Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation offers an array of paid opportunities for both emerging and established directors and choreographers in New York and around the country.

Gielgud Fellow Elyzabeth Gorman + Director Michael Kahn at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC
Observership Program

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation (SDCF) Observership Program grants emerging Directors and Choreographers 25 paid opportunities to observe the work of master Directors and Choreographers as they create productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and at leading regional theatres across the country.  SDCF Observers have access to the entire rehearsal process, from first rehearsal through previews to opening night.  Observers are guaranteed the invaluable opportunity to observe, first-hand, the techniques, disciplines, approaches and insights of master artists as they create new productions and revive classics.  The exact nature of each Observership varies depending on the needs and desires of the master Director or Choreographer.


The Charles Abbott Fellowship was established by a wide group of friends and colleagues of Charles Abbott to honor him upon his retirement as Artistic Director of Maine State Music Theatre, the goal of the Charles Abbott Fellowship is to help early-career directors of promise develop their skills in directing musical theatre by allowing them access to the entire rehearsal process as a master artist directs a classic American musical in a regional theatre of national recognition.

The Reginald Denham Fellowship was established by bequest in October 2006 by Mary Orr Denham in honor of her late husband, Reginald H.F. provide funding for emerging directors, with preference given to female directors, to further develop their directing skills by granting  a Director’s fee for an upcomingproduction

The Sir John Gielgud Fellowship (Classical Play) was established in 1996 from a generous contribution from Sir John Gielgud to provide opportunities for early career directors to study the artistic processes of master directors of classical plays.

The Barbara Hauptman Fellowship (Arts Administration) was established by the Boards of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the SDCF to honor the former Executive Director’s twelve years of service and dedication to the SDC and in recognition of her commitment to the art and craft of stage direction and choreography. This fellowship is designed to provide one undergraduate or graduate level student, with an academic concentration in arts administration, with the opportunity to participate in the daily workings of the SDC and aid in the preparation and research for a national theatrical labor negotiation.

The Mike Ockrent Fellowship is to help early-career directors of promise develop their skills in directing theatre by allowing them to assist a master director on the creation of a big-budget Broadway musical or play. In doing so, the Fellowship will present a new generation of gifted artists with a remarkable education in – and unique understanding of – the directorial skills necessary to create theatre on a Broadway scale.

The Shepard and Mildred Traube Fellowship was established in celebration of the 40th anniversary of SDC and to honor the legacy of Shepard and Mildred Traube to support the development of future Broadway artists by providing early-career directors and choreographers with the opportunity to assist or observe a master director of choreographers at work on a Broadway production.

Established in 2013 by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, the Kurt Weill Fellowship helps nurture early-career directors and choreographers by acquainting them with a stage work of Kurt Weill or Marc Blitzstein under the guidance of a master director or choreographer. The Fellowship provides the opportunity to assist or observe a master director or choreographer at work on a production, selected by the Kurt Weill Foundation, of a theatrical work composed by Weill or Blitzstein, including musical theater, opera, operetta, and dance works. The Kurt Weill Fellowship is administered through and operates as a component of the SDC Foundation’s Observership Program; as such, only the current season’s Observership candidates will be eligible for this Fellowship.

In addition, SDCF facilitates free searches for other organizations offering paid opportunities for emerging directors and choreographers, including search for Assistant Directors and Choreographers, Fellowship candidates, and other paid opportunities.


Guest Artist Initiative

The Guest Artist Initiative Program enables SDCF to facilitate and fund the hiring of professional SDC directors and choreographers to helm theatre productions at universities and colleges across the country. An SDCF panel comprised of professional directors and choreographers, arts administrators, and college educators select productions for the award. Two proposals receive funding and facilitation services, and several more are offered free facilitation services. The schools are solely responsible for selecting the Guest Artist among SDC Members applicants.


The George C. Wolfe Fellowship Established by the proceeds of a special fundraising effort of The 2011 ‘Mr. Abbott’ Award celebrating Director George C. Wolfe, this Fellowship is a biennial award to experienced directors and choreographers harboring a desire to break free of the perceived boundaries of career.

The Live On Screen Fellowship enables professional directors and choreographers to learn more about capturing stage work for broadcast purposes by providing an opportunity to shadow a director or choreographer working on camera.


GAI Opportunities

GAI Proposals

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Interested in establishing a Fellowship?

Please contact Ellen Rusconi at