Directors Gathering serves directors to serve the theatre.
Directors Gathering (DG) is a Philadelphia-based service organization that through the power of community provides education, connections, and process-based opportunities for theatre directors.
(Video by Tommy Butler)
What We Do: Directors Gathering (DG) serves directors to serve the theatre. We offer regional emerging, early-career, and mid-career member directors consistent resources of community, development, and elevation to hone their art.
As part of Directors Gathering (DG), member directors can:
Stretch their artistic muscles without the pressures of production;
Connect with an inclusive community of peer directors through gatherings + (DG) Digital online resources;
Create in an annual daylong workshop, (DG) JAM, culminating in a public sharing of their works-in-progress;
Engage in (DG) Studio that offers graduate-level seminars with theatrical legends like Bartlett Sher, Liz Diamond,
Robert Woodruff, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson and pick-up classes with regionally established directors;
Receive opportunities for projects, collaborations, and continuing education through (DG) members database.
Directors Gathering is the only organization in the country that provides an all-inclusive home for regional directors to consistently examine their process, take risks, and render projects that they would not otherwise do in their individual careers or companies. We encourage these directors to be in perpetual process, challenging them to reexamine how and why they work on projects, and give them the reinvigorating chance to return to their craft with new eyes.
Need to be Met: Over the past fifty years, the American theater has offered playwrights valuable resources to incubate new works. On a national level, organizations like the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and New Dramatists offer playwrights vital resources; while in Philadelphia, PlayPenn and The Foundry develop the work of local established and emerging playwrights. In this national trend towards new play development, one key artistic collaborator has been overlooked: directors. Directors Gathering seeks to remedy this imbalance by fostering its member directors year-round at multiple stages of professional development. We offer a variety of continuous programming, encouraging regional directors to engage deeply with our regionally-rooted organization to consistently hone their craft. (DG) also diversifies directorial voices that are developed and elevated on regional stages through connecting our members, many from marginalized communities, to producers and opportunities in the region.
Partnerships and Supporters: Directors Gathering has forged collaborative partnerships with regional theaters, universities, and peer theatrical service organizations. We have host director-centric events with The Drama League, Stage Directors + Choreographers Society and Foundation, Theatre Philadelphia, The Wilma Theater, and Theatre Exile. We partner with Temple University and Swarthmore College to host classes and introduce students to directors at the forefront of their field.
Our organization is currently overseen by fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, a Board of Directors, and is supported through the generosity of foundations, donors, and grassroots crowd-funding. (DG) will file for 501c3 status in June 2020. We are grateful to The Wyncote Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and SDC for their confidence in our mission.
Organization’s History: Directors Gathering (DG) was incorporated in March 2014, and has since served regional directors for over five consecutive years. In that time, we have provided more than 150 regional directors with resources to expand their skill set, receive honest feedback and mentorship from established artists, and connect with one another.
The idea for Directors Gathering goes back to 2008, when our founder, Jill Harrison, participated in Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab alongside 60 other emerging directors from around the world. Inspired by the community she gained from the Lab, Jill came to Philadelphia to deepen her training at graduate school, and left it eager to found an organization for directors that was regionally rooted, community focused, and could offer continuous programming year round. In 2011, Jill gathered some colleagues for a casual conversation about local opportunities for directors. Together, they realized that Philadelphia lacked an organization that would listen and respond to the needs of directors, and that would recognize their value them as the drivers of theatrical art. Thus, the launch of Directors Gathering (DG).
Membership Model: In March 2019, (DG) launched a 3-tier membership platform that offers access to a community of directors and collaborators that fuel development, encourage meaningful connections and value the process-based work of directing. (DG) operations, programming, and fundraising have been streamlined to connect and elevate (DG) members + sponsors.