Submissions Open for Cycle 3 of Next Wave Initiative | Playbill

Industry News Submissions Open for Cycle 3 of Next Wave Initiative

Douglas Lyons founded the developmental branch of The Directors Company.

Douglas Lyons Bruce Glikas

Submissions are now open for Cycle 3 of The Next Wave Initiative, the developmental branch of The Directors Company that is committed to amplifying future Black voices in the American theatre.

Available scholarships in the Next Wave Initiative include The Lorraine Hansberry Writing Scholarship, The Spike Lee Directing Scholarship, The Hattie McDaniel Acting Scholarship, The Alvin Ailey Dance Scholarship, and The Black Excellence Impact Award. 

Applicants must be Black and pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in one of four disciplines: writing, dance, directing, or acting. All genders and ages are welcome. Applications must be submitted by March 16, and finalists will be announced in the spring. 

Chicken and Biscuits playwright Douglas Lyons, the founder and director of The Next Wave Initiative, said in an earlier statement, "Our nation is currently mourning, while simultaneously healing itself. In times like these I always look towards a solution; a way to pave a path towards America's future. The Next Wave Initiative allows the conversations around 'Broadway equality' to become action. This program will fight to erase the ugliness of our past, while investing in the future of our profession."

Since its launch in June 2020, NWI has raised over $30,000 towards its programming; 2022 NWI Alvin Ailey Award winner Isio Maya is currently rehearsing for her Broadway debut in The Lion King. All proceeds from the initiative fund its scholarships, awards, and operational costs.

The Directors Company is a not-for-profit theatre company with a mission to develop and produce groundbreaking new plays and musicals. The Directors Studio offers affordable rehearsal space in the heart of midtown.

To learn more about applying or donating to the program, visit

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