Submissions Open for Cycle 4 of Next Wave Initiative | Playbill

Industry News Submissions Open for Cycle 4 of Next Wave Initiative

Douglas Lyons founded the developmental branch of The Directors Company.

Douglas Lyons Tricia Baron

Submissions are now open for Cycle 4 of The Next Wave Initiative, the developmental branch of The Directors Company that is committed to amplifying future Black voices in the American theatre.

Available scholarships include The Lorraine Hansberry Writing Scholarship, The Spike Lee Directing Scholarship, The Hattie McDaniel Acting Scholarship, The Alvin Ailey Dance Scholarship, and The Black Excellence Impact Award. Since its launch in June 2020, NWI has raised over $30,000 towards its scholarships.

Applicants must be of the Black diaspora and pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in writing, dance, directing, or acting. All genders and ages are welcome. 

“I cannot believe we are in our fourth year,” said Chicken and Biscuits playwright Douglas Lyons, who founded The Next Wave Initiative, in a statement. “Next Wave is a small, but mighty mission intended to encourage the next generation of Black creators, highlighting their genius in case the world never does.”

The Directors Company is a not-for-profit theatre company with a mission to develop and produce groundbreaking new plays and musicals. The Directors Studio offers affordable rehearsal space in midtown.

Applications must be submitted by May 17; finalists will be announced this summer. To apply or donate to the program, visit

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