Empowering new leaders in theatre

The Fellowship is a professional development program for early-career people of color interested in working in theatre. Fellows will hold an apprenticeship in their department of interest while being given additional paid professional development opportunities both in and out of Steppenwolf Theatre. Fellows should be individuals with clear professional goals and an interest in the continued development of the theatre industry. Through hands-on experience, externship opportunities, mentorship, and career-guidance, Fellows are given the tools to become insightful new voices in the field.

Fellows participate as members of the Apprenticeship program in addition to their Fellowship opportunities. All Fellow applicants must apply for the Apprenticeship program as well as apply for the additional Fellowship component. Please visit the Apprenticeship program page for more information on how to apply for the apprentice portion of the program in addition to the Fellowship application requirements listed below.

Not what you’re looking for? Go back, or check out our Summer Internships or Apprenticeships.

Application Information and Important Dates

Please read this information carefully:

  • The 2019/20 Fellowship will run concurrent with the 2019/2020 Apprenticeship from September 3, 2019 – May 29, 2020. In special circumstances, these dates can be slightly flexible depending on the needs of the candidate and hiring department.
  • All applications will go through a preliminary screening process to determine the final candidates. Final candidates will be asked to interview in April. It is encouraged that candidates who do not live locally visit Chicago and Steppenwolf when interviewing, however, phone or Skype interviews are also available.
  • Fellows must apply to at least one Apprenticeship (up to two). Fellow applicants will also be asked to submit a personal statement responding in short answer form to the prompts listed below (the personal statement should not exceed two pages).


  1. Where do you see yourself in your career in 5 years? Where do you see yourself in your career in 20 years? As you picture this timeline, consider not only the position you would want to hold but the values and opportunities you would want within your work.
  2. The Fellowship provides participants with roughly 30 hours of externship opportunities to explore aspects of the industry that may or may not correspond with their apprenticeship focus. Please share one way you would utilize these hours and how it could help you work towards your career goals.
  3. Please describe your leadership style. What skills to do you bring to a leadership role? Where do you still wish to grow as a leader?


To be eligible for consideration, applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Identify as a person of color
  • Have earned a college degree by the start of the Fellowship or have equivalent professional experience
  • Reside in, or be able to relocate to, Chicago
  • Have a strong desire to work in their selected department
  • Carefully read through the instructions and submit a thoughtfully completed application


During their tenure, Fellows receive:

  • Compensation: Fellows will be paid minimum wage for 28 hours/week or 40 hours/week of Apprenticeship work, depending on department. Minimum wage in Chicago, IL will be $13/hr as of July 1st, 2019. Fellows will receive additional paid hours specifically focused around professional development opportunities both in and out of Steppenwolf Theatre. Fellows will receive a modest monthly stipend to help defray their cost of living.

  • Perks: Professional Development and networking opportunities, free tickets to Steppenwolf productions, mentorship opportunities at Steppenwolf and in the Chicago theatre community, and more.


To apply for the 2019/2020 Apprenticeship and Fellowship Program, please visit the Apprenticeship page. Application deadlines for the 2019/2020 Fellowship Program correspond with the Apprenticeship application deadlines.

Note: Please have all documents ready before starting the application. You will not be able to save and return to your application once you begin. For more information on the specific application requirements for your apprenticeship of choice, please visit that departments page.