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O’Neill, NNPN, Kennedy Center, and SDC Foundation Name 2017 Directing Fellows

Five emerging directors will received professional development opportunities through the fellowship.

NATIONWIDE: Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, National New Play Network, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, and Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation have announced the five emerging directors who will participate in the 2017 National Directors Fellowship. This marks the third incarnation of the program. The fellows will be Sherri Eden Barber, Estefania Fadul, Kareen Fahmy, Leora Morris, and LA Williams.

“It was an incredibly competitive process, and it is a reminder of the profound need for a program such as this one,” said program director Wendy C. Goldberg in a statement. “There is nothing quite like this program for directors who are focusing on new work, and I’m honored to be working with these artists.”

Fellowships begin at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in July 2017, with workshops and professional development opportunities throughout the year, culminating with a professional direction post at a National New Play Network member theatre.

In addition to Goldberg, the section committee included playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer, artistic director of Blood Theatre Jack Reuler,  artistic director of Victory Gardens Theater Chay Yew, executive director of the NNPN Nan Barnett, freelance director and national directors fellow Portia Krieger, lighting designer Bradley King, and director of the SDC Foundation David Roberts.


Sherri Eden Barber

Barber is a director based in New York, where she is artistic director of Ricochet Collective as well as program director at the Drama League, and the core company director for the Orchard Project, and a Drama League directing fellow. She has worked at the Public Theater and Signature Theatre. She received her MFA from New School for Drama.

Estafania Fadul

Fadul is a Colombian-born, New Hampshire-raised director and producer based in New York City. Her work has been seen at Milagro Theatre, the Public Theatre, and Drama League Director Fest. She was the assistant producer for Soho Rep’s Washeteria.  She received her bachelor’s from Vassar College.

Kareen Fahmy

Fahmy is a Canadian-born director of Egyptian descent who focuses on new-play development. He is a resident director at the Flea Theater. His work has also been seen at Noor Theatre, Rising Circle Theatre Collective, the Lark, and Fault Line Theatre. He received his MFA from Columbia University

Leora Morris

Morris is based in Georgia, where she is the Yale Directing Fellow at the Alliance Theatre. Her work has been seen at Tarragon Theatre, Paradigm Productions, Coal Mine Theatre and NYU. She is a winner of Toronto’s 2012 Kenn MacDogall Award for Emerging Directors and a co-recipient of Yale’s Julian Milton Kaufman Prize for Directing. She received her MFA from Yale School of Drama.

LA Williams

Williams is a director based in New York. He serves on the Encores! Off-Center Artist Board at New York City Center and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. He has worked with the Public Theatre, National Black Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, and Brooklyn Art Exchange. He received his master’s from Emerson College and his bachelor’s from Alabama State University.

In addition to the fellows, there were also eight finalists for the fellowship: Sash Bischoff, Jennifer Change, Erin Gilley, Matt Hawkins, Flordelino Langundino, Doug Oliphant, Dina Vovsi, and Beth Wood.

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