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Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize recognizes promising stage directors and designers for their ingenuity in bringing operatic works to life for contemporary audiences.

Teams of creative artists are invited biennially to devise production concepts for specific works from the inherited or American repertoire. Winning teams present their designs to producers throughout the industry in the Director-Designer Showcase at the national Opera Conference and in exhibitions at OPERA America’s National Opera Center.

The program is designed to bring new talent to the forefront and connect early-career directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their work.

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize is supported by the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.

Prize Details

The biennial Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize is awarded to four teams of stage directors and designers. The teams each receive $2,000 to further develop their production concepts in preparation for the Director-Designer Showcase, as well as complimentary registration and travel stipends to attend the Opera Conference.

Eligibility: The program is open to emerging designer-director teams in opera regardless of their OPERA America membership status. Members of the team must be early in their careers in opera. At least 50 percent of team members must be United States citizens.

Application Cycle

The 2022–2023 Director-Designer Prize has been awarded. The program will next be offered in 2024–2025.

The guidelines and worksheets below, from the 2022–2023 prize, are provided for reference purposes only. 

Guidelines & Worksheets

For questions about applications or eligibility, contact us at Grants@operaamerica.org or 646.699.5236.

Meet the Recipients