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 Fellowship 2017

Application Deadline November 1, 2016

TYA/USA Ann Shaw Fellowships are designed to serve TYA/USA members with professional development through opportunities to explore new skills or areas related to TYA. Eligible members include those individuals who have recently entered the field as well as early, mid-career, and seasoned veterans. Former Fellowship recipients may not apply within two years of the date of their previous notification letter. Opportunities for the 2017 Fellowship must take place between January 1 and December 1, 2017.

We will be funding two projects for 2017:
1. $1,000 for a collaboration within the United States or Canada involving a TYA Member Organization
2. $3,000 for an International experience or collaboration

All applications will be considered equally, and the Fellowship will be awarded to the projects the selection committee feels will have the most impact on the creative work of the applicants and that have the potential to impact the field of TYA.




Ann Shaw International Fellowships are not limited to projects with member or strictly TYA companies. Domestic Fellowships may include projects with all member organizations. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects and opportunities with people, institutions, or organizations that will challenge, support, and enrich the applicant’s own professional development in the field of theatre for young audiences. 

If you have any questions or concerns about completing your application, you may contact Ann Shaw Fellowship Committee Chair Deborah Wicks La Puma.

For a list of TYA/USA Member organizations, log into the MARQUEE Member Directory. If you need assistance logging in, please contact TYA/USA.

Important 2017 Fellowship Dates

November 1, 2016 – Applications Due

December 1, 2016: Recipients Announced

January 1 – December 1, 2017: Time period for eligible projects

December 15, 2017: Final Report Due

December 31, 2017: Guaranteed latest date for distribution of funds

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.