The Many Voices Fellowship is intended to support early career Black playwrights, playwrights of color, and/or Indigenous playwrights (what's this?) who demonstrate extraordinary potential, artistic vision, and a commitment to a professional development residency in Minnesota. Starting on July 1, 2023, the fellowship is expanding from a one-year residency to a two-year residency (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2025), and the salary will be increasing to $25,000/year, to enhance sustainability for each playwright.
Within each two-year cycle, Many Voices Fellows will now be classified as part-time employees of Playwrights’ Center, with a salary of $25,000/year (paid bi-weekly), and eligible for all employee benefits, including employer-sponsored health insurance. Fellows will continue to have $3,000/year available to support customized play development through workshops with professional directors, dramaturgs, and actors.
Beyond the financial support, the fellowship includes working in an individualized and hands-on way with Playwrights’ Center artistic staff—some of the most experienced theater professionals in the country—to develop plays and connect playwrights to producers of new work. This holistic and customized combination of financial support, play development support, and professional connection 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 by the time of the application. Productions that open after December 1, 2022 do not count.
Playwrights who have not received a Many Voices Fellowship in the past are eligible.
Playwrights who have received one Many Voices Fellowship in the past are eligible.
Playwrights who have received two Many Voices Fellowships in the past are not eligible.
Previous Many Voices Fellowship recipients must apply with a different play than the one that accompanied their previous successful application. Playwrights who have received other Playwrights’ Center fellowships may apply, provided they still meet the Many Voices Fellowship eligibility guidelines. Recipients may not receive any other Playwrights' Center fellowships during the two-year cycle.
Fellows commit to spending the two-year fellowship period in Minnesota and actively participating in the Center's programs. Fellows will now be part-time employees of Playwrights' Center, paid on the same bi-weekly pay cycle and eligible for the same benefits, including employer-sponsored health insurance, as all other employees. Fellows may spend no more than 10 weeks/year (20 weeks over two years) out of town during their residency. Housing and travel are not provided.
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, Black playwrights, and/or 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 Zola Dee, Marvin González De León, Jessica Huang, Naomi Iizuka, Candrice Jones, Daniel Alexander Jones, Aditi Kapil, Janaki Ranpura, Katie Ka Vang, Josh Wilder, Harrison David Rivers, Aamera Siddiqui, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, and Kit Yan.
"Without a doubt the greatest gift that the Playwrights’ Center has to offer, and what will undoubtedly bring me back to it in the future, is the kind, dedicated, and wonderful community of people that I met there. If in the future someone asks me where to look for the future of theater, I know exactly where to point them."
Many Voices Fellow, 2021-22
(NOTE: The primary language used by evaluators during the selection process is English. If text is intentionally written not in English, a line of context would be helpful to an evaluator. Playwrights’ Center acknowledges this is an ethnocentric practice and hopes to expand access in the future. While most Fellowship activities and engagements are conducted in English, Playwrights' Center staff are available to discuss additional support and resources as necessary.)
Each application will contain the following pieces:
(including contact details, eligibility, and demographic information)
Please mark clearly which productions (if any) meet the criteria for being "fully produced by a professional theater." Professional productions are defined as full length productions—running at least 45 minutes in performance— 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 December 1, 2022 do not count.
-1 page Artistic Statement and Goals
This is a one-page artistic statement and description of your goals for the two-year fellowship term. While contextualizing your current artistic life, please describe your artistic goals for the fellowship term. 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, connections with artistic leaders, and teaching and community engagement. In what specific ways would this fellowship impact your artistic growth? How does this fellowship fit in with your larger career goals? A successful artistic statement will provide insight into your vision as a theatermaker and will support your submitted script. It will also articulate that you are ready to take advantage of this career-development opportunity, and that you are committed to spending two years in Minnesota in a cohort of other writers.
-Full-length play script
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. 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. Previous Many Voices Fellowship recipients must apply with a different play than the one that accompanied their previous successful application. 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 1, 2022. You will be sending a request through the application portal below. You may request letters through the application system before finishing your final application, so we recommend that you click on the link below and begin your application sooner rather than later to give your recommenders time to complete their letters. Letters of recommendation from previous applications cannot be re-used for this program.
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 the fellowship will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. CST on Zoom at this link.
Applications for the 2023-25 Many Voices Fellowship are due Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. CST.