JULY 1, 2012-NOVEMBER 30, 2012

Observership Program

We received 312 applications for the 2012-2013 Observership Program, up 6% from 2011-2012. All have been evaluated, and 182 applicants have been accepted into the pool of active Observer applicants.  Application period is now over until next spring.  More than 20 evaluators (all SDC Members) participated in the selection process.

An Observership Open House was held on July 12.  Approximately 30 applicants attended the Open House, at which Program details were shared and attendees were given outlines of other Foundation programs.

New York
Mentor, Production, Observer – Status

  • Trip Cullman, Murder Ballad, Taylor Holt – Completed
  • Sam Gold, Picnic, Jenna Worsham – In Progress
  • Rob Ashford, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Pilar Castro Kiltz – In Progress
  • Mark Brokaw, Cinderella, Ryan Domres – Staffed
  • Michael Wilson, Talley’s Folly –  not yet staffed – Posted
  • John Rando, All in the Timing, not yet staffed – Posted

More confirmed for later this season,  additional to schedule

Mentor, Production, Observer – Status

  • Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Under My Skin, Zi Alikhan – Completed
  • Art Manke, Three Musketeers, >Joshua Gold – Completed
  • Michael Halberstam, Hamlet, Joshua Sobel – Completed
  • Doug Hughes, Hughie, not yet staffed – in selection
  • Timothy Douglas, Clybourne Park, Michael Kinnan – Staffed
  • Emily Mann, A Delicate Balance, Kathryn Moroney – Staffed
  • Joseph Haj, Cabaret, not yet staffed – Posted

Additional to schedule to schedule in NY but outside of NYC

The Observership Program Guidelines and Application for the 2013-2014 season will be posted on April 1, 2013.  An application Workshop will be held in April in NY with national access by conference.


The Reginald Denham Fellowship is an annual award given to directors to further develop their directing skills by providing $2500 in financial support for the Director’s fee for a particular project. This year, the Fellowship will be awarded to Director Rachel Alderman for her production of Freewheelers produced at The Broken Umbrella Theatre in New Haven, CT.

The Sir John Gielgud Fellowship (Classical Play) for this year is currently in the selection part of the process. This year’s candidate, selected from 25 applicants, will observe and work alongside Bill Rauch, Director and Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, who will be directing King Lear. The Fellow is being selected by Bill Rauch from a group of finalists chosen based on submitted materials by the selection committee this year, Stephen Burdman, Valerie Curtis-Newton, and Jonathon Moscone. Interviews were held on November 30.  Bill Rauch selected Desdemona Chiang as this year’s Fellow.

The Barbara Hauptman Fellowship (Arts Administration) was completed in November by Brooklyn College M.F.A. Performing Arts Management student Leah Keith.  Leah worked primarily on contract analysis and research as preparation for upcoming negotiations of collectively bargained agreements negotiations as well as other smaller projects for various departments.


  • The Charles Abbott Fellowship
  • The Mike Ockrent Fellowship
  • The Traube Fellowship
  • The George C. Wolfe Fellowship
  • The Live on Screen Fellowship

The Guest Artist Initiative Program

Colorado State University received free facilitation services for the hiring of a professional director to direct a new translation by Doug Langworthy of Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind as part of their 2012-13 Theater Department mainstage season. 26 SDC Members applied for the position.

Arizona State University received a $4000 matching grant and free facilitation services to support the hiring of a professional director to direct a production to be announced for the 2013 spring season. 77 SDC Members applied for the position. The school is in the selection process.

Eastern Mennonite University received a $2000 matching grant and free facilitation services to support the hiring of a professional director to direct their 2013 production of Arms and the Man. 13 SDC members applied for the position.  The college interviewed 5 Directors and selected Andrea Andresakis.

The Guest Artist Initiative Program Guidelines and Application for the 2013 – 2014 season will be posted in March 2013.  Application deadline for universities and colleges will be sometime in mid May.  Feedback on applications will be given through April 30.

Director/Choreographer Network (DCN)

07/23/12 – Developing Musicals, Stafford Arima and Christopher Windom, 40 attendees

10/01/12 – Directing Green, The Broadway Green Alliance, 45 attendees. Panelists: Allen Hershkowitz, James Bedell, Andrea Lauer, Donyale Werle, Marjorie Horne, and Bob Usdin, moderated by John Carrafa

11/26/12 – Contracts: What Every Director and Choreographer Should Know, 28 attendees. Randy Anderson (SDC’s Deputy Director of Contracts) and Mauro Melleno (SDC Director of Contracts)

Scheduled Upcoming:
12/17/12 – Theatre for Social Impact with panelists Erik Ehn (Playwright/Director/Head of Brown University Playwriting MFA) and Kamilah Forbes (Artistic Director, Hip Hop Theatre Festival)

01/07/13 – Best Practices: Automation with Technical Directors/Production Managers David Benken and Martin Pavloff

04/29/13 – Applying for LMCC Funding with Haowen Wang of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

More to schedule: February, March, May, and June.

DCNs are hosted in conjunction with SDC and are open to the public. The discussions are audio recorded for future podcast through the SDCF’s Masters of the Stage on AmericanTheatreWing.org

Conversations – National

Through Members, SDCF is working out sponsoring or co-sponsoring 2 conversations in Los Angeles in January and February on Directing Green and on recent casting issues.


The Callaway Awards for Excellence in Directing and Choreography were awarded on November 15, 2012. Selection was made by the Callaway Committee and the awardees were announced at a special reception. This year, the Callaway Award was given to both John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett. Each won the award for his individual work on Once, produced by New York Theatre Workshop. This is only the second time in history that both the director and choreographer of the same show won the award. The last instance was in 2007 when <a href=”http://www.playbillvault.com/Person/Detail/19902/Thomas-Kail” target=”_blank”>Thomas Kail</a> and <a href=”http://www.playbillvault.com/Person/Detail/4169/Andy-Blankenbuehler” target=”_blank”>Andy Blankenbuehler</a> each won for <em>In the Heights</em>.

The fourth Zelda Fichandler Award to recognize a Director or Choreographer for courage in and commitment to theatre outside of NY was selected and presented to Bill Rauch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Award was presented on November 12 at Los Angeles, CA, with roughly 80 attendees present.  The 2012 Finalists for this award were Loretta Greco, Jane Jones, and Dámaso Rodriguez, each of whom attended the presentation. Following the presentation, Laura Penn and Bill Rauch presented the awards for direction and choreography at L.A.’s Ovation Awards, where the Fichandler Award was also spotlighted.

The“Mr. Abbott” Award, bestowed through SDCF by a committee of Directors and Choreographers to one of their peers, is named in honor of renowned Director George Abbott and is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement.  Past recipients of the award include Hal Prince, Bob Fosse, Mike Nichols, Agnes DeMille, Michael Bennett, Trevor Nunn, Susan Stroman, Graciela Daniele, and the 2011 recipient, George C. Wolfe. This year, this prestigious award for lifetime achievement will be awarded to Jerry Mitchell to honor his work in the theatre. The award will be presented at a gala in May, 2013.


From July through September, 29,176 free podcasts were downloaded, bringing the 2012 (calendar year) totals to 120,921.  Since July 1, 2012, 10 new podcasts have been put online, and we’ll continue to upload 2 programs each month.

Emerging Artists Symposia

Scheduled for MTC rehearsal studio:
01/28/13 – Symposium on musicals
06/17/13 – Symposium on plays

Community Events

SDCF oversaw administration and staffed volunteers for Broadway Salutes, presented by The Broadway League and Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG) in September 2012. The event was a unique public celebration honoring the myriad artists who have made Broadway great for decades – with special recognition for those individuals who have worked 25, 35 and 50 years in their respective theatrical craft.

Outside Opportunities

SDCF promotes and encourages professional and educational connections throughout the United States. For example, through the use of web campaigns, SDCF is able to notify its members about various opportunities. These opportunities include teaching and directing positions at various universities (Pennsylvania State University, University of San Diego) and regional and professional productions (Babes in Arms). On occasion, the Foundation will also promote theatrical opportunities outside of the country.