Playwrights' Center's Jerome Fellowship supports early career playwrights 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, Jerome 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 November 17, 2022 do not count.
Playwrights who have not received a Jerome Fellowship in the past are eligible.
Playwrights who have received one Jerome Fellowship in the past are eligible.
Playwrights who have received two Jerome Fellowships in the past are not eligible.
Previous Jerome 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 Jerome 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.
Previous recipients of the Jerome Fellowship include Lucas Baisch, Mia Chung, Kristoffer Diaz, Gethsemane Herron, Jessica Huang, Candrice Jones, Shannon TL Kearns, Basil Kreimendahl, Sofya Levitstky-Weitz, Anna Ouyang Moench, Andrew Rosendorf, Tori Sampson, Deborah Stein, TyLie Shider, Josh Wilder, and Rhiana Yazzie.
"I am in a much better place artistically, professionally, and spiritually than I've ever been. It looks like I'm getting close to ending that period of being a playwright called 'emerging' or 'early-career,' and these fellowships have been indispensable in helping me get over that hump. The Jerome Fellowship was a perfect way to have that artistic period come to an end and catapult me into my next chapter."
—Marvin González De León
Jerome Fellow, 2021-22
"Where one writes is just as important as where one chooses to lay their head at night—the Playwrights’ Center in infused with the energies of all the legends who have sat in that space and gave birth to some of the greatest pieces of theater this country has ever seen; I am on a mission to be just as legendary; therefore, it was imperative that I take full advantage of such a creatively rich space."
Jerome 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)
-Playwriting Resume (any legible format)
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 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 November 17, 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
Please be sure your name and the play title are on the cover page. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. The submitted script must be a complete draft that represents your best playwriting. Previous Jerome Fellowship recipients must apply with a different play than the one that accompanied their previous successful application.
-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: November 17, 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 email@example.com.
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 fellowship will be held on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. CST on Zoom at this link. The recording of last year’s information session is available below. (Please note that since the posting of the video, our definition of a full-length play has adjusted to a piece running over 45 minutes in performance.)
Applications for the 2023-25 Jerome Fellowship are due Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. CST.