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Applications are open!

Applications will close February 9th, 2024 at 11:59pm EST

2023-24 Van Lier Fellows

With the support of The New York Community Trust and the Jerome Foundation, the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship was rehomed from The Lark to Rattlestick in 2022 after its closure. This fellowship provides substantial support to two playwrights of color under 30 each year. Fellows receive a $35,000 living stipend, a $5,000 artistic fund to support career development, mentorship with a veteran playwright, workshops and readings of their work, and participation in Rattlestick’s artistic communities and programming.

We're excited to announce our 2023-2024 Van Lier Fellows: AriDy Nox and a.k. payne. 


AriDy Nox


a.k. payne

“The Van Lier New Voices Fellowship provides pivotal support to early career playwrights by encouraging experimentation and providing a foundational artistic home as the fellows navigate the early stages of their careers.  The incoming Fellows are powerful inventive writers with real vision for what the future of the form could be. I’m honored to support a.k. and AriDy and grateful that in my first year as Rattlestick’s artistic director, I have the opportunity to amplify their work.”

- Will Davis, Artistic Director 

About the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship

Since 2011, the Fellowship has supported sixteen playwrights including Susan Soon He Stanton, Reginald Douglas, Christopher Oscar Peña, Anna  Moench, Donja R. Love, C.A. Johnson, C. Quintana (CQ), Brittany Allen, David Zheng, Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Xavier Galva, Ife Olujobi, Edison Ventura Mata Diaz, Zora Howard, May Treuhaft-Ali, and Minghao Tu. 


These extraordinary playwrights have produced dozens of works in New York and regionally, seen by thousands of audiences, and have careers in film and television.  They have garnered Peabody, WGA, and Princess Grace Awards, as well as Pulitzer Prize for Drama Finalist and Susan Smith Blackburn Special Commendation.

How it works

Each year, two Van Lier Fellows are selected for the Fellowship from a panel of former Van Lier alumni and industry professionals.. Each receives a $35,000 living stipend, a $5,000 artistic fund to support career development, mentorship with a veteran playwright, workshops and sharings of their work, and participation in Rattlestick’s artistic communities and programming. The Van Lier Fellowship is flexible, artist-led, and responsive to the unique demands of the project at hand. 



The Van Lier New Voices Fellowship is open to playwrights who: 

  • Reside in, or within 30 mile radius of, New York City.

  • Are between the ages of 18 - 30 from June 2024 to May 2025

  • Identify as a BIPOC individual 

  • Are not enrolled in a degree-granting program June 2024 to May 2025. 

  • Demonstrate exceptional talent in playwriting and theater-making, particularly with a deep understanding of the collaborative nature of play-making.

  • Make a case for how a Van Lier Fellowship would transform their professional and creative lives and why now is the ideal moment for them to participate in the program.


Note: Priority will be given to applicants who do not have other time-intensive writing commitments during the duration of the Fellowship.


  • Stipend

    • Each Van Lier Fellow will receive a $35,000 living stipend to be used to best further their goals throughout the year.


  • Mentorship

    • In consultation with Rattlestick Theater, each Van Lier Fellow will be paired with a veteran playwright mentor who will read drafts, offer one-on-one feedback, provide professional development, and attend  a workshop rehearsal and/or final presentation, subject to their availability.


  • Sharings and Workshops

    • Each Van Lier Fellow will be provided with multiple opportunities throughout the year to share their work in progress with a personally curated group of peers, as well as with Rattlestick staff. The nature of these sharings are driven by the needs of the playwright and should be flexible based on where the playwright is in their writing process. Additionally, each Van Lier Fellow is provided a week-long workshop and invited presentation at the end of their fellowship year (May).


Applications for the Van Lier Fellowship open in January 2024. Applicants are asked to submit a play you have written that you believe is most representative of your work/style. The play does not need to be complete, but please provide the fullest, most up to date version possible. They are also asked to verify their eligibility. 


Each application is thoughtfully reviewed by a diverse reader pool of Van Lier Fellowship alumni, Rattlestick staff, and industry professionals. Each application is reviewed in the first round by at least 2 different readers. Semi-finalists and finalists are selected through two rounds of consideration and are required to reconfirm their eligibility. Finalists are asked to provide a full length script and are granted an interview with a selection panel made up of Rattlestick affiliated artists and staff members.


Awarded playwrights will be selected by May 2024. 

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