2050 Artistic Fellowship

For over 25 years, NYTW has honed an artistic fellowship program for early-career theatremakers representing a multiplicity of perspectives. These fellowships have taken many forms, supporting playwrights, directors, designers and administrators.

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—demographically, technologically, environmentally, and artistically—now and in the future. They are a catalyst for broader questions about our ever-transforming field. How can theatre challenge our conceptions of storytelling? How can we push aesthetic boundaries in the 21st century? What is the power of theatre today?

Each year we’re honored to invite a cohort of 2050 Artistic Fellows to join us in making art, engaging in deep conversation, and being in community. The 2050 Artistic Fellowship embodies our values of nurturing and cultivating an artistic community that challenges dominant paradigms and amplifying those whose experiences are not often heard.

Meet the 2050 Artistic Fellows

Emily Abrams (She/Her)

Emily is a director / producer / silly human who creates community by putting audiences through one-of-a-kind experiences. Currently, Emily is the Resident Director of Spiegelworld’s THE HOOK, a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Artistic Fellow, and an Artist In Residence through the Roundabout Directors Group. Her work is heavily influenced by the Theatre-of-the-Ridiculous movement, camp, parody, clown, and midnight-cult-classic movies. Emily has worked for leading arts organizations, including Ars Nova, New York Theatre Workshop, Spiegelworld, Manhattan Theatre Club, Virgin Voyages, Studio Theatre, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Asolo Rep, Nickelodeon, People’s Light, The Kimmel Center, The New Group and more. She has assisted esteemed directors, including Cal McCrystal, Andrew Neisler, Knud Adams, Rory Pelsue, Josh Rhodes, David Muse, Candis C. Jones, Sivan Battat and others. She is an alum of Studio Theatre’s Directing Apprenticeship, Ars Nova’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship, and Asolo Rep’s Directing Fellowship. She holds a BFA in Directing from The University of the Arts and is an alum of the National Theatre Institute’s Advanced Directing program. While not directing, Emily cares for her very small—very fluffy—dog, and competes in Rubik’s cube speed-solving competitions. Find out more about Emily, her work, and her obsession with Tommy Wiseau by visiting EmilyAbramsDirects.com

Andrea Ambam (She/Her)

Andrea Ambam is a performance artist and writer whose roots sprout from Cameroon. As a politically-engaged storyteller, Andrea puts narrative to use, creating theatrical experiences that worldbend and record truth. Currently, Andrea is a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Artistic Fellow and the Programming Manager at Level Forward, where she hosts the Anthem Award-winning podcast More To Talk About. She has developed her multi-hyphenated practice as a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, a Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) Artist-In-Residence, an Artistic Fellow with Signature Theatre, a Writing As Activism Fellow with PEN America, an Artivism Fellow with Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC), an Artist-in-Residence for Anna Deavere Smith, an EmergeNYC Fellow, and as a competitive public speaker/performer where she was awarded “Top Speaker in the Nation” three times. Her plays include: Fragile State (Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship 2022-23), R(estoration) I(n) P(rogress) (NYU Educational Theatre/Provincetown Playhouse 2023, ANPF Semifinalist 2021, Playwrights Realm Semifinalist 2021), Rehearsing Justice: A One-Woman Show (Presentations with BAX 2022 & BAC 2021), and Angelina Weld Grimke (Classical Theatre of Harlem/Playbill, Broadway Podcast Network). Andrea lives in Brooklyn and has a Master’s in Art & Public Policy from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. andreaambam.com

Raz Golden (He/Him)

Raz Golden is a director of theatre and film. His work employs classical texts and new stories to dissect history, performance, and liminality, while continually centering people of color. He has directed and developed work with Second Stage, Juilliard, the National Queer Theatre, the Mercury Store, the Public Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, NYU Tisch, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is a 2050 NYTW Fellow, an Orchard Project resident artist, a Drama League 2019 Fellow, a member of Roundabout Directors Group Cohort 2, and a founding member of the Fled Collective. As a filmmaker, he has collaborated on numerous projects with the creative agency Adventure We Can and in 2021 on the Black feminist video installation: Afrofemononomy. BA, Carnegie Mellon University.

Directing: The Thanksgiving Play (Dorset Theatre Festival), What the Constitution Means to Me (Weston Theatre Company), Orestes (SUNY Purchase), How to Catch Creation (Juilliard), Golden Leaf Ragtime Blues (Shakespeare & Company), We Are Proud to Present… (Purchase), The Mountaintop (Weston), Macbeth, (HVSF), Associate Directing: Good Night Oscar (dir. Lisa Peterson), Macbeth (dir. Sam Gold)

Celeste Jennings (She/Her)

Celeste Jennings is a playwright and costume designer. Using the language of her family, she quilts love songs for Black folks. Her work invites her community to stop and rest awhile as they refamiliarize themselves with the poetic diction of home. She loves to incorporate her unique perspective into her work and is particularly motivated to uplift and protect Black women as a writer and designer. Her dream projects evoke the past, present, and future and remind Black women that they are loved, that they’re soft, powerful, capable of resting, deserving of liberation, and that they are everything- that they always have been. Most recently, her play ‘Bov Water was produced at Northern Stage, and she developed another play with music, Contentious Woman, with PlayCo. Selected work includes Citrus (produced at Northern Stage), and Processing. Lately she collaborated with JAG in a designer workshop for Urinetown. Current design work includes: Malvolio, with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Finding Freedom at the Charleston Gailliard Center, and Fat Ham at Huntington Theatre and The Alliance. She’s grateful to her community of friends, family, and mentors for encouraging and uplifting her work and is incredibly happy to be a NYTW 2050 Fellow.

Ying Ying Li (She/Her)

Ying Ying was born in Beijing and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She came to America to attend Yale Law School and practiced corporate law in NYC before restarting her life as a writer and performer with no training or experience whatsoever. She is a member of The Public Theater’s 2020–2023 Emerging Writers Group, and the Parent/Caregiver Playwrights Group, sponsored by Project Y Theatre. She is an alumna of The Tank’s Playwrights Group, The Tank’s TV Writers Group, Harvardwood’s TV Writers Group and Hot Buffet Sketch Comedy Group. Full-length plays include This Could Be You (EWG Spotlight Series) and Dance Moms (Premiere Play Festival semi-finalist, NEA grant recipient). Her work has been commissioned by Project Y, and developed or seen at The Public, The Tank, Boomerang Theatre, Rule of 7×7, Decent Company, Yes Noise, The Brick, and on The Highline (so many helicopters, lesson learned). Her humor writing and videos have appeared in publications such as the NYT, Buzzfeed, Wired, MSN, Lifehacker, Men’s Health, and Mental Floss. She has two delicious small children.

Nicholas Polonio (He/Him)

Nicholas Polonio is a Filipino-American director originally from the Bay Area and currently based in Brooklyn. He has directed productions including: The Police (The Wedge @ Hangar Theater), pov: u run Joe biden’s tiktok (Ars Nova ANTFest), Mary Stuart (Strasberg Institute @ NYU Tisch), Late Fame: A History Play (Rutgers University), and The 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd (Williamstown PTP). As Associate Director, productions include: Slave Play (Broadway, Remount, CTG), Public Obscenities (Soho Rep), A Raisin in the Sun (Public Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival), Richard III (Shakespeare in the Park, Public Theater), A Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Audible, Minetta Lane Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire (Audible, Williamstown Theatre Festival), and X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (The Metropolitan Opera). Nicholas has directed and developed new writing with Bedlam, The TEAM, Normal Ave, the Asian American Arts Alliance, the Sống Collective, Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab, and the American Playwriting Foundation. He is an alum of the Drama League Directing Fellowship, Roundabout Directors Group, Mercury Store Directors Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival Directing Corps, the Young Vic Genesis Directors Program, and the National YoungArts Foundation. Nicholas received his BFA in Acting from Rutgers Mason-Gross School of the Arts.

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

More Details on the 2050 Fellowship

Learn More

NYTW thinks broadly about who can initiate a theatrical event (see the FAQ’s for more). The 2050 Artistic Fellowship will accept up to six theatermakers for the 2024-25 Season. These fellowships will entail a commitment from June 2024 to June 2025.

NYTW’s 2050 Artistic Fellowship consists of five basic components:

1) Monthly fellowship meetings where fellows meet with each other and members of the New York Theatre Workshop community to discuss craft, aesthetics, and artistic development;

2) Access to rehearsal space and an opportunity to share work-in-progress with the NYTW Artistic staff and entire fellowship cohort;

3) Mentorship from the NYTW Artistic Staff and contemporary theatre artists from our community;

4) An invitation to participate in the artistic life of the theater by attending staff meetings, developmental readings, dress rehearsals, community gatherings and other NYTW special events;

5) A three-day weekend retreat at the start and end of the fellowship.

2050 Fellows are awarded both a stipend and an additional artistic development fund that supports Fellowship projects, theatre tickets, research or travel.

How To Apply

Apply for the 2050 Artistic Fellowship

For the first round of the application process you will need: 

  • A Statement in 750 words or less responding to these questions: What kind of work are you interested in making at this moment and why? Are there questions that you try to pursue and interrogate in your work? How does this fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop specifically appeal to you as an artist right now?
  • A Resume

This year’s fellowship application is currently closed.
Applications for the 2025/26 season will open up Fall 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good 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 point of view inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, faith, socioeconomic status, disability and sexual orientation.

What artistic disciplines are supported in the 2050 Fellowship?

The 2050 Fellowship supports generative artists who author or direct work. NYTW thinks broadly about what this means—sometimes it’s a playwright, sometimes it’s a director, sometimes it’s a solo performer creating their own work.  We strive to have a balance of playwrights and directors in the cohort, and ask applicants to identify their main area of practice as well as any other fields where they identify. We recognize that many artists are multi-hyphenate, working with many artistic practices, and provide great latitude in how fellows choose to work.

Must I live in New York City to apply?

The 2050 Fellowship is an in-person experience. We accept applications from artists not currently living in New York City; however, applicants must be willing and able to relocate to the NYC metro area for the duration of the fellowship. NYTW is unable to provide housing, relocation or employment assistance. Inability to attend regular meetings and events during the fellowship year may be considered grounds for discontinuation of the fellowship.

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 the appropriate visa or work authorization and fill out a W-8BEN Form 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?

The preliminary application consists of a resume and a personal statement. NYTW will then invite those we wish to consider more fully for a 2050 Fellowship to submit a full application. If invited to submit a full application, applicants will be asked to submit further materials that will be due in mid-December. Candidates that are then invited to a group interview will be notified in February. Candidates that are then still in consideration will be contacted to schedule a final individual interview in late February.

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

Applicants will be notified whether or not they are invited to submit a full application by late November with a request for further materials. At that point, candidates will be required to submit: 

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


For Playwrights: A full length play.

For Directors: Up to 6 photos from one or more recent professional or academic production(s) OR up to 3 timestamped moments from recordings of directed work (the 3 clips should total no more than 15 minutes.) And an explanation of 3 of the 6 photos or of the 3 video clips. 

For Solo Performers: A full-length solo-piece that you feel best demonstrates your work and experience as a solo artist. Whether this be text, video, or images with description.

Full application details and deadlines will be sent to all candidates who are invited to submit a full application.

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 is invited to share one work-in-progress 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?

Currently, 2050 Fellows are awarded both a $5,000 stipend and a $5,000 development fund that supports Fellowship projects, theater tickets, research, or travel.

How will the applications be evaluated?

The preliminary applications will be evaluated by members of the NYTW artistic staff; each preliminary application will be read in full by 2 people. The full applications will be read by members of the NYTW artistic staff and a selection of former 2050 Artistic Fellows. Each full application will be read in full by at least 2 people. We’re excited to use this application process as a way to get to know each of the applicants. While we don’t have the capacity to offer fellowships to all who apply, we continue to engage with fellowship applicants in a variety of ways.

What happens if I'm invited to interview?

Candidates will be contacted by the beginning of February to invite them to a group interview. Candidates still in consideration will be contacted to schedule a final individual interview in late February. Final decisions and offers will happen at the end of March. All interviews, group and individual, will take place on Zoom.

Further questions?

Inquiries should be sent to fellowshipinfo@nytw.org.

Meet the Past Fellows

2050 Fellows (2013 - Present)

Tara Ahmadinejad
Melis Aker
Michael Alvarez
Elena Araoz
Nissy Aya
Jeff Augustin
Matt Barbot
Hilary Bettis
Lileana Blain-Cruz
Eleanor Burgess
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
Jeesun Choi
Shayok Misha Chowdhury
Miranda Cornell
Nana Dakin
Josiah Davis
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
Adil Mansoor
Thaddeus McCants
Aileen Wen McGroddy
Alexandru Mihail
Beto O’Byrne
Brian Otaño
Tatiana Pandiani
Ming Peiffer
Francis Weiss Rabkin
Attilio Rigotti
Andrew Rodriguez
Danny Sharron
Ruth Tang
Danya Taymor
Tyler Thomas
Minghao Tu
Stevie Walker-Webb
Gabriel Vega Weissman
Whitney White
Nia Ostrow Witherspoon
David Zheng
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
Gisela Cardenas
Robert Castro
Kipp Erante Cheng
Julia Cho
Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas
Jihan Crowther
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