TheFrontOffice Foundation has announced an inaugural grant for mid-career female-identifying theatre directors on the basis of both need and merit. Applications for the grant will open October 1 and close October 31.
The award of $25,000+ will be one of the largest financial awards to be given to an individual director, with an intended award date set for December 2022. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee helmed by Wendy Goldberg, Patricia McGregor, Robert O'Hara, Lisa Peterson, and Chay Yew.
Funding for the grant is led by Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Tamilla Woodard (Hadestown), Lear DeBessonet (Into The Woods), Wendy C. Goldberg and TheFrontOffice, Lila Neugebaur, Peggy J. Koenig, and Jerry and Roz Meyer.
"This is not a pipeline issue. This grant is simply about recognizing an artist already thriving in her/their career, which sadly may not translate to financial stability,” says Chavkin. “Hopefully, this award both sheds light on that challenging reality, encourages more hiring of people who haven’t yet made their Broadway debut in the commercial sphere, and helps inspire new necessary funding for mid-career directors. It’s an honor to stand with these treasured colleagues in supporting this grant.”
"Just prior to the pandemic, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers released a study entitled 'On the Edge' where we finally learned the truth to what we all already anecdotally knew: once a female director hits what should be the height of her/their career, they instead drop off and out of the active working membership at a startling rate. Gender bias, overall lack of equity, lack of resources, and lack of consideration for larger and even more commercial opportunities are all barriers to this progress. With the help of some additional leaders in these efforts, we're creating a mid-career grant for a female-identifying director which is one of the largest financial grants to a theatre director,” adds Goldberg. “Currently, there is no support quite like this. It's also special because it's designed to encourage directors to also give back to our community and many of my colleagues have gratefully stepped right up."
For more information, email [email protected].