First Stage Fellowship

The First Stage Fellowship program was developed to increase the diversity of teaching artists, performers and production staff at First Stage. The Fellowship program aims to support theater artists on their personal and professional journeys.

Each unique Fellowship opportunity provides a comprehensive professional theater experience:

  • As a teaching artist fellow, you will learn curriculum design, classroom management, tactics for student engagement, obtain knowledge of current educational trends and contribute in a collaborative working environment.
  • As a performing fellow, you will hone your craft, develop and maintain an actor identity and learn what it takes to cast a season.
  • As a production and design fellow, you will complete administrative tasks, attend design meetings and implement production elements throughout the season.

Fellowships are catered to the individual’s talents, goals, and personality. Regular one-on-one and group meetings are held to assess progress and define steps throughout the duration of the program. Fellows should expect to work a rigorous schedule that fluctuates throughout the year.

For 30 years, First Stage has successfully trained hundreds of emerging professionals using comprehensive teaching, performance, and leadership experiences to launch their careers as performers and teaching artists. All of the experiences in the First Stage Fellowship program can lead to future employment at theater companies here in Milwaukee and across the country. First Stage is dedicated to broadening our reach and deepening our impact in the community, and we invite you to join us in our mission to transform lives through theater.


  • Fellows will receive a $150 per week stipend as well as housing for the duration of their fellowship. Relocation expenses not included. Shared housing includes private lockable rooms with shared living areas on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus.
  • A vehicle and personal auto insurance, or other reliable transportation, are required. First Stage will provide mileage reimbursement.


  • Teaching Artist Fellowship in Academy (June 2017–May 2018)
  • Teaching Artist Fellowship in Theater in Education (June 2017-May 2018)
  • Performance Fellowship (August 2017-May 2018)
  • Production & Design Fellowship (August 2017-May 2018)


  • Fellowship Application CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
  • Current headshot & resume: outlining your theatrical background and experience working with youth.
  • References: Please include the name, phone number, e-mail, and your relationship with three professional or academic references.
  • Personal Statement: Please answer the following questions in no more than two pages.
    What are your career goals and how do you as an artist hope to contribute to the field?
    How does a fellowship at First Stage help you achieve these goals?
    What does the philosophy of transforming lives through theater mean to you in your work?
  • Lesson Plan Sample (Teaching Artists only): Please include a sample lesson plan for an acting class or an arts integrated lesson.
  • Academic Credit (optional): If you will receive academic credit for this fellowship, please describe your institution’s requirements for credit.

Contact with questions and to submit your application.