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

About the Ann Shaw Fellowship

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.

In addition to attendance and participation in national and regional festivals and events, fellowship assistance may also be requested to support extended visits with a single host theatre, mentorship opportunities, innovative collaborations. and pursuit of a driving question or issue in the field of TYA.

Ann Shaw Fellowships are not limited to projects with TYA companies. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects and opportunities with any person, institution, or organization that will challenge, support, and enrich the applicant’s own professional development in the field of theatre for young audiences.

We’ll be posting more information about the 2017 Fellowship in the months ahead. Deadline will be this fall.

Current Fellows

In July 2016, twenty high school students will begin a three-week Summer Intensive at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey. Beginning with a source text from McCarter’s main stage season, this ensemble of young artists will create an entirely new play using inspiration from their stories and the stories of people in their community. This play will have a fully-staged production at McCarter Theatre Center, with audiences of young people from Princeton and the surrounding communities. This project will merge existing practices and explore new approaches for encouraging agency, activism, and artistry in relation to both a dramatic text and community stories.

The Ann Shaw Fellowship will enable the project’s facilitator Cortney McEniry and McCarter’s Curriculum and Instruction Manager Lily Junker to attend Cornerstone Theatre Company’s Two Day Intensive in February of 2016. Cornerstone Theatre Company’s community-based theatre methods explore theatre and social change, community engagement, and script development with and for communities. This training from experts in the field of community-based theatre will provide valuable insight for the facilitation team as they prepare young artists to devise an original play with, for, and about their communities. Junker and McEniry will incorporate these ideas in a concentrated manner during the summer intensive and consider how Cornerstone’s practices can influence McCarter’s education and engagement programming as a whole.

Cortney McEniry & Lily Junker

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 Michael. Thank you!


















Your Ann Shaw Committee

Use the arrows to scroll through the team.