Fellowship Opportunity for Greater Rochester-based adults, ages 18 – 29


A 19‐week, 200‐hour fellowship provides six adults, ages 18 – 29, identifying as BIPOC or Arab American, with a rare opportunity to acquire and practice skill sets needed for success in the non‐performance side of the Theatre Arts field.

StageCraft awards a $2,000 stipend and an educational arts/vocational on-ramp for six Fellows to pursue career paths in the non-performing theater arts, an industry that rapidly is losing expertise as experienced technicians age out of the field. Fellows become acquainted with front-of-house, back-of-house, creative, curatorial, and administrative activities and responsibilities: ushering, box office management, directing, casting, dramaturgy, lights and sound design, scenic design, wardrobe management, and hair and make-up design. The StageCraft curriculum includes facilitated site visits to partnering organizations Geva Theatre and Blackfriars Theatre, where Fellows shadow and interact with skilled professionals and attend performances. Fellows are also mentored by Writers & Books staff in resume writing, marketing, graphic design, and arts administration. The program culminates at Edison Career & Technology High School with a staged reading of the play Conversations on Clarissa Street.

Lead Funder: William and Sheila Konar Foundation
Supporting Funders: Rochester Area Community Foundation and Private Donors


  • Greater Rochester-based adults, ages 18 – 29
  • Self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native, Desi, Asian, Pacific Islander, Chicanx, Latinx, Person of Color) or Arab American
  • Not enrolled in a degree-granting higher education institution between the dates of March 15 and August 19, 2024 (high school students in the graduating class of 2024 may apply)
  • Access to laptop, tablet, or similar device

Deadline to apply: March 15, 2024 by 11 pm

How to apply: Complete a confidential application form here. Portal opens on 2/15/2024. The first 60 applications submitted will be considered.

Fellowship Benefits

  • Receive a $2,000 stipend to assist with transportation, childcare, time away from your job, etc.
  • Gain practical strategies from experts for pursuing a career in the theater industry.
  • Learn transferable skill sets.
  • Enjoy live theater and engage with literary and critical texts.
  • Participate in a peer cohort that will continue beyond 2024.

Fellowship Timeline 

March 10, 11 pm: Deadline to apply. Note: Portal closes after 60 applications are received.

March 16 – 20: Finalists interviewed by appointment.

March 22: Six fellows (minimum of three self-identify as women) and two alternates selected.

March 27 – 30: Four‐day intensive (32 hours) with  the Artistic Director.

April 5 – August 9: 18 Friday evenings/Saturdays (128 total hours).

August 14 – 17 and August 19: Five‐day intensive with the Artistic Director, including culminating performance (40 hours).

Project Leadership

Gary DeWitt Marshall has over two decades of experience in live theater, film, and television as an actor, award-winning director, and producer. An Edison Tech graduate, he earned his BA from Hobart & William Smith Colleges and his MAT in Theater Education from the University of South Carolina. Currently, he is an Instructor of Theatre & Performance at the College of Charleston and Director-in-Residence at Queen Street PlayHouse, Charleston, SC.

Alison Meyers, Executive Director of Writers & Books, is a veteran nonprofit leader with previous appointments at Cave Canem Foundation, NY (Executive Director, 2006 – 2016), Hill-Stead Museum, CT (Poetry Director and Director of Marketing, 2000 -2006), and Oberlin, OH, Consumers Co-op (General Manager). A consultant for literary arts nonprofits and Treasurer of the  Board of Kweli, Alison is a Pushcart Prize‐nominated poet, fiction writer, and essayist whose work may be found in journals and anthologies and at