DirectorsLabChicago is pleased to announce our 2018 Lab

All Art is Political

Empathy, Identity and Intention in the Theater

How are beliefs formed and how are they changed? Through volatile political climates and waves of social revolution, theater artists have an opportunity – perhaps even a responsibility – to confront and interpret shifting cultural paradigms.

This year’s Lab will challenge directors to articulate the goals of their work as it relates to the psychology of change, persuasion, and bias. We’ll explore topics such as social justice theater, breaking out of the echo chamber, inclusion and diversity both onstage and off, and the roles of empathy and understanding in the creation of art.


The 2018 Lab will be held Sunday, August 19, through Friday, August 24, at Victory Gardens Theater and other locations around Chicago.


How To Apply

Step One: Register a profile in our online Application Portal.

Step Two: Download the Application Instructions and Application Questions documents and read them thoroughly. Prepare your answers to the essay questions.

Step Three: Copy and paste your answers into your application on the Application Portal.

Step Four: Create a PDF of your directing résumé (saved as FirstnameLastname.pdf) and upload it to your application.

Step Five: Finalize your application. Changes can no longer be made once the application is final.

We strongly recommend editing your essay questions in an external text editor first, and copying them into the Online Application.

Your application must be finalized before 10:00PM CDT (GMT-5) on Sunday, May 6, 2018. We will notify all applicants of decisions via email no later than Sunday, June 10, 2018.

Note for International Applicants: In order to give international attendees as much time as possible to make travel arrangements, international applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis. If you are based outside the US, your application will be eligible for consideration as soon as you submit it. (US-based applications will not be read or adjudicated until after the application deadline.)