally been of graduate school age but not necessarily enrolled in a directing program.