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Black Theatre Coalition Announces Paid Fellowship Program for Aspiring Theatre Makers

Stage Directions • Stage DirectionsTheater News • June 1, 2021

The Black Theatre Coalition announces that it is awarding 48 fellowships of $50,000 each in 20 industry disciplines and is now accepting applications through July 16, 2021. The Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) was formed to eradicate racial inequities in employment in the American theater. Co-founders T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reginald “Reggie” Van Lee, along with Board Members Aaliytha Stevens and Naila McKenzie, announced that applications are being accepted for their paid BTC Fellowship Program. Black Theatre Coalition (BTC), the organization aiming “to build a sustainable, ethical roadmap to increase employment opportunities for Black theatre professionals” has been building these programs over the past 11 months.

To apply, visit

The application submissions will be accepted for six weeks beginning June 1, 2021 through July 16, 2021 with 12-month Fellowships in Set Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Sound Design, Video Design, Wigs/Hair Design, Stage Management, Theatre Management, Producing, Writing, Composition, Directing, Choreography, Musical Direction, Casting, Marketing & Advertising, Public Relations, Digital Media, Talent Agenting, and a 24-month Fellowship in General Management.

Each Fellow will receive $50,000 in salary and grant over the 12-month Fellowship.

A total of 48 Fellowships will be awarded with two in each category, except for General Management and Producing, which will both include six Fellows each.

  • What will the BTC Fellowship experience provide each fellow?
    Immersion in their area of the Industry on a daily basis, working alongside current industry leaders at the highest levels, learning the process of theater making from the executive, creative and /or administrative areas.
  • Connecting with Industry Leader and Broadway’s power players after business hours through BTC sponsored events.
  • Mentorship and guidance throughout the Fellowship Program from Black professionals currently working in the industry and from BTC Accomplices within companies/offices where fellows will be placed.
  • Black Theatre Coalition will produce “Pop Up Events” in which the full cohort of fellows will have the opportunity to work together to put their skills into practice.
  • Funding Industry Partners and Selection Committee will be named at a later date.

Over the 155 years since the very first Broadway musical (The Black Crook) premiered in 1866, the “Great White Way” has presented 3,002 musicals and 8,326 plays. Across all of these productions, there have been only 10 Black directors of a musical (0.3%), 11 Black directors of a Play (0.13%) and 17 Black choreographers of a Musical (0.56%). All of this directly correlates to the fact that there have only ever been two Black lead producers of a musical (representing 0.06% of all Broadway musicals). Furthermore, the numbers for Writers, Composers, Scenic, Lighting, Costume, Sound, Video, Music Contractors, Musical Directors, Arrangers, Orchestrators, Hair/Wigs/Makeup, Casting, General Management, Stage Management, Company Management, PR and Marketing/Advertising range from 0 to 5 in each category.

In a joint statement, Mr. Reid, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Van Lee said, “Once we identified just how vast the disparity is between the perceived inclusivity on stage and the utter dearth of Black professionals off stage, we began outlining ways in which we could address and ultimately eradicate this invisible imparity. This outline provided a clear path forward for our organization and our entire industry. It’s high time to end this ‘illusion of inclusion’ by reshaping the theatrical ecosystem for those who have been marginalized by systematically racist and biased power structures that have endured since the dawn of the American theater.”

BTC encourages Black Theatre Professionals to add their information for the upcoming database by visiting their website.

For partnership inquiries email –
For submissions –

Further information from the Black Theatre Coalition:


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