The FIFE Fellowship
The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is-it’s to imagine what is possible.
- bell hooks
The FIFE Fellowship is a writers-led collective and provides support to explore and develop stories that have the power to change the world. The fellowship draws inspiration from the writing of bell hooks' and takes its name from her book, Feminism Is For Everybody (FIFE), and focuses on the concept of intersectional feminism, building diverse community, and the wholistic integration of art into life.
The multi-year fellowship supports the creation of new work for the stage or screen by feminist writers (of any intersection) who are creating new work that is in line with the Bechdel Project mission.
The fellowship is largely directed by the writer themselves and provides access to the space in Brooklyn for writing, research, workshops, and readings as well as the Bechdel Project staff who provide logistical, dramaturgical, and producorial support.
Nayna Agrawal (she/her) was featured in Variety's "100 Writers to Watch" (2015), is a former NYC analyst, a former DC policy writer, a former international aid director, and a former touring dancer. Her plays have been staged and produced in numerous cities including: New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. She is the recipient of an East West Players playwright scholarship and a Moving Arts Theater playwright fellowship. In recent years, Nayna has been a Cimientos fellow with New York’s IATI Theater, a semi-finalist with the Gary Marshall Theater, and a finalist for the O'Neill Conference, PlayPenn, Screenwriters Colony and Harold Clurman playwright-in-residence program. Currently an Unlock Her Potential fellow, Nayna is an alumna of The Salon initiative (2021), Disney ABC TV Writers Program (2019) and the Sesame Street Writers Program (2018). She has written for Disney, ABC, Netflix, DreamWorks, Mattel and won a development deal with Sesame Street. Recent credits include ABC’s The Baker and The Beauty, Disney’s Encanto, and an upcoming Disney film.
Courtney Bailey Ph.D. (she/her), is a St. Louis-based writer and theatre artist who is passionate about creating meaningful texts and performances that highlight stories of marginalized gender identities. Her artistic priorities as a theatre artist, specifically, consist of queer representation, responsible storytelling across cultures and identities, and the consistently hard work of blurring the lines between writer and performer. And as a queer woman writer across multiple mediums—including plays, fiction, and literary criticism—whose interests span gender(ed) representation, religious deconstruction, and intersectional feminism, she has a diverse publication and production record. As a playwright, she has been a fellow with St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s Confluence Writers Project, which commissioned her full-length play Brontë Sister House Party. Brontë Sister House Party was produced in August 2022 by Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble (St. Louis). In the summer of 2019, her full-length play, Immersion Play, premiered in a workshop production in New York City at the Connelly Theater with She NYC Arts, an Off-Broadway theatre festival celebrating women writers (Dir. Sandy Doria).
Imogen Grace (she/her) is a film and television writer based in Toronto. In 2020, she was 1 of 6 writers across Canada to be selected for the Canadian Film Centre's Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. Her original sci-fi screenplay, Audrey, 2.0, won the best feature screenplay prize at New Orleans Film Festival and the Script Pipeline First Look Screenplay Competition. Imogen was the 2019 recipient of the inaugural Denis McGrath Bursary Award, and her half-hour romantic dramedy Miracle, New York was shortlisted for the Sundance Institute Episodic Lab in 2021. Her thriller feature The Price of Perfection (Neshama / MarVista) aired on LifeTime TV in May, 2022. She studied theater at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
MillerPrugh (a collaboration between Cat Miller and Caroline Prugh) seeks to break people out of expectations and thought patterns that have directed both their lives and their understanding of what came before. They want to bring focus to untold histories and alternative trajectories. MillerPrugh’s first work You Will Never Read This, a 45-minute, two-actor exploration of the marriage of German chemists Fritz Haber and Clara Immerwahr, was produced at The Tank NYC as part of LadyFest 2017. They were awarded a 2017 Drama League First Stage residency to develop the underlying material into a full-length play. That play, IMMERWAHR, which places Clara in conversation with her near contemporary Marie Curie, received a reading at The Tank NYC in 2018. They were a 2019 semi- finalist for Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor and finalists for the 2022 Room of One’s Own Residency with The Bechdel Project.
arroyo monfiletto (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based playwright and poet. arroyo’s work deals in themes of class struggle, homoeroticism, radical history, and hole theory. Her play My Mother the Sun was featured as part of Premiere Stages Play Festival 2020, Teatro Vivo’s 2020 Austin Latinx New Play Festival, and The Echo Theatre’s 2019 National Young Playwrights in Residence. Her essays have been featured in Howlround Theatre Commons and The Lark.
Courtney Taylor (she/her) is a playwright and speechwriter from Massapequa, NY. Her short play Lights in the Sky has been performed by community and school theatre groups across the U.S. Most recently, Courtney directed a reading of her comedy The Warren Commission Spectacular through Imaginarium Theatre Company, where she was a member of the spring 2022 writing group. The play was also a semi-finalist for the 2022 J.L. Smith New Play Festival at York College. Courtney was a recipient of the 2019 Edward Guiliano Global Travel Fellowship from Stony Brook University, used to research and develop her historical drama Jenkins: An All-American Outing. Courtney also directed the first student production of her farce Ask Not: The True Story of the Kennedy Assassination in 2019. Currently, Courtney is a Master’s student and Teaching Fellow at Lehigh University. You can find her on New Play Exchange and follow her on Twitter.
Else Went (they/she) is a Brooklyn-based playwright and sound designer. They are a member of EWG at The Public Theater, Ars Nova Playgroup, WP Lab, and Bechdel Project FIFE Residency. Former fellow at MacDowell Colony, Playwrights Realm, and Trans Theatre Lab. Commissions include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation via MTC (An Oxford Man), Weston Playhouse, Breaking the Binary Festival, Florida Studio Theatre, The Flea, and Parity Productions (Boxcar). Else has received residencies from Stillwright and Barn Arts Collective. Finalist for the Princess Grace Award (Degenerates), ASC New Contemporaries (Whate’er), and Carlo Anonni prize (An Oxford Man). Semifinalist for ASC New Contemps. (Courage! To the Field!) and the O'Neill Conference (The Hard Work, Initiative). Else is the co-founder and playwright of The Renovationists.