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The Public Theater offers a robust slate of artist development programs and residencies that engage writers, musicians, and multi-disciplinary performance artists in the creation of new and generative work. From the Emerging Writers Group to Watch Me Work to Joe's Pub New York Voices Commissioning Program, we support artists in reaching their full, creative potential.

More information about our artist development programs and residencies is listed below, and we invite you to return to this webpage for updates!


BIPOC Critics Lab

The BIPOC Critics Lab was founded in 2020 by journalist Jose Solís, as a first-of-its-kind program designed to train and create work by emerging BIPOC theater journalists. The training program culminates with a writing assignment for each participant, and The Public has committed to commissioning all current and alumni writers in the Lab. 

The 2023-2024 cohort members are Maria Paz Alegre, Zuhdi Boeri, Cynthia L. Dorsey, Jhaunay-Amanie Hernandez, Zoë Kim, Strella Leal, Francisco Morandi Zerpa, Alexander Paredes-Ruíz, Nina Slowinski, Eliseo Valerio, and Octavia Washington.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024-2025 BIPOC Critics Lab Cohort.

CUNY Fellowship

The Public Theater and The City University of New York's partnership invests in nurturing generations of arts leaders whose presence will help diversify the field. The partnership, which focuses specifically on Hunter and Brooklyn College’s undergraduate theater training programs, includes a suite of activities aiming to build a robust workforce development program. As part of their six-month paid fellowships, each fellow is engrained within specific Public Theater departments in each student’s chosen discipline, providing them with robust professional development and network-building opportunities to help launch their careers and offer resources to fellows to build a portfolio of work. Leadership support for CUNY Fellows at The Public provided by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel & Carl Spielvogel, the Miranda Family Fund, and The Tow Foundation.
Generous support provided by Lou and Kim D’Ambrosio and Nancy Rose & John Kimelman.

The 2023-24 CUNY Fellows include Nayarit Alcantara, Haley Lopes, Karla De Leon, José Noel, Jay Savana, and Madison Tamayo.

The CUNY Fellowships are application-based and open only to currently enrolled CUNY students. 

Devised Theater Working Group

The Devised Theater Working Group (DTWG) is an artist resource group designed for live arts-makers of all disciplines. DTWG creates an infrastructure to support collaborative collectives and other untraditional originators as they forge new theater. Alumni of the Devised Theater Working Group include Ty Defoe, Daniel Fish, Ryan J. Haddad, Daniel Koren, New Saloon, Aya Ogawa, River L. Ramirez, and Whitney White. 

The 2023-24 DTWG members include Amara Janae Brady, Dahlak Brathwaite, Jaime Cepero, Clarissa Marie Ligon, Eli Nixon, and One Whale's Tale (Camilo Quiroz-Vázquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos).

DTWG Cohorts are curated by the Public Theater's artistic staff and are not open to applications.

Emerging Writers Group

The Emerging Writers Group (EWG) is a two-year fellowship at The Public Theater for playwrights and other generative artists at the early stages of their professional careers. The fellowship consists of bi-weekly meetings where cohort members share new work in progress, which culminates in the EWG Spotlight Series, a festival of professionally produced readings for members of the industry and the general public. Other program benefits include: a $10,000 stipend, $1,000 in reimbursable funds for seeing shows around NYC, complimentary tickets to all Public Theater activity, professional headshots, opportunities to observe the rehearsal processes of Public Theater shows, and professional networking.

The 2023-2025 Emerging Writers are Karina Billini, Tomas Endter, Jesse Jae Hoon, Humaira Iqbal, Celeste Jennings, Nina Ki, Gloria Oladipo, Valen-Marie Santos, Amita Sharma, and Al Sierra.

Applications for EWG are currently closed. We will begin accepting applications for the next EWG cohort in December 2024. 


The Apothetae is a New York-based theater company dedicated to producing works that explore and illuminate the Disabled Experience, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gregg Mozgala. The Apothetae's residency at The Public Theater investigates how all the elements of theatrical meaning—from text to performance to audience engagement–might center Disabled and d/Deaf identities. As part of their ambitious initiative to explore accessibility in development, process, performances, documentation, and aesthetics, The Apothetae is developing a bilingual production of Titus Andronicus in English and American Sign Language (ASL), exploring how familiar Shakespeare plays acquire new meaning when Disabled and d/Deaf actors are empowered to exercise their craft. Access their website.

This residency is for the Apothetae theater company and its affiliated artists. It is not an application-based opportunity.

Leadership support for Accessibility Initiatives at The Public, including the Apothetae Residency, is provided by the Ford Foundation and The Eugene M. Lang Foundation. Generous support for the Disability Working Group is provided by Grace Lay - LinLay Productions.

Brooklyn College Residencies

The Public Theater and Brooklyn College host annual residencies that grant time, space, and resources to both professional artists and CUNY theater students. Created in partnership with the Tow Foundation, The Public Theater's New Work Development department curates a series of residencies, workshops, and development opportunities on Brooklyn College's gorgeous Flatbush campus that support key moments in artists' creation of new work, supported by Brooklyn College students. The Public Theater-affiliated artists also host a day of classes for BC students at the beginning of each academic year, covering topics ranging from playwriting and digital performance to theater economics and artistic collaboration.

The Brooklyn College Residencies are curated by the Public Theater's artistic staff. It is not an application-based opportunity.

Creatives Rebuild New York

The Public Theater received an Artist Employment Program grant from Creatives Rebuild New York in 2022. Designed to support employment opportunities for artists, the program funds 98 collaborations involving a dynamic group of 300 artists employed by community-based organizations, municipalities, and tribal governments across New York State. 

These Resident Artists collaborate with The Public Theater on the creation of new art and the co-creation of community practice. These include panel discussions, community storytelling projects, and accessibility consultations.

The current Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) Resident Artists are Julian Goldhagen, Ryan J. Haddad, and Ife Olujobi.

The CRNY residencies are a temporary program and will not be renewed once the current residencies end in July 2024.

Ntozake Shange Social Justice Playwright in Residence

The Ntozake Shange Social Justice Theater Residency supports women, femme, and non-binary scholar-playwrights of the African Diaspora through a two-year engagement in partnership with the Barnard Center for Research and Women and The Public Theater. Inspired by the luminous legacy of theater artist and poet Ntozake Shange and conceived by inaugural resident Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Shange residents participate in the development of their original work, lead seminars and educational events with Barnard College students, and have access to the Barnard archives for artistic research. Each resident is given a salary, benefits, and funds for professional development activities.

The current Ntozake Shange Social Justice Playwright in Residence is Erika Dickerson-Despenza.

Applications for the Ntozake Shange Residency are currently closed. We will begin accepting applications for the next fellow in Fall 2024.

Tow Playwright in Residence

The Tow Playwright Residency program, founded in 2013, offers playwrights the opportunity to focus on their craft, gain experience and insight into all aspects of the nonprofit theater world, and debut their work. The residencies are awarded to New York City theaters to support and present the work of a pre-selected playwright. The award integrates the selected playwright into the theater’s day-to-day operations and includes a full-time salary and benefits, allowing each playwright to gain experience and insight into all aspects of the nonprofit theater world. 

The current Tow Playwright in Residence is Emerging Writers Group alum Else Went.

The Tow Residency is curated by the Tow Foundation and The Public Theater's artistic staff. It is not an application-based opportunity. 

Writer in Residence

The Writer-in-Residence position was awarded to Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks in 2008. Parks marks 30 years overall at The Public with 2024's Sally & Tom; she first worked at The Public with the 1994 premiere of The America Play. Through this position, she developed several productions at her creative home, including Topdog/Underdog, Sally & Tom, Plays for the Plague Year, The Harder They Come, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Part 1, 2, and 3), and more.

As a part of her role at The Public, Parks also hosts Watch Me Work, a regularly scheduled communal work session. Enjoy a 20-minute creative session, followed by an engaging 40-minute dialogue where participants can work with Parks to receive valuable support, encouragement, and motivation for their artistic projects. Facilitated by Suzan-Lori Parks and the New Work Development department, Watch Me Work takes place via Zoom sessions and HowlRound livestreams that you can join at home, at school, or in a coffee shop from anywhere in the world! Watch Me Work began as a piece in the Under the Radar Festival in 2011 and evolved into a recurring event.

This is not an application-based opportunity. 

Joe's Pub.

New York Voices

New York Voices is Joe’s Pub at The Public’s artist commissioning program. As part of The Public Theater’s long history of cultivating the country’s most celebrated artists, this program supports the creation of new works by critically-acclaimed musicians and performers. New York Voices encourages artists to explore their storytelling, narratives and songwriting processes, and includes a variety of developmental and practical resources. 

Our 2023-2024 commissions are by Dan FishbackOmar Offendum, and Sarah Elizabeth Charles.

Vanguard Award & Residency

The Vanguard Award & Residency is an award and yearlong residency that celebrates the career of a singular artist who has contributed to American life and pop culture and is a part of the Joe’s Pub family of artists. This artist also sustains and leads their own artistic community while creating a body of work that stands apart from their peers. Additionally, the award answers to the music industry’s widening gaps in funding. 

The 2023-2024 Joe’s Pub Vanguard Residency was awarded to five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Angélique Kidjo.

Joe's Pub Working Group

Joe's Pub Working Group (JPWG) aims to enrich the sustainability and growth of New York-based emerging and established artists’ careers by providing administrative resources, physical space and curatorial services, further cultivating a community atmosphere wherein those artists can create and sustain new and developing work.

The current JPWG cohort is comprised of: Ellen WinterEsraa WardaFiras Zreik, and Queen Esther.