Attention Playwrights and Choreographers: The Kurt Weill Fellowship Lets You Learn From Living Masters

In today's installment of IP Funder Trivia, we ask: What German-born composer has a U.S.-based foundation and fellowship named after him, and more importantly, had one of his songs covered by the Doors?

Time's up.

The answer, of course, is Kurt Weill.

Established in 2013 by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and SDC Foundation, the Kurt Weill Fellowship helps nurture early-career directors and choreographers by acquainting them with the stage work of Kurt Weill or Marc Blitzstein under the guidance of a master director or choreographer.

The foundation recently announced the details of its 2015-2016 fellowship cycle — and it all sounds tremendously cool. The first fellowship takes place in February with director John Fulljames and conductor Mark Wigglesworth on a new translation of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with fellow Shaun Patrick Tubbs.

This represents the first international SDCF Weill Fellowship. A second Kurt Weill Fellow will be selected later in the year to observe a 2016 production of Lost in the Stars. More details to follow.

But what about the entities behind the fellowships?

Let's start with the Weill Foundation, which funds more than just fellowships. Its website notes, "Funding may be requested by professional opera companies, theater companies, dance companies, and concert groups for performances of musical works by Kurt Weill and/or Marc Blitzstein. All works must be presented in their authorized versions and orchestrations." In other words, the New York-based foundation, quite naturally, is the guardian and promoter of Weill's legacy. (Weill spent his latter years in New York and became a naturalized American citizen in 1943.)

The SDCF Foundation, meanwhile, is more concerned with advancing the art of choreography. Working in tandem, both foundations conspired to conjure up a fellowship that allows playwrights and choreographers to work side-by-side with living masters to "observe the techniques, approaches and insights of master artists and thereby expand their artistry, enrich leadership and collaboration skills, and further their knowledge of mounting a musical production." (Spoiler alert: Baryshnikov may be unavailable.)

Each fellow is provided with a stipend of $2,500, though there is a catch. The fellowship operates as a component of the SDC Foundation’s Observership Program. As such, only the current season’s Observership candidates will be eligible for this fellowship. But fear not, the program is a similar-sounding  program that allocates grants to 25 emerging directors and choreographers while allowing them to — that's right — observe master choreographers and dancers.

SDC is now accepting applications for the Spring of 2015 here.

And as for the second part of our trivia question, the Doors covered Weill's "The Alabama Song" in 1966, 39 years after its original composition.

You have our permission to drop this factoid at dinner parties and such. You can thank us later.