Director's Residency


Theatre Bay Area’s Director’s Residency Program Guidelines

Guidelines Available Here

Applications for the Director's Residency program are now closed. 

May 11, 2020, 5pm: Application deadline
Week of June 15, 2020: Applicants notified
Fall 2020: Cohort gathering 1
Spring 2021: Cohort gathering 2
July 31, 2021: Final Report due 


The goal of Theatre Bay Area’s Director’s Residency program is to train regional theatre directors who aspire to become artistic directors of nonprofit theatre companies. This project will prepare a diverse cohort of theatre-makers to step into artistic leadership positions. The program will both enhance the qualifications of freelance directors to assume such positions and assist our theatres to prepare for future leadership transitions.

The program will ultimately place three directors with theatres in residencies stretching over 12 months, during which they will be mentored by the artistic director and be provided at least one opportunity to direct a significant project.

Theatre companies and directors will apply jointly. Theatres and directors will have the opportunity to identify any already-established relationships that they would like to use in this residency. For all directors and theaters who are interested TBA will provide an opportunity for theatre companies and directors to engage in a match-making exercise prior to application.

Individual director applicants who identify as persons of color, women, or gender non-binary will be given weighted consideration with the goal of assembling a diverse cohort, with these individuals in the majority.

Over the course of 12-months, directors will be required to spend the equivalent of 16 full-time weeks (640 hours) in physical residence with a theatre, arranged in whatever units of time work best for both parties. Artistic directors will introduce resident directors to the myriad tasks that comprise their job, including artistic programming, budget-making, fundraising, marketing, audience development activities, and working closely with the board of directors. By working closely with artistic leadership, residents will also be introduced to artists and leaders throughout the larger theatre community.

The program provides the company with $12,000, who will then hire the artist under current California law. In addition to receiving mentoring and engaging with the company’s administrative functions, each will have the opportunity to direct at least one significant creative project; these could take many different forms – such as directing on the main stage, in a festival or a second stage series, or devising and directing a new piece. For the purposes of this residency, staged readings do not count toward a significant creative project. The funds will go towards covering the individual’s fees for their administrative and artistic work.

The cohort of residents and artistic directors will convene at least twice during the project period. TBA will engage speakers/facilitators to deepen the participants’ knowledge of current issues impacting the field and to build relationships among cohort members. Additionally, the participating theatres will be provided with training on succession planning and leadership development.

This program is funded with generous support of The National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Bay Area.

Questions? Contact Kim Cohan, Programs Manager at or 415-430-1140 x*17.