Theatre Scholarships

Contrary to what many believe (and what your parents probably hoped), theatre is more than just a hobby and a high school extracurricular activity. To theatre majors, it’s a calling, a passion and, hopefully, a career. As with any of the arts, there is work to be found in theatre, but the process of landing a theatre job and a theatre degree will be incredibly grueling. A theatre degree can also be expensive, and you may find yourself with little free time to work while attending college.

Beyond the federal aid you receive, you’ll want to apply for as many scholarships as you can to minimize your student loan debt and make your transition into a theatre career that much easier. Luckily, theatre majors have numerous scholarship opportunities, and compared to landing the lead in a play, winning scholarships might even seem like a piece of cake.

Many colleges and universities (like Wayne State, Temple University and the University of Central Florida) offer theatre scholarships to offset the cost of earning a theatre degree, while a number of outside organizations also offer awards specifically for those planning to pursue a career related to theatre. More general art scholarships often include acting and playwriting, as well. Film and video scholarships may also be attractive prospects for theatre majors. And since many aspects of theatre require a great deal of hard work, strong communication skills and a deep understanding of people and their motivations, you may even find success with essay scholarships or other awards. You may even find yourself with better odds of winning local theatre scholarships if you participated in high school drama or community theatre — both are very visible activities that have probably brought joy to the people judging the scholarship awards.

Whether you’re an actor, director, playwright or other member of cast or crew, there are theatre scholarship opportunities available. We’ve included a few examples of theatre scholarships below to get you started but to see the full range of scholarships available for those in the theatre, in addition to awards based on your other unique characteristics, conduct a free scholarship search on Scholarships.com.

Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 5/7/2020
  • Amount: $1,000
  • The Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship provides financial assistance and promotion of Asian-American college students pursuing a major in the performing, visual arts, journalism and/or mass communications. Scholarship Winners will be invited to attend our annual charity event, Fashion for a Passion, held in the fall in Dallas, Texas. Applicants must be a US citizen, national or permanent [...] More

CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/30/2020
  • Amount: $3,000
  • CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship was established in 2000 in honor of the late Curtis Mayfield to ensure that African-American or Black students pursuing a degree in the performing arts receive financial assistance. Performing arts includes theater, drama, comedy, music, dance, opera, marching bands, etc. Selected applicants will be constituents of a CBC member’s district. To determine your [...] More

CFPCA LGBT Endowed Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2021
  • Amount: $500
  • The CFPCA LGBT Endowed Scholarship provides financial support and hope to meritorious students who demonstrate positive sensitivity to and involvement in LGBT issues. Preference is given to currently enrolled Wayne State University LGBT students although all Wayne State University students are invited to apply. All current undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time with [...] More

CSUB Armand Hammer Fine Arts Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 12/1/2020
  • Amount: Varies
  • The Armand Hammer Fine Arts Scholarship was established to support CSUB students majoring in Fine Arts (e.g., theatre, music, art, etc.). In order to apply, you must fulfill the following criteria: be enrolled full-time; majoring in Fine Arts; upper-division; minimum 3.0 GPA; be in the top 20% of their Fine Arts discipline; exhibit outstanding talent in your field. Preference is given to those [...] More

CSUB Beglin Family Awards

  • Application Deadline: 11/30/2020
  • Amount: $250
  • The CSUB Beglin Family Awards were established by Philip J. and Kelley H. Beglin. Kelley is a lecturer at CSUB. Two scholarships are awarded one for a nursing student and one for a theatre-arts student. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website. [...] More

Francis D. Lyon Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/29/2021
  • Amount: $2,500
  • The Francis D. Lyon Graduate Fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate student in the field of film making or a closely related field such as theatre/drama, writing or entertainment. Only graduate students are eligible to apply. Membership in Phi Delta Theta is not a requirement. The student is required to be enrolled in a college or university in the United States or Canada. Students of film [...] More

GRCF Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids Minority Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2021
  • Amount: Varies
  • The Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids Minority Scholarship is open to students of color (African-American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander) attending a non-profit public or private college/university majoring in fine arts, including all visual and performing arts. Applicants must have financial need, be a Kent County resident, and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. For more [...] More

GRCF Grand Rapids Combined Theatre Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2021
  • Amount: $2,000
  • The Grand Rapids Combined Theatre Scholarship Fund was founded in 1985 to award college scholarships to students pursuing study in theatre arts. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in an accredited college or training program with preference being given to theatre arts majors. Applicants must have experience in any Grand Rapids area community theatre venue. Finalists may be contacted for an [...] More

ISF National Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 3/21/2021
  • Amount: $10,000
  • The Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity founded in 2009 whose mission is to address the under-representation of American Muslims in the fields and occupations that influence public opinion and make public policy. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are Muslim or an active member of the Muslim community, enrolled at an accredited university by [...] More

ISF-MCA Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/21/2021
  • Amount: $5,000
  • ISF supports Islamic organizations and mosques by planning and managing joint scholarships. ISF is honored to host the ISF-MCA Scholarship of the Muslim Community Association of the Bay Area, MCA. The ISF-MCA Scholarship program is only open to members and individuals affiliated with the MCA. Each eligible applicant must be: attending an accredited university in the U.S.; majoring in an ISF [...] More

ISF-MCC Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/21/2021
  • Amount: $5,000
  • ISF supports Islamic organizations and mosques by planning and managing joint scholarships. ISF is honored to host the ISF-MCC Scholarship of the Muslim Community Center East Bay, MCC. The ISF-MCC Scholarship program is only open to members and individuals affiliated with the MCC. Each Eligible Applicant Must Be: attending an accredited university in the U.S.; majoring in an ISF supported field [...] More

ISF-SRVIC Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/21/2021
  • Amount: $5,000
  • ISF offers many joint and sponsored scholarships with partner organizations, masjids, student/alumni associations and private sponsors that share its mission and vision. SF supports Islamic organizations and mosques by planning and managing joint scholarships. ISF is honored to host the ISF-SRVIC scholarship of the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center (SRVIC). The ISF-SRVIC Scholarship program is only [...] More

Sophie and Hans Scholl Memorial Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 1/31/2021
  • Amount: $1,200
  • The Sophie and Hans Scholl Memorial Scholarship is open to all Nevada public high school seniors. The scholarship is for Nevada high school seniors wishing to study political science, German language or a German-related field. Students who also wish to enroll in a university in Germany are eligible to apply. Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. For more information or to apply, please visit the [...] More

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Academic Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 2/1/2021
  • Amount: $8,000
  • Educational scholarship funds from grants administered by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago are available for Jewish college and graduate students. Approximately $500,000 is available each year for full-time students, predominantly those legally domiciled in the metropolitan Chicago area, who are identified as having promise for significant contributions in their chosen careers. [...] More

Walt Disney Imaginations Design Competition Project Challenge

  • Application Deadline: 10/11/2020
  • Amount: Varies
  • Disney Imaginations invites students to create an iconic installation on their campus or city that serves as an inspiration, honors the past, and is a vision of the future. Applicants can form teams to two to four participants. To qualify, each team participant must be a student at least 18 years of age with junior, senior or equivalent standing or full-time graduate student in a college or [...] More

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by Izzy Hall

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by Susan Dutca-Lovell

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Last Reviewed: April 2020