The Many Voices Fellowship is intended to support early career playwrights of color and Indigenous playwrights who demonstrate artistic potential and a commitment to a year-long residency in Minnesota (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021). The fellowship is additionally supported by a professional theater artist mentor. Previous mentors include Christina Ham, Mark Valdez, and Daniel Alexander Jones. Fellowships provide an $18,000 stipend and $2,500 in play development funds. Fellows spend a year-long residency in Minnesota, 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, access to talent, 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 one play fully produced by professional theaters at the time of the application. 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 Many Voices Fellowships. A previous Many Voices Fellowship recipient applying for a second fellowship must submit a different play than the play that accompanied the successful previous application.
The Many Voices Fellowship was created in 1994 in partnership with the Jerome Foundation in order to create a home for early career playwrights of color and Indigenous playwrights who would provide the American theater scene with diverse voices and aesthetics. Since that time, the Many Voices program has provided over 140 fellowships for more than 100 early career playwrights, offering class instruction, play development workshops, and mentoring opportunities. Many Voices fellowship recipients include Marvin González De León Jessica Huang, Naomi Iizuka, Daniel Alexander Jones, Aditi Kapil, Janaki Ranpura, Josh Wilder, Harrison David Rivers, Aamera Siddiqui, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, and Kit Yan. In response to a national field study commissioned by the Playwrights' Center and the Jerome Foundation, the Many Voices Fellowships was significantly expanded in the 2013-14 fellowship year, offering a doubled award and opening to writers residing outside of Minnesota.
The Many Voices Fellowship provided me with a concrete reason to leave my job and my city in order to focus on me: Harrison David Rivers the playwright and—more importantly—Harrison David Rivers the person.
—Harrison David Rivers
Many Voices Fellow, 2014-15
Each application will contain the following pieces:
-Application Form (including contact details and eligibility 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 ten 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 December 5, 2019 do not count
-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 describe your artistic goals for the fellowship year. The fellowship offers time to write and develop work with professional collaborators—and the opportunity to utilize the many and varied resources of the Playwrights' Center, including career support, great 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 theatermaker.
-Full-length play script
A full-length play generally runs at least one hour. 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: December 5, 2019. 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.