About the DGF Fellows Program

The DGF Fellows program is a year-long New York City-based intensive for dramatists looking to develop their existing work in pursuit of further production and development in the next level of their careers. The Fellows is a free program, hosted by the Dramatists Guild Foundation, to eliminate historical barriers of entry for many emerging dramatists. This cohort of playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists will work together under the guidance and leadership of Award-winning dramatists.

Fellows who are selected receive:

  • A $5,000 Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation Scholarship
  • One-on-one mentoring from accomplished professionals in the field who help them hone their process, find their unique voice, and revise and edit an existing work ready for development
  • Access to career resources
  • Connections to partner with national arts organizations
  • The opportunity to participate in a presentation of their work for top theater professionals


The program was founded in 2000 by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, Janet Neipris, and Susan Miller. They believed it was vital to put playwrights and musical theater writers in the same room, to learn from each other’s different perspectives, to see how collaboration creates magic, and to foster community. 

The success of the program has been proven by the careers of various dramatists and collaborations, including launching the careers of more than 200 writers. With alumni that include recipients of Pulitzers, Tonys, Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, Larson Awards, Kleban Awards, and Fred Ebb Awards, the DGF Fellows program is an opportunity to grow in community and professionally.

DGF Fellows is supported through the generosity of the Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation.

DGF Fellows Program Chairs

Michael Korie, Musical Theater Chair
Jess McLeod, Musical Theater Chair
José Rivera, Playwriting Chair
Nikkole Salter, Playwriting Chair


Since its inception in 2000, the Fellows program has given over 160 writers a path forward in the industry, with several going on to achieve the highest levels of recognition in both theater and film.

Fellows alumni include Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen, In Transit, Coco), Chisa Hutchinson (She Like Girls, The Wedding Gift), Michael R. Jackson (Pulitzer Prize Winner, A Strange Loop), Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Antoinette Nwandu (Pass Over), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman, La La Land), Lauren Yee (The Great Leap, King of the Yees), and many more.

View Our Fellows Directory

DGF Nationwide Virtual Fellows

Our historic Fellows program has expanded to have a virtual offering for playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists located across the United States.

Learn More