Providing advocacy & resources for the field of theatre for young audiences.

The Ann Shaw International TYA Fellowship

The application deadline for the 2017/2018 Fellowship Cycle has passed. Applications will be accepted for the next cycle in the Fall of 2018.

Who: Artists, educators, administrators, university faculty and students working or studying in the field of TYA (*Applicants must be current TYA/USA members to apply)

What:  The opportunity to travel in pursuit of research or discovery in the field of TYA. Fellows expand their understanding of the dynamic TYA landscape through international travel to theatres and/or festivals, exploring challenging questions related to the field of theatre for young audiences.

How It Works: Applicants submit a proposal for a research and discovery trip that will advance their understanding of the TYA field. Proposals may include meetings with practitioners, observation of work in action, attendance to a festival, or other possible activities.

Award: $3,000 for an International experience or collaboration
Complimentary Registration for the 2018 Spark Sessions Pre-Conference at the IPAY Showcase in Philadelphia (January 23, 2018)

Application Details

A complete application includes:

– Application form

– A one page narrative of the proposed project

– A proposed budget for your project/travel expenses

– A current resume (2 pages max)

– A letter of support from your home institution and the organization /person you wish to work with, if applicable. Individuals not affiliated with an organization should be certain to include a letter from the organization or person with whom you will work.

If your proposal is selected, you will need to provide a written report and expense documentation. The report will include a 50-word excerpt summarizing your entire experience or one unique moment that we can use to tell others about the Fellowship. Photos or video documentation is encouraged. 

Final reports are due Dec 15, 2018.

The TYA/USA Fellowships Committee is hoping to celebrate you as an artist, inspire other artists, as well as share your experience it in a meaningful way with our community. In that spirit, we request you do one of the following things in addition to your final report:

-Write an article about your experience to be published in TYA Today Magazine (Print or Online)
-Present your experience at one of our national convenings 
-Be part of a Professional Development Webinar


All applications must include a one page narrative that clearly and succinctly describes the purpose of the Fellowship. If the research project includes collaborators, include their names and credentials. Please include at the top of the page:


1) Name of Applicant(s)

2) Title for Project

3) Country/Region to Visit


The Ann Shaw Fellowship seeks to promote proposals that:

1) Support the career development of theatre artists and administrators committed to theatre for young audiences.

2) Provides the opportunity for a TYA professional to travel internationally to a region abroad and connect with colleagues in a new way.

3) Have an impact beyond the direct experience of the applicant. Will it enrich the institution, organization or community the applicant is affiliated with? Can it positively impact the TYA community at large?

4) Addresses issues of accessibility, inclusiveness and/or diversity.

5) Has artistic merit. How is the proposal fascinating, exciting, useful or unique?

6) Is ambitious in scope, but has clear objectives achievable within the grant year. If the Fellowship cannot completely cover the expenses for the proposal, has the applicant secured funding from other sources to insure its success?

Use the narrative to address any of the above objectives that apply.



The ASSITEJ/USA Observership fund was founded in 1996 to support career development opportunities for theatre artists and administrators committed to theatre for young audiences. This program was renamed in 2003 as the Ann Shaw Fellowship, in recognition of Ann Shaw’s visionary leadership and tireless efforts to support individual career development of TYA professionals.

Since its inception, the Ann Shaw Fellowship has provided funds to assist over forty individuals with travel to theatres and festivals throughout the United States and abroad, for viewing outstanding work, and exploring challenging questions related to the field of theatre for young audiences.

Current Fellow

About Sarah Jane Hardy: Northwest Children’s Theater’s Artistic Director, Sarah Jane Hardy was born in Liverpool, England, trained at the Hylton Bromley School of Dance & Drama in Merseyside, England and earned Advanced Certification in Ballet, Tap, and Modern from the International Dance Teachers Association. Hardy’s early career included work as a choreographer, dancer, and teacher throughout Europe before moving to the United States as an international student earning an MFA in Directing from Utah State University. She became Artistic Director at Northwest Children’s Theater in 2006 and has since commissioned and produced 15 original adaptations including Alice in Wonderland – A Jazz Odyssey, an anime inspired Snow White and a version of The Jungle Book in collaboration with The Anjali School of Dance incorporating Indian dance styles from classical to Bollywood. Her directing and choreography credits for NWCT include Go Dog Go!, Seussical, El Zorrito, Elephant and Piggy, We’re in a Play!, and Mary Poppins. She has led NWCT’s Main Stage through many record-breaking and award-winning seasons, including the recent 22nd season which swept the regional Drammy and PAMTA awards with seven and nine wins, respectively.

About Her Project: She will be traveling to Bali, Indonesia, to study with and observe I Made Sidia, a world renowned Balinese Puppet master. I Made is currently the foremost exponent of contemporary Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry) in Bali as well as Wayang Kontemporer which adds electric lighting, music, video projections, and mobile puppeteers. She will take this inspiration and practical knowledge back home for the work her company is developing locally in Portland. She looks to connect I Made with the TYA field as he is eager to learn more and hopes to make a reciprocal trip to Portland to work with the designers and students of Northwest Children’s Theater through a series of Master Classes open to the public.

Download the Press Release

Sarah Jane Hardy

Fellowship History

As we work to complete our history, all past Ann Shaw Fellows and ASSITEJ-USA Observers are invited to submit updated head shots, project information, links, and project related media. Please contact Jonathan. Thank you!



















Your Ann Shaw Committee

Use the arrows to scroll through the team.