2050 Artistic Fellowship At New York Theatre Workshop

This fall, we’re welcoming six new artistic fellows into our artist community as part of the 2050 Artistic Fellowship Program.

For 20 years, NYTW has honed an inclusive fellowship program for early career theatre makers with a multiplicity of perspectives. These fellowships have taken many forms, supporting playwrights, directors, designers and administrators.

In its current iteration, the 2050 Fellowship is a yearlong residency for early career playwrights and directors. The 2050 Fellowship provides a space for experimentation, artistic and administrative support, and mentorship. The 2050 Fellows are early career artists who, with their unique voices, give us perspective on the world in which we live; and who challenge us all to contend with this changing world.

Meet the 2050 Artistic Fellows

Six new 2050 Artistic Fellows—directors Josiah Davis, Adil Mansoor, and Tyler Thomas and playwrights Nissy Aya, Ruth Tang, and David Zheng—are joining our community!

What is the 2050 Artistic Fellowship?

The 2050 Fellowship is named in celebration of the U.S. Census Bureau’s projection that by the year 2050, there will be no single racial or ethnic majority in the United States.

This projection provokes thoughts at New York Theatre Workshop about the transformations that will take place in the American landscape – technologically, environmentally, demographically and artistically. They are a catalyst for broader questions about our moral and artistic future.

How do we define diversity? Whose stories aren’t being told? What lies ahead for our world?

In response to these questions, NYTW’s expanded 2050 Artistic Fellowship program exists to support the diversity of voices and aesthetics that will make up this new minority majority.

The 2050 Fellows are early career artists who, with their unique voices, give us perspective on the world in which we live and who challenge us all to contend with this changing world.

With the 2050 Artistic Fellowship, NYTW is re-affirming our responsibility to nurture artists who reflect this multiplicity of perspectives, challenge the dominant paradigm, and give voice to those whose experiences are not often heard.

Meet the Fellows

2050 Fellows (2013 - Present)

NISSY AYA is a Black girl from the Bronx. She and all her younger selves tell stories and tall tales. They lead workshops, too. As a facilitator and cultural worker, we believe in the transformative nature of storytelling, placing those most affected by oppressive systems in the center, and examining how we move forward through healing justice and afrofuturist frameworks. Our creative work reflects those notions while exploring the lines between history and memory, detailing both the absence and presence of love, and giving all the life (and then some *three snaps*) to Black Femmes. Nissy’s work has been developed with the support of The Lark, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Pipeline Theatre, Lambda Literary, The Hearth and New York Stage and Film.

JOSIAH DAVIS (he/him) is a director, choreographer, actor from Dallas, TX. His work strives to intersect expressive movement, live music, emerging technology and ritual to breathe new life into physical storytelling. Asking, how do we create space for people to be in sync when we are pulled apart by invisible systems? He is the Associate Artistic Director of On The Verge Theatre Company in Santa Barbara, a Theatre Lumina company member, a graduate from Brown/Trinity MFA Directing and the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. Directing: The Agitators (Theatre at Monmouth), Marie Antoinette (Brown/Trinity Rep), Kemps (Brown University), Intimate Apparel (Theatre at Monmouth), How We Got On (Brown University), Julius Caesar (Brown/Educational Tour), Trouble In Kind (On The Verge SB), Outcry (CAA), From White Plains (On The Verge SB). Associate: Because of Winn-Dixie: The Musical (John Rando/Goodspeed Opera House) Assistant: A Seat at the Table (Regina Taylor/Rights and Reason), Actually (Tyne Rafaeli/Geffen Playhouse), Big Sky (John Rando/Geffen Playhouse), Thom Pain (Oliver Butler/Geffen Playhouse), Habitat (Jose Luis Valenzuela/Latino Theatre Company), Exploding King Lear (Helena Kaut-Howson & Kathryn Hunter). josiah-davis.com | onthevergefest.com

ADIL MANSOOR is a theatre director and educator centering the stories of queer folks and people of color. He directs contemporary plays and creates new performance to question and disrupt. As a founding member of Pittsburgh’s Hatch Arts Collective, he has directed Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Gloria, Paul Kruse’s Chickens in the Yard and the ensemble-generated Reasonable Assurance. Other directing projects include Popularity Coach by Brian Guering (The Rose), The River by Jez Butterworth (Quantum) and Dark Play or Stories for Boys by Carlos Murillo (Carnegie Mellon). He has developed and directed new work through NYU, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and Kelly Strayhorn Theater. As an educator, Adil has worked with Middlebury College, The Mori Art Museum, The Warhol, and was the Artistic Director for Dreams of Hope, an LGBTQA+ youth arts organization. His upcoming solo lecture-performance, Amm(i)gone, adapts Sophocles’s Antigone as an apology to and from his mother. He is an alumnus of DirectorsLabChicago and was the inaugural director with Quantum Theatre’s Gerri Kay New Voices program. Adil received his MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University. adilmansoor.com

RUTH TANG is a playwright & poet, raised in Singapore and based in New York City. A finalist for the Clubbed Thumb 2018 Open Commission, their past work includes Bad Chinese (Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Festival) and Building A Character (W!LD RICE Singapore, dir. Mei Ann Teo). MFA: The New School for Drama. ruthtang.com

TYLER THOMAS is a director and choreographer currently based in NYC. Her work has been shown at the New Ohio, The Flea Theater, New York Musical Festival, HERE Arts Center, Paradise Factory, Signature Theater with Columbia University, and at various theaters across NYU Tisch. As an associate and assistant, she has worked with directors such as Lear deBesonnet, Taibi Magar, Jo Bonney, Niegel Smith, Lee Sunday Evans and Whitney White. She has also worked as associate dramaturg with The Builders Association and is a writing assistant/associate director to Young Jean Lee. The driving inquiry of Tyler’s work is the unexplored potential of liveness, as both subject and form. Currently this translates to the creation of hyperlocal, documentary-based works fusing verbatim text, design and dance composition towards the reimagination of social realities in theatrical space. Tyler is a former SDCF Observer, member of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, Visiting Artist at the Athens Conservatoire in Greece, and current Resident Director at The Flea Theater. She adores musicals and is from a small town in Louisiana, which is the primary source of her aesthetic. Tyler holds a BFA in Drama and MA in Arts Politics from the Tisch School of the Arts.

DAVID ZHENG is a first-generation Chinese American playwright and visual artist from the Bronx. He is the recipient of The Lark’s 2018 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellowship, the 2017 Playwriting Observer Fellowship at Labyrinth Theater Company, and the 2017 inaugural Greenhouse Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Plays include Ching Chong Maka Hiya, Kidnapping Jane Doe, KINGSBRIDGE (Semi-finalist for O’Neill NPC), Boogie Down Bastards, Ghetto Baptism and What’s In The Tent? (Semi-finalist for O’Neill NPC). His work has been developed at The Public Theater, MCC Theater, The Labyrinth Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theater Company, The Lark and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. He is a member of the 2018-2019 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, Ma-Yi Writers Lab and the Gingold Theatrical Group’s Speakers’ Corner. Zheng is also a founding member of the Middle Voice at Rattlestick.

PAST 2050 FELLOWS:
Tara Ahmadinejad
Melis Aker
Michael Alvarez
Elena Araoz
Jeff Augustin
Matt Barbot
Hilary Bettis
Lileana Blain-Cruz
Eleanor Burgess
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
Jeesun Choi
Shayok Misha Chowdhury
Nana Dakin
Nathan Alan Davis
Will Davis
Mashuq Deen
Reginald L. Douglas
Sanaz Ghajarrahimi
Noelle Ghoussaini
Miranda Haymon
Michel Hausmann
Kimille Howard
Phillip Howze
Hansol Jung
Seonjae Kim
Patricia Ione Lloyd
Kareem M. Lucas
Martyna Majok
Divya Mangwani
Alexandru Mihail
Beta O’Byrne
Brian Otaño
Tatiana Pandiani
Ming Peiffer
Francis Weiss Rabkin
Danny Sharron
Danya Taymor
Stevie Walker-Webb
Gabriel Vega Weissman
Whitney White
Nia Ostrow Witherspoon
Mo Zhou

Emerging Artist Fellows (2011-2013)

Jade King Carroll
Jackie Sibblies Drury
Kareem Fahmy
Simón Adinia Hanukai
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar
Julián J. Mesri
Janine Nabers
Matthew Paul Olmos
Tamilla Woodard
Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Zhu Yi
Catherine Yu

Emerging Artist of Color Fellows (1999-2011)

May Adrales
Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya
Chris Alonzo
Saheem Ali
Eduardo Andino
Thomas Bradshaw
Gilela Cardenas
Robert Castro
Kipp Erante Cheng
Julia Cho
Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas
Jihan Crowther
Jackie Sibblies Drury
Lydia Fort
Rafael Gallegos
Henry Guzman
Reshmi Hazra
Monica Henderson
Suzanne Hui Sun Kim
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Patty Jang
Sonoko Kawahara
Ismail Khalidi
Bushra Laskar
Edward Bok Lee
Destiny Lily
Czerton Lim
Ignacio Lopez
Matthew Lopez
Aya Ogawa
Frederica Nascimento
Christopher Oscar Peña
Clint Ramos
Harrison David Rivers
S. Vasanti Saxena
Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
Deena Selenow
Suzi Takahashi
t. tara turk
Michael Winn
Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Citizen Exchange Corps (CEC) ArtsLink Fellows (1998-Present)

David Sakverilidze (Georgia)
Milan Govedarica (Serbia-Montenegro)
Olga Perevezentseva (Russia)
Bojan Djordjev (Serbia)
Ahmed El-Attar (Egypt)
Ahmed Eldeeb (Egypt)

Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Fellow

Yayoi Shimizu (Japan)

Two-Year Resident Fellows (2002-2010)

Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas (Artistic)
Rafael Gallegos (Artistic)
Adam Moore (Management)
Gita Reddy (Casting/Company Management)
Geoffrey Scott (Literary)
Niki Spruill (Production)
Liesl Tommy (Casting)
Lenora Pace (Directing)
Rubén Polendo (Directing)
Tracey Scott Wilson (Playwriting)

Theodore and Adele Shank Resident Playwriting Fellow (2008-2009)

Alex Lewin

Administrative Fellows (2007-2008)

Kristin McDonald
William Bryant Miles

Van Lier Emerging Artist of Color Playwriting Fellows (1995-1999)

Keith Josef Adkins
Tanya Barfield
Kipp Erante Cheng
Angela Counts
Cynthia Fujikawa
Fanni Green
Hilly Hicks
Jake-ann Jones
Chiori Miyagawa
Derek Nguyen
Carmen Rivera
Sung Rno
Said Sayrafiezadeh
Deborah Swisher
Dominic Taylor
Tracey S. Wilson

How to Apply

The 2050 Artistic Fellowship application process is closed for the 2020/2021 season.

The NYTW 2050 Artistic Fellowship accepts open applications once a year for the follow year’s cohort.  Please check back to find out when submissions are open.  If you have a question in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to fellowship@nytw.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

2050 Fellowship Details

NYTW will accept up to six playwright or director 2050 Artistic Fellows per season. These fellowships will entail a one year commitment from June to June.

NYTW’s 2050 Fellowships consists of five basic components:

  • Monthly fellowship meetings where fellows meet with each other and artists from the NYTW community to discuss craft, aesthetics, and artistic development
  • Access to rehearsal space and two opportunities to share works-in-progress with the NYTW Artistic staff and entire fellowship cohort
  • Mentorship from the NYTW Artistic staff and contemporary theatre artists
  • An invitation to participate in the artistic life of the theatre by attending staff meetings, developmental readings, dress rehearsals, and other NYTW functions
  • A three-day weekend retreat at the start and end of the fellowship if public health allows

2050 Fellows are awarded a modest stipend and an artistic development fund to support fellowship projects, attend performances, research and travel.

What makes a competitive applicant?

The 2050 Fellowship supports early career artists who exhibit outstanding artistry and whose voices are underrepresented in the theatre. We encourage applicants with a unique lived experience & point of view inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, faith, socioeconomic status, disability and sexual orientation.

Can I apply as a playwright and a director?

You may submit as both a playwright and director–just be sure to indicate clearly in the application that you are interested in being considered for both disciplines. We strive to have a balance of playwrights and directors in the corps, and recognizing that these labels may not always be entirely representative of an artistic practice, provide great latitude in how fellows choose to work.

Must I live in New York City to apply?

We accept applications from artists not currently living in New York City. It is our hope by the autumn of 2021, we will be able to gather regularly in person and thus all fellows must reside in New York City (or the surrounding area) for the duration of the fellowship year.  If public health and safety measures do not allow for regular in person gatherings, we will assess on a case by case basis. NYTW is unable to provide housing, relocation or employment assistance.

May I apply if I am a student?

Artists who will be enrolled in a full time educational institution (either undergraduate or graduate studies) for the duration of the fellowship year will not be considered. We encourage you to apply during your final year of school to partake in the fellowship upon graduation.

Are non-U.S. citizens eligible to apply?

Yes; however, international applicants must take full responsibility for arranging their travel, travel documents and housing accommodations. Inquire with the U.S. Embassy or the consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence about visa application procedures. Receipt of fellowship stipend is dependent upon the type of visa secured. If awarded a 2050 Fellowship, you must provide Employment Eligibility Verification as detailed on Form I-9, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to receive the Fellowship stipend. If you cannot provide appropriate documentation, we will be unable to offer a stipend.

What is the application process?

After reviewing preliminary applications, NYTW will make invitations to those we wish to consider more fully for a 2050 Fellowship. Upon notification of invitation to apply, applicants will be asked to submit further materials, due in early December.

If I am invited to submit a full application, what materials will I be required to send?

In the past, applicants have been notified in November with a request for further materials. At that point, candidates have been required to submit:

  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • A 750-word fellowship plan, outlining how you would like to spend your fellowship year
  • Additional work samples:

For Directors: Up to 6 photos from one or more recent professional or academic production(s) with a brief explanation of three of the moments in these photos including, but not limited to what makes the moment significant, how the moment was built, etc.. With this sample, we are not looking for a description or summary of the photographs but rather are hoping that the images and text will help us understand who you are as a director. These images should be clearly labeled and included in a single PDF.

For Playwrights: a full-length play.

Application requirements may vary year to year. Full application details will be sent to all candidates whom we wish to invite to a second round.

Can my recommenders send their letters directly to NYTW?

Letters of recommendation will only be requested of those who have been invited to submit a full application. Your recommenders may send their letters by email directly to fellowshipinfo@nytw.org as an attachment or in the body of the message. Alternately, you may submit a scanned PDF of a signed letter on letterhead as an attachment. If we are missing a letter of recommendation, your application will be considered incomplete, so please make sure your recommenders submit your materials before the deadline. Recommendation letters will not be considered if they are sent prior to a candidate being invited to submit a full application.

What happens if I'm invited to interview?

Candidates will be contacted by early February to schedule an initial interview. If necessary, this first round interview can be completed via phone or video chat. Candidates still in consideration will be contacted to schedule a second interview in early March. If invited to a second interview, candidates must be available for an in-person meeting at NYTW.

When is the Fellowship retreat?

If public health allows, retreats typically take place over a three-day weekend in June, Friday through Sunday. Specific dates will be sent out with fellowship offers. If invited to interview, please inform us of any known conflicts during the month of June.

How frequently do 2050 Fellowship meetings occur?

Cohort meetings occur once per month and are scheduled prior to the start of the fellowship year. Each fellow shares works-in-progress twice during the fellowship, and all fellows are expected to be present at the work-in-progress showings of their peers.

How much are 2050 Fellowship stipends?

At present, 2050 Fellows are awarded a $3,000 stipend.

Further questions?

Inquiries should be sent to fellowshipinfo@nytw.org.