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.