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The Terrence McNally New Works Incubator

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About the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator

The Terrence McNally New Works Incubator is a fellowship program created by the Terrence McNally Foundation in partnership with Tom Kirdahy Productions (TKP) and Rattlestick Theater. As a continuation of Terrence McNally’s singular legacy of fostering bold new voices in the American theatre, the incubator will support the development of new plays by offering resources and professional mentorship to three early-career playwrights and creating an opportunity for them to develop their work with the support of both a nonprofit theater and a commercial theatrical production company. 

McNally fellows are selected by a panel of renowned American playwrights. The selection panel for the inaugural cohort of McNally fellows includes Sheila Callaghan, Stephen Karam, MJ Kaufman, Donja R. Love, Taylor Mac, Lynn Nottage, Paula Vogel, and Chey Yew.

Elements of the program:

A - Stipend

  • Each McNally fellow will receive a one-time stipend of $5000 to be used as the playwright sees fit to best further their goals.

B - Mentorship

  • In consultation with Rattlestick Theater and Tom Kirdahy Productions, each McNally fellow will be paired with a veteran playwright mentor who will read a minimum of two drafts and offer one-on-one feedback, in addition to attending a workshop rehearsal and/or final presentation subject to their availability.

C - Three-Week Incubation

  • After the initial mentor meeting, the playwright will revise and develop their play for three weeks. This is time for rigorous thinking, dreaming, and writing outside the constraints of a product-oriented rehearsal space.

  • In addition to mentor feedback, the playwright will meet with the literary teams at both TKP and Rattlestick to discuss their work and process.

  • McNally fellows will be invited to participate in a series of luncheons where they will have the opportunity to get to know the teams at TKP and Rattlestick as well as the other McNally fellows and other industry professionals.

D - 29-Hour Workshop

  • The second part of the incubator will take the form of a week-long workshop culminating in a public presentation.

  • Core collaborators (director, dramaturg, actors) will be chosen in consultation with the selected playwright, TKP, and Rattlestick and will be compensated for their time. 

  • The makeup of the audience for the public presentation will be determined by the playwright in consultation with TKP and Rattlestick.


*Important: We will accept a maximum of 500 submissions for the 2023 Fellowship cycle.


Applications Open: November 3, 2022 

Applications Close: January 9, 2023 (or when we reach 500 Submissions)

Fellows Announcement: Late Spring 2023



  • Are the sole author of your play (co-created material is not accepted).

  • Will not be a full-time student during 2023. *Full-time students who are graduating in May 2023 are eligible to apply*

  • Must be available to commit significant time to develop your play for a 4-week period sometime during 2023. (Specific dates to be determined in consultation with selected fellows.)

  • Must live in or are able to be in New York City for the full duration of your fellowship. (Housing and transportation are not provided. If you are an international or immigrant artist, you must already have a visa that allows you to live and work in the United States for the entirety of 2023. The fellowship cannot provide visa sponsorship.)

  • Must not have had more than one significant off-Broadway premiere.

  • Must be actively pursuing a career in theater, as evidenced by past productions at regional theaters, past productions off-off-Broadway, a history of self-producing, and/or graduate studies.

  • Must submit a full-length play, along with a 10-page excerpt and a short summary (100 words max), and a completed application. 

  • The incubator is designed for early-career playwrights, which is a term that can apply to a person of any age and with any background, lived experience, or professional history; there is no one path to becoming a playwright.

  • This selection process is open to artists of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, races, ethnicities, and national origins.

Your Play:

  • Is complete.

  • Is a full-length play.

  • Is not a musical.

  • Has not been previously produced in a professional setting.

  • This is a competitive opportunity. We are looking for plays that are complete and would benefit from a development process involving actors, a dramaturg, and a director. While your submitted play does not need to be production-ready, it must be in a further stage than a first draft. 

If you have any questions, please write to

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