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.
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. Applicants must be a US citizen, national or permanent legal resident who is of at least 25% Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity, and be either a high school senior or a college student [...] More
To be eligible for the Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Scholarship, applicants must be high school seniors/graduates and accepted to UAB. There are no applications for this scholarship: via audition and testing, the student must prove to be of substantial talent and show promise for continued excellence in music. There will be a strong focus on incoming freshmen; however, current UAB [...] More
CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship was established 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. Qualified applicants must be currently enrolled full-time in [...] More
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
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
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
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
Graduating seniors in high school that are considering minoring or majoring in theatre at Hope are encouraged to apply for the Distinguished Artist Awards - Theatre. Winners are notified the first week of March. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website. [...] More
To be eligible for the ISF-IIOC Scholarship, applicants must: be a Muslim or involved in the Islamic community; major in an ISF supported field of study (see website for more details); have a 3.0 GPA; be a US citizen or permanent resident; and, be an undergraduate (junior/senior) or of graduate standing (includes PhD). Recipients are notified in July. For more information or to apply, please [...] More
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 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 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
To be eligible for the ISF-MSA West Scholarship, applicants must: be a Muslim or involved in the Islamic community; major in an ISF supported field of study (see website for more details); have a 3.0 GPA; be a US citizen or permanent resident; and, be an undergraduate (junior/senior) or of graduate standing (includes PhD). Recipients are notified in July. For more information or to apply, please [...] More
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
JSU offers drama scholarships to full-time theater majors. Eligible criteria include: contributing (either on or back stage) to each production during the term; attending all department work calls, strikes and tech prep days; have a maximum of three absences in drama-related major courses; and, have a 2.5 GPA per term, 2.5 overall, and 3.0 in drama courses. For more information or to apply, [...] More
The Robert W. Thunen Memorial Scholarship is offered to full-time students who desire to study illumination as a career. Applications for the Thunen Memorial Scholarship may be made by those who will be an undergraduate junior, senior or graduate student (Fall semester only) in an accredited four year college or university located in Northern California, Nevada, Oregon or Washington. Recipients [...] More
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 Fulbright Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide and has provided approximately 310,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach, or conduct research in each others' countries and exchange ideas. Fulbright eligibility requirements vary by program and country of citizenship. For specific contact information, eligibility requirements and limits on the number of awards by [...] More
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
The USA Dept. of Theatre & Dance offers a limited number of scholarships and assistantships, each with their own criteria and requirements. The Laidlaw Trust provides funds for both acting scholarships and tech/design shop assistantships. To qualify, students must be a drama major, be a full-time student and maintain a 2.5 GPA. For more information or to apply/audition, please visit the [...] More
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
ACT, Inc., the college admissions testing company, has agreed to pay out $16 million to 65,728 California students with disabilities to settle a class-action lawsuit. The class-action federal lawsuit filed in California in 2018 alleged that ACT, Inc. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by disclosing test-takers' disability status to colleges and scholarship organizations on score reports, and denied certain examinees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in its Educational Opportunity Service. [...]
In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the way it has made it harder than ever to take the SAT and ACT, many colleges and universities, from large state universities to small liberal arts colleges, have announced that their admissions for next year’s Class of 2025 will be test-optional. Test-optional admissions mean that schools won’t require a submission of a standardized test score as part of the admissions process. But how will admissions officials judge applicants without a score? Will a student who doesn’t submit a standardized test score be penalized in any way? And will a student who does submit a score be chosen over one who doesn’t? [...]
Getting a college degree is part of the American Dream. College graduates generally earn more money and have a better quality of life. So it’s not surprising that students from immigrant families or who are immigrants themselves are making up an increasingly larger percentage of associate’s, bachelors and masters-seeking students in America. [...]