The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), the nonprofit associated with the union for directors and choreographers, has named the recipients of position in the first cycle of its 2022-2023 Professional Development Program. Formerly known as the SDCF Observership Program, the revamped program provides up-and-coming directors and choreographers the opportunity to learn from seasoned veterans on the job. Director- and choreographer-hopefuls will be shadows, observers or fellows.
Shadows are short-term positions that focus on one part of the production process; observerships last the length of a production, from first rehearsal through opening night; fellowships provide the chance for a participant to assist throughout the full production process as a member of the artistic team.
Niani Feelings and Maria Huey will work as SDCF shadows on “Bad Cinderella” technical rehearsals with choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter. Eric Gelb and Makenna Masenheimer will shadow resident director Hannah Ryan on “Hamilton.” Claudia Mulet will be an observer on “New York, New York” with director and choreographer Susan Stroman, while Jean Carlo Yunén Aróstegui and Sarah Shin will serve as observers with director Thomas Kail on “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
Outside of Broadway, observer Mayah Lourdes Burke will be assigned to “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window” with director Anne Kauffman at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Melory Mirashrafi will be a fellow at “Young Americans” with director Desdemona Chiang at Portland Center Stage and Pittsburgh Public Theater. Ashley Malafronte has been designated the distinctive SDCF Noël Coward Fellow and will work on Coward’s “Private Lives” with director KJ Sanchez at Arizona Theatre Company.
Founded in 1965, SDCF provides support to directors and choreographers throughout their careers. The nonprofit foundation of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, SDCF provides mentorship to early-career directors and choreographers. The Professional Development Program is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.