The Playwrights' Center's Jerome Fellowship is intended to support early career playwrights who demonstrate extraordinary potential, artistic vision, and a commitment to spending a year in residence in Minnesota developing their work with the Playwrights' Center in community with other fellows. Fellows will receive an $18,000 stipend and $2,500 in development support.
Fellows spend a year-long residency in Minnesota (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022), working in an individualized and hands-on way with the Playwrights' Center artistic staff—some of the most experienced and connected theater professionals in the country. Beyond the financial stipend, the value of fellowships is more than doubled with the year-long support the Playwrights' Center adds through workshops with professional directors, dramaturgs, and actors—and through the connections the Center makes between playwrights and producers of new work. This holistic and customized combination of financial support, connections with other artists, and professional connections is career-changing for most playwrights.
Applicants must reside in, and have the legal right to work in, the United States during the fellowship term. Applicants may not have had more than two different works fully produced by professional theaters at the time of the application. (Note for 2020: If you had a production that was canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, that does not count when determining eligibility. Even if the play technically opened before cancellation, you do not need to count that production, so you will still be eligible for this fellowship. Please be sure to mark cancellations or postponements clearly on your resume.) Fellows commit to spending the 12-month fellowship period in Minnesota and actively participating in the Center's programs. Housing and travel are not provided. Playwrights may not receive more than two Jerome Fellowships. A previous Jerome Fellowship recipient applying for a second fellowship must submit a different play than the play that accompanied the previous successful application. Recipients may not receive any other Playwrights' Center fellowships during the year.
I know I’ve grown deeply as a person and writer this Fellowship year. I understand myself both creatively and personally in a way I’ve never experienced before. It feels like a rapid-pace experience of the self: the gift of solitude, searching, space to work, think, breathe, understand what I’m interested in writing and sharing with the world. The art I wish to create and consume. I’ve learned more about myself as a person and a writer than I have in my entire life.
Jerome Fellow, 2018-19
Each application will contain the following pieces:
-Application Form (including contact details, eligibility, and demographic information)
Please note clearly which productions listed on your resume (if any) meet the criteria for being "fully produced by a professional theater." Professional productions are defined as productions for which the author and primary artists (actors, directors, and creative collaborators) were reasonably compensated and that received at least three public performances each. Ten-minute or one-act plays and university, college, secondary school, amateur, and Equity showcase/waiver productions are not considered full professional productions. Productions that open after November 19, 2020 do not count. (Note for 2020: If you had a production that was canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, that does not count when determining eligibility. Even if the play technically opened before cancellation, you do not need to count that production, so you will still be eligible for this fellowship. We want to make sure that the pandemic does not negatively impact your ability to apply for this program. Please be sure to mark cancellations or postponements clearly on your resume.)
-1 page Artistic Statement and Goals.
This is a one-page artistic statement and description of your goals for the fellowship year. While contextualizing your current artistic life, please also describe your artistic goals for the fellowship year. The fellowship offers time to write and develop work with professional collaborators—in addition to the opportunity to utilize the many and varied resources of the Playwrights' Center, including career support, connections with artistic leaders, and teaching and community engagement. In what specific ways would this fellowship impact your artistic growth? How prepared are you to fully take advantage of this opportunity? This statement, along with your script, should help provide insight into your vision as a theater maker.
-Full-length play script
Please be sure your name and the play title are on the cover page. A full-length play generally runs at least 45 minutes. If you are hoping to submit a script that is shorter than 45 minutes in length, please contact Julia at email@example.com to discuss. (Please note that this length has been updated.) All script submissions must be written only by the applicant—no co-written submissions will be accepted. Scripts for musicals may be submitted by the book writer only. The submitted script must be a complete draft that represents your best playwriting.
-Two letters of recommendation
Please request two letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your work as a playwright. Letters must be received by the application deadline: November 19, 2020. You will be sending a request through the application portal below.
Questions may be addressed to Artistic Programs Manager Julia Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: You will need to make a SlideRoom account in order to apply. If you are a Playwrights' Center member, your PWC login will not automatically log you in to SlideRoom—they are two different systems. If you already have a SlideRoom account, you should be able to access the application using your existing login.
For a video tutorial on using SlideRoom, please click here.
An information session about the application and fellowship was held on Wednesday, October 14 at 4:00 p.m. CST on Zoom. The recording of the session is available below the application link. (Please note that since the posting of the video, our definition of a full-length play has adjusted to a piece running over 45 minutes in performance.)
Applications for the 2021-22 Jerome Fellowship are due Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CST.