Announcing the International Theatermakers Award Program

In recognition of the critical contribution of international artists to the creative life of New York and the unconscionable barriers they face in working in the United States, we have partnered with The Playwrights Realm of New York to create the International Theatermakers Award (“ITA”) Program. The goals of the ITA program are to arm international artists with information as they confront the legal challenges of working in the United States, to provide assistance in approaching -- and overcoming -- those barriers, and to expand the participation and representation of traditionally underrepresented groups by supporting international theatermakers. It is a two-pronged program:

  1. Informing Artists: The ITA program will host a series of free panels on U.S. visa and green card application processes for international artists, to help de-mystify these processes and expand the comfort and knowledge of international artists and Americans working with immigrant artists. The panels will be valuable to you if you are considering an O-1—whether or not you are a theater artist. Please register for our first free webinar on October 20th at 2PM ET: O-1 Visas: A Primer for International Artists

  2. Providing Legal Support: The ITA is also sponsoring a competitive program which awards a no-cost O-1 Petition to up to three international theater artists. Selection of Awardees of the International Theater Makers Award will be made by a committee of experts led by The Playwrights Realm, and the O-1 Petitions will be prepared and submitted by Dyer Harris LLP. Information on the program is here. The program involves two steps: (1) A required eligibility phase and (2) Expert Judging Phase. To confirm your eligibility, please complete our preliminary eligibility survey here by Sunday, November 1 at 11:59PM EST.

The program arises out of our commitment to international artists, and our renewed recognition of the importance of working to address the American legacy of hate and discrimination. We hope to provide clarity and comfort to the people caught up in the American legal system affecting international artists, and to contribute as best we can to expanding the voices heard in American theater, in support of a fairer, more diverse, more exciting theater world. We are very grateful to The Playwrights Realm for their inspiring and comprehensive support for the program.

This is the program’s first year. We hope it continues to grow in years on the future. So, if you are not ready to apply this year, put yourself on our mailing list by dropping us an email at (or filling out the form below) and we will keep you advised of programs in the future.

This year has been a challenging one, throughout the world, the United States, and especially in New York. And theater has always served as the lifeblood of the arts in this city, bringing together creators from around the world, across disciplines and specialties, to delight and inspire New York’s voracious audiences. As our city begins to rebuild and plan for better times, we see this program as a part of our commitment to that future.

We have no doubt that New York’s vibrant arts and theater scene will emerge from 2020 brighter, stronger, and more open to new and thrilling voices. And we hope you will join us in that vision, by sharing this program with any international theatermakers and artists in your life.

Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

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