Launchpad Residency

An incubator program for New York City-based early career playwrights from historically underrepresented communities, offering holistic support, including two commissions, a workshop production and a full production over three years.

Pictured: Melis Aker (Inaugural Launchpad Resident) and Iyvon E (Signature Director of Artistic Programs)


The submissions window for the next Judith Champion Musical Theater Launchpad Residency are now OPEN. More information below.


Musical Theater writers should consider applying to LaunchPad, if they:

  • Are an individual writer (not part of a team)
  • Have not had a major off-Broadway production at the time of applying for the Residency.
  • Show a commitment to the craft of writing for the stage and a career as a musical theatre writer.
  • Preferably have written at least two full-length musicals or musical theatre works.
  • Do not have a residency with guaranteed production with another theater company in the United States/NYC tristate area.
  • Are NYC-based, living primarily in NYC during the residency period
  • Are not currently enrolled in a graduate program during the duration of the residency.
  • Do not have more than two musical theater commissions with other theater companies during the three-year residency duration


The Launchpad Resident will provide one playwright with holistic artistic support over the course of three years, which includes:

  • One $15,000 commission
  • A full production in the 99-seat Ford Studio
  • A workshop production in the 99-seat Ford Studio
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Developmental readings (toward production)
  • Theatergoing stipend of $1,000/year
  • One week-long writing retreat outside of NYC
  • Access to private workspace at Signature
  • Guided mentorship by a Spotlight Resident or Premiere Resident Signature playwright


3.23.23 – Following the acclaimed side-by-side runs of (Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise and Sarah Ruhl’s Letters from Max, a ritual), Signature Theatre presented Launchpad Playwright Melis Aker’s Indigo Dreams. Signature Theatre Artistic Director Paige Evans says of the playwright, actor, and musician—who is from Turkey— “Melis makes work filled with vividly drawn characters and worlds that she knows well but that American audiences may not necessarily be as familiar with.”



Have questions about our Launchpad Residency? Email our Artistic Team.