The Program

The T Fellowship grew out of an idea that T. Edward Hambleton first had in the mid-1990s.  He imagined a program that aimed to help foster a new generation of creative theatrical producers who would stand apart from those who were strictly financiers. He worked with Harold Prince, the late Geraldine Stutz, Ed Wilson and the Theater Development Fund and the idea for the fellowship took shape.

The Founders believed the program would be best served under the umbrella of one of New York’s top level educational institutions and approached Columbia University.  The University, through the Columbia Arts Initiative (Gregory Mosher, director) and the Theater Program of the Columbia School of the Arts (Steven Chaikelson, chair), further developed the vision and structure for the fellowship and provides the fellows access to the extraordinary academic and cross disciplinary strengths that Columbia University offers.

Today, through the ongoing generous support of the John Gore Organization, the Geraldine Stutz Trust and the Broadway League, a new fellow is selected annually.

Mission Statement
The T Fellowship honors the legacy of Broadway producer T. Edward Hambleton. The Fellowship is designed to support the development of gifted emerging theatrical producers. The T Fellowship is committed to sustaining the finest traditions of creative producing. Although the environment in which theatre is produced continues to change, the underlying principles that have historically shepherded great works of American theater continue to have validity today and must be understood and adapted if the art form is to thrive.

The T Fellowship exposes the fellows to the best contemporary producing practices, but doesn’t teach those practices as the only or most effective way to produce theater. The philosophy is that which is good for the art form is good for business. The Fellowship emphasizes that the creative producer’s role is to be the instigator, the collaborator, and the leader who gets art on the stage and to the public. The T Fellowship neither wishes to turn back the clock to 1950 nor settle for the status quo. The T Fellowship is looking to empower new producers to reinvent the wheel themselves, on their own terms, following their own tastes, in their own style.

The Program

The T Fellowship is a project-based program that supports the development of the chosen fellow’s project over the course of one year. Each applicant is asked to define the current status of their project and, if selected, the program caters to the unique needs of the project to help ensure meaningful developmental progress is made.  To help aid in the development, the fellows receive highly tailored guidance through two distinct tracks.

First, each fellow is given access to a selection of Columbia University courses. The specific courses are chosen in order to best support the fellow’s growth.

Second, each fellow receives structured mentorship from the mentors and advisers who retain an “advise and consent” role in the process.

Through these two support systems, the program aims to enable the fellows as they exercise complete freedom in all the creative and financial areas of development.

In addition, the T Fellowship provides an annual stipend for the fellow as well as a budget to support the project’s development over the course of the year.  It is the aim, though not a requirement, that the fellows conclude the year by presenting the developed work to an invited audience.

Mentors and Advisors

The T Fellowship is administered by the Theater Program of the Columbia School of the Arts. A Committee of Mentors and Advisors has been formed that includes the T Fellowship Founders, the Head of the Columbia University MFA Theatre Management & Producing Program, working theater professionals, and members of the Columbia University faculty.

Mentors and Advisors make themselves available to the fellows throughout the year on a one-on-one basis; additionally, they are a resource to the broader Columbia student population through participation in seminars and panel discussions.

Candidate Selection
The T Fellowship is committed to identifying extraordinary individuals to become fellows. Limiting selection to one or two candidates a year is fundamental to the program. The limitation on the number of fellows allows for maximum attention to the individual goals and needs of the fellows. In addition it insures that the fellowship can maintain a high degree of selectivity.

The selection is based on an application process that includes essays and interviews. The process is focused on the applicant and the project they submit for consideration.