McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships

McKnight Artist Fellowships


The McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships at the Playwrights’ Center recognize theater artists other than playwrights. The intent of the program is to recognize and support mid-career artists living and working in Minnesota who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. The $25,000 fellowships are intended to significantly advance recipients’ art and careers.

NOTE: Advance notification of intent to apply is strongly encouraged (but not required). Panelists attend live performances to help familiarize themselves with applicants' work, so it is very important to declare your intent to apply and inform the Playwrights’ Center where and when your performances take place. You may notify the Center of intent to apply any time before the final application deadline. (You may submit a final application without notifying the Center in advance; however, by providing no notice of your intent to apply, you are limiting panelists’ ability to view your work in a live setting.)

Selection is based on a commitment to theater arts, evidence of professional achievement, and a sustained level of excellence in the applicant's work. Recent recipients include: Sarah Agnew, Ansa Akyea, Barry Browning, Bart Buch, Shá Cage, Sun Mee Chomet, James Craven, Marcus Dilliard, Katharine Horowitz, Masanari Kawahara, Christopher Lutter-Gardella, Greta Oglesby, Sonja Parks, Denise Prosek, Joel Sass, Michael Wangen, James A. Williams, Stephen Yoakam, Mathew LeFebvre, Austene Van, and Sally Wingert.

With the generous support of the McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship I have been able to make use of the time and space to breathe easier and focus on creating art. And though I'm still growing, it has given me the confidence to take creative risks, to challenge myself, to push past boundaries even I put myself.
– Austene Van
McKnight Theater Artist Fellow, 2014-15

Important Links


-Professional artists who have been continuous residents of Minnesota since April 11, 2018 are eligible to apply. Fellows must maintain residence in Minnesota during the fellowship year.

-The Theater Artist Fellowship is open to actors, directors, dramaturgs, stage managers, and theatrical designers (including puppetry). It is also open to those choreographers and composers whose main body of work is in theater. Playwrights are not eligible for this award. (Playwrights are encouraged to apply for the McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting. Composers, choreographers, visual artists, and other artists whose work is not primarily in theater are encouraged to apply for the McKnight Fellowship in their field.)

-Full time students at any level are not eligible.

-Recipients of 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 McKnight Artist Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible.

-Only individual artists are eligible; applications from collaborative groups are not accepted.

-Staff and board members of the McKnight Foundation or the Playwrights' Center or their immediate families are not eligible.

-Applicants may only apply for one McKnight Artist Fellowship each year in any discipline.

The Application

Each application will contain the following pieces:

-Application Form (including contact details and theatrical medium)

-1-page Artists Statement
This statement is an opportunity for the panel to get to know you as an artist beyond the work sample(s) that you submit. This statement should articulate your development as an artist, your approach to your work, and how you collaborate with other artists.

-Resume or Bio (max. 2 pages)

-Two Statements of Working Process
These are letters written by two people familiar with your work. These statements should focus on your process, working relaaitonships with collaborators and co-workers, and other aspects of your work that are not apparent through the work sample(s).

-Work Sample Information Sheet (max. 2 pages)
This is where you will indicate the work sample format, work(s) submitted, date of the performance, length of any video/audio, your role in the piece (actor, costume designer, etc.), and any information that you feel would be helpful to the panel when evaluating your work sample. It has been noted by past panelists that including an expanation of why you chose these samples is helpful.

-Work Sample(s)
It is helpful to display the breadth of your work through your sample. Do not submit scripts, reviews, or other text formats. 
You may submit samples in no more than two of the following formats:

  • Video - 3-4 minutes of video, either directly uploaded or linked from YouTube/Vimeo/etc. This footage can be from one or multiple performances. We recommend including your strongest samples in the first 1-2 minutes.
  • Audio - 3-4 total minutes of audio, either directly uploaded or linked from another site. This footage can be from one or multiple performances. We recommend including your strongest samples in the first 1-2 minutes.
  • Photographs - up to 10 images.

For directors and dramaturgs: While your work samples are incredibly important, consider providing commentary on why you chose the particular pieces as part of your work sample and what you'd like the panel to focus on.

For designers: Consider providing detailed information about your design process and choices along with your work samples. 

We strongly recommend that you declare your intent to apply and add performances to the performance calendar beginning in September 2019. Questions may be addressed to Artistic Programs Administrator Julia Brown at

Information sessions about the fellowship and introducing the online application will be held on in early 2020

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.

application posted in september 2019 »

Application posted in September 2019
McKnight Theater Artist Fellow
McKnight Theater Artist Fellow
McKnight Theater Artist Fellow