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.

Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 01, Annually
The Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Scholarship was established in 1999 with funds from the Alumni Society Golf Tournament and the Alumni Casino Night. The Society supported the establishment of this scholarship in order to assist with the recruitment of talented performing student artists to UAB.

To be eligible for this award, applicants must be high school seniors/graduates and [...] More

CBC Spouses Heineken USA Performing Arts Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 29, Annually
This award is for full-time students with majors in the performing arts including, but not limited to, drama, music, dance, opera, marching bands, and other musical ensembles.

Eligibility:
-U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident
-Currently/planning to be enrolled in the upcoming academic year as a full-time undergraduate student
-Have a minimum 2.5 GPA
-Pursuing a major and career in a [...] More

CFPCA LGBT Endowed Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 01, Annually
The CFPCA LGBT Endowed Scholarship provides financial support and hope to meritorious students who demonstrate positive sensitivity to and involvement in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues. Preference is given to LGBT students although all students are invited to apply. Application and/or acceptance of the award will not be construed as an indication of the sexual orientation of [...] More

DDF/DREAM Dance Performing Arts Scholarship Award
Application Deadlines: July 01, Annually
Specifically for College Students and High School Seniors who are enrolled in a Dance and Performing Arts degree program. The Dream scholarship award is designed to support, improve, and increase opportunities for students who wish to further their dance/performing arts training for a career in dance and the performing arts. Dance Discovery Foundation is dedicated to sustaining and empowering the [...] More

Francis D. Lyon Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 15, Annually
The Francis D. Lyon Scholarships are available to students of film making. Mr. Lyon had a distinguished motion picture and television career as a film editor, director and producer. He received an Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for best film editor in 1948 for the movie "Body and Soul."

Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply. To be considered [...] More

GRCF Grand Rapids Combined Theatre Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
The Grand Rapids Combined Theatre Scholarship Fund was founded in 1985 to award college scholarships to students pursuing study in theatre arts. It is supported by ongoing contributions from individuals in the community, and by annual support from Actor's Theatre, Community Circle Theatre, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Heritage Theatre, Jewish Theatre, Master Arts Theatre and from proceeds from [...] More

Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 30, Annually
The Henry and Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship is available to high school seniors and college students interested in studying theatre arts and whose legal residence is within these states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

You must be able to demonstrate financial neediness to be eligible for a Sumid Scholarship.

Requirements:
-Please submit a [...] More

Hope College Distinguished Artist Awards - Theatre
Application Deadlines: January 15, Annually
Each year at Hope College, up to 60 Distinguished Artist Award (DAA) scholarships are given to students with strong academic records and outstanding creative abilities in art, dance, music, theatre or creative writing. Renewable for four years, the DAA's provide eligible students with $2,500 each year toward their college costs. DAA recipients also take part in a variety of opportunities set up [...] More

Indiana State University Jack E. and Virginia Carpenter Fine Arts Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
Established in 1999 by Cheryl and C. Thomas Steiner to honor Cheryl's parents, Jack and Virginia Bradbury. Dr. and Mrs. Bradbury are both alumni of Indiana State University. The scholarship, which was established to assist needy students in the arts, is based in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Open to: sophomore or junior art student and Indiana resident, with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in his/her [...] More

Lee A. Lyman Memorial Music Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 04, Annually
The Lee A. Lyman Memorial Music Scholarship was established by VSAC in 1995 in memory of Lee A. Lyman. Lee was active in the Vermont financial aid community for more than 20 years and was director of VSAC’s Education Loan Finance Program for 10 years (1984–1994). Lee’s love of music and her unfailing commitment to helping Vermont students afford a postsecondary education led VSAC to establish [...] More

Lycoming College Theater Scholarships
Application Deadlines: March 15, Annually
Students planning to pursue a major or a minor in theatre are encouraged to audition with faculty from the Theatre Department.

There are three categories:
-Acting: perform two contrasting monologues (about three minutes in length total); bring a resume or a list of production experiences, and come ready to discuss your interests and goals
-Directing: bring a resume or a list of production [...] More

The (NABE) Foundation College Scholarship Award: Americans for the Arts Recipient
Application Deadlines: January 16, Annually
The NABE Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is awarding its seventh annual Americans for the Arts scholarship to encourage the integration of the arts into the economic education process. We believe that good, creative economic strategy is inherently dependent on our ability to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to the economic challenges [...] More

The BLR Scholarship: Film Edition
Application Deadlines: August 31, Annually
The first of its kind, the BLR Scholarship seeks to spread awareness of protecting one's family or business with life insurance, but with a unique twist! Students of photography and filmography are asked to portray the emotional characteristics of life insurance with use of photography, video and music.

The peril of losing someone seems distant at times, but it's a real life situation many [...] More

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Academic Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 01, Annually
College is expensive. The Jewish community through the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago can help. 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 [...] More

University of South Alabama/Drama Assistantships/Scholarships
Application Deadlines:
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 further details and how to apply and audition, please visit [...] More

Vectorworks Design Scholarship
Application Deadlines: August 31, Annually
The Vectorworks Design Scholarship recognizes students around the world who are pursuing education as a means to build their skills and solve challenging design problems. Students across all design disciplines may submit their best work, created in any software program, and answer a few short questions to be considered for cash prizes up to $10,000 and other awards.

The program supports [...] More

Last Edited: December 2015

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