It’s essential to support women as they step into their careers — midway — in all areas of the industry. TheFrontOffice Foundation, the charitable arm of Director Wendy C. Goldberg’s TheFrontOffice (an entertainment company), will be awarding a mid-career grant to a female-identifying theater director that will serve as one of the most significant financial awards to an individual director.

The significant grant, $25,000+, will be both merit and need-based and honor both the career of a deserving artist and attempt to keep a spotlight on the gender inequities that remain ever present in our field. The application period opened October 1st. A panel of adjudicators will review applications, and the intent is to award a director by December 2022. Wendy Goldberg, Patricia McGregor, Robert O’Hara, Lisa Peterson, and Chay Yew will lead the selection committee.

Leading Funders for this grant include Directors Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Tamilla Woodard, Lear DeBessonet (Into The Woods), Wendy C. Goldberg and TheFrontOffice, Lila Neugebauer and individual donors Peggy J. Koenig (Producer), and Jerry and Roz Meyer (Supporters). “This is not a pipeline issue. This grant is simply about recognizing an artist already thriving in her/their career, which sadly may not translate to financial stability,” said Director Rachel Chavkin. “This award sheds light on that challenging reality, encourages more hiring of people who haven’t yet made their Broadway debut in the commercial sphere,” he said. 

Wendy Goldberg of the FrontOfficeFoundation  said, “Just before the pandemic, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers released a study entitled ‘ON THE EDGE,’ where we finally learned the truth to what we all already anecdotally knew: once a female director hits what should be the height of her/their career, they instead drop off and out of the active working membership at a startling rate. She added that gender bias and the lack of resources for larger commercial projects exist. “With the help of some additional leaders in these efforts, we’re creating a mid-career grant for a female-identifying director, one of the largest financial grants to a theater director,” said Wendy C. Goldberg. “Currently, there is no support quite like this to encourage directors also to give back to our community, ” she said.

Founded in 2019, Goldberg’s TheFrontOffice is an entertainment development company specializing in cross-over content from live theater to new media. Fueled by the intersection of Goldberg’s 20 years in the theater and her experiences as a Performance Director for Rockstar Games, TheFrontOffice develops content and stories for our times. TheFrontOffice Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, was established in 2020 to support the live theatrical community during the industry shutdown. Support happens in many ways, including direct artist relief, commissions, and grants. To date, they have partnered and distributed additional mid-career relief grants to theater workers and working parents as the industry re-opened and has partnered with the Broadway Design community on the 1/52 Project to help diversify the design population on Broadway. With corporate donors and individuals, these efforts have distributed half a million dollars in aid. 

Donors come from all sectors and are primarily individuals who care about supporting theater artists. For donation information: Applications, and nominations, will be accepted and available will be accepted until Monday, October 31. Email for application and more information.

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