Directors Inclusion Initiative

This initiative, started in the 2015/2016 season, aims to encourage and develop talented and emerging Chicago stage directors who identify as people of color, disabled, women, transgender, gender non-conforming and LGBTQ+.

We continue our commitment to cultivate a new generation of diverse stage directors who create dynamic theater work from their unique points of view. Selected candidates for the Directors Inclusion Initiative will have the opportunity to assistant direct one of the mainstage productions of the 2021/2022 season and be connected to the evolving and exciting artistic life at Victory Gardens Theater. Applicants must have completed undergraduate schooling and have at least two years of professional experience.


Applications for the 2021/22 season will open in Summer 2021; please check back in July for more details.

Applicants should submit the following:

  • A Resume (as a Adobe .pdf only)
  • Two letters of recommendation from industry professionals or educators familiar with their work. Please submit the letters of recommendation as a part of your completed application – letters sent outside of completed materials will not be considered.
  • A cover letter that addresses the following questions:
    • What kind of aesthetic/storytelling are you most interested in as a director?
    • Why is the Director’s Inclusion Initiative the next step for your directorial career? What do you hope to get out of the Initiative?
    • What is an artistic work (any medium) that speaks to you as a director? Why?
    • What are your first and second choices for shows and/or directors the 2021/2022 Season and why?
      *We plan to announce our season in summer 2021
  • Additionally, feel free to submit a limited portfolio. This may include production photographs and/or a production link.

If you have any questions about the Directors Inclusion Initiative, please reach out to

Past Directors Inclusion Initiative Fellows

Alexander (Lex) Turner
Tiny Beautiful Things
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Lanise Antoine Shelley
The First Deep Breath
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Christina Casano
How to Defend Yourself
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Jeremy Ohringer
Dhaba on Devon Avenue
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Aliza Feder
Right To Be Forgotten
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Lauren Katz
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Mikael Burke
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N. Emil Thomas
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Denise Yvette Serna
Cambodian Rock Band
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Ruby Des Jardins
If I Forget
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Elizabeth Swanson
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Fun Home
Hannah Tova Wolff
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Regina Victor
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Carol Ann Tan
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Mies Julie

Kaiser Zaki Ahmed
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Hand To God
Arianna Soloway
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Roz and Ray
Charlotte Drover
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Ameenah Kaplan
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A Wonder In My Soul
Alyssa Vera Ramos
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Native Gardens

Toma Tavares Langston
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Sucker Punch
Lavina Jadhwani
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Never the Sinner
Lexi Saunders
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Kevin Matthew Reyes
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Hillary And Clinton
Chika Ike
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The House That Will Not Stand

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