Alan Schneider Director Award

Applications for this program are no longer being accepted for this cycle.
Future cycles of funding have not been announced.



The Alan Schneider Director Award was established in honor of Alan Schneider's significant contribution to theatre in the U.S. and his lifelong commitment to the development of career opportunities for freelance directors.

The award is designed to identify and assist exceptionally talented mid-career freelance directors whose achievements have been demonstrated through work in specific U.S. regions or territories, but who may not be known more widely or recognized nationally.

Who was Alan Schneider?

Samuel Beckett and Alan Schneider

A prolific director and mentor, Alan Schneider was responsible for over one hundred productions in U.S. theatre, introducing audiences to playwrights such as Samuel Beckett (Schneider directed the 1956 U.S. premiere of Waiting for Godot); Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?); Michael Weller (Moonchildren and Loose Ends); Harold Pinter (The Birthday Party, The Dumb Waiter and The Collection); and Bertolt Brecht (The Caucasian Chalk Circle). Schneider taught at Catholic University, the Juilliard School, and the University of California at San Diego; was associated with Arena Stage for thirty years; was the co-artistic director of the Acting Company; and at the time of his death was the president of the Board of Directors for Theatre Communications Group (TCG).


Nominations are welcome from any professional in the arts (or related fields) who has a working knowledge of a theatre director's role and responsibilities. This program also accepts self-nomination. Refer to the eligibility requirements and selection criteria below before selecting a candidate. Please note that nominators are limited to submitting one nomination.

The deadline for submitting a nomination is Friday, January 21, 2022 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Nominee Eligibility

Only nominated candidates may apply for the Alan Schneider Director Award. Eligible nominees must be:
  • US-based freelance, mid-career theatre directors with a commitment to work in the not-for profit professional theatre;
  • Able to illustrate a history of continual freelance work as a director within a specific U.S. region or territory;
  • Able to show their commitment to freelance directing. Artistic directors are not eligible, but other artists who hold full-time positions within artistic organizations and who are currently working as freelance directors are eligible;
  • Able to receive taxable income in the US.

Selection Process and Criteria

The Alan Schneider Director Award recipient is chosen by an independent selection panel of theatre professionals from across the U.S. Nominees interested in applying will be asked to submit material describing the nature of their work and their artistic goals. All materials, including the nominee’s application, letters of recommendation and the original nomination form, will be forwarded to a preliminary panel, which will choose the finalists to be interviewed.

In choosing the recipient, the panelists will consider the following set of criteria:
  • A clearly defined artistic voice;
  • Directing skills, talent and professional experience;
  • Potential for future impact on the theatre field;
  • Clear and appropriate use of funds;
  • Commitment to a career as a freelance director in the not-for-profit professional theatre;
  • Need for national visibility provided by the award.

The award will be presented during the TCG National Conference in Pittsburgh, PA from June 16 - 18, 2022. The recipient must be present at the Conference to receive the award. The recipient will receive $7,500 which may be used for travel, research or other activities specifically focused on the development of their directing craft and career. Award activities must be completed by June 2023.

If you have any questions, please contact Raksak Kongseng (she/they), TCG's Assistant Director of Grantmaking Programs, at

Past Recipients of the Alan Schneider Award

A complete list of past recipients of the Alan Schneider Award can be found here.