If you are interested in pursuing a college education in theater, drama, or performing arts, this article provides a list of the best scholarships for theater students. Attending a college or university can be overwhelmingly pricey, so it is advisable for students to consider scholarship opportunities offered by companies, colleges, and organizations. Scholarships are awards earned by chosen applicants and generally do not have to be paid back. If you are passionate about theater, possess experience, and plan to make a career out of it, here are 25 of the best scholarships for theater students.
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1. Against the Grain Productions Artistic Scholarship
-25 percent Asian or Pacific Islander
-Current citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States
-High school senior or current full-time college student at a college or university in the United States and studying visual/performing arts
The goal of the Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship is to help Asian American college students pay for their education. The applicant will be evaluated by Against the Grain Productions based on the quality of their portfolio and essay, academic grades, leadership experience, and letters of recommendation. If chosen, they will be required to participate in a phone or in-person interview. Students must apply by May 31st to be considered. The winner of this scholarship will receive $1,000 to help pay for their college tuition.
2. AGL Over the Rainbow Foundation Scholarship
-Accepted to a college or university or proof of submitted applications to colleges and universities
-Possess musical, theatre, art, or chorus experience
The AGL Over the Rainbow Scholarship is an excellent scholarship option for students interested in the arts. To apply, the individual must provide a video or a short sample of their best acting performances or art pieces to the AGL Over the Rainbow Foundation. In addition, three letters of recommendation and a resume showing experience in music, theater, art, or chorus are required. The deadline to submit all needed materials is May 15th. The individual who is granted the scholarship will receive $1,000.
3. Arts for Life Drama Scholarship
-Resident of Florida
-Demonstrated experience in drama
-High school student preparing to graduate
Arts for Life is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to students interested in different types of art. It offers a unique opportunity for high school students to receive financial assistance for college, which is called the Drama Scholarship. To be considered, the applicant must submit two different pieces, either two monologues or one monologue and a separate piece showing singing abilities. Both pieces are required to be current and recorded in front of a neutral-colored background. The deadline to apply is February 3rd. About 25 high school seniors will be chosen and receive a $1,000 scholarship.
4. Ashley E. Ketcher Memorial Scholarship
-Senior at Auburn High School enrolled in the CAPA program
-Interest or experience in the field of performing arts
The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois offers a scholarship opportunity named the Ashley E. Ketcher Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is only for high school seniors attending the CAPA program at Auburn High School. Applicants applying for the scholarship must write an essay explaining why they should win the scholarship as well as their experience and skills in performing arts. All application materials must be turned in by February 1st.
5. Austin College Theatre Scholarship
-Interest or experience in theatre
-Current high school student
Austin College provides a Theatre Scholarship for individuals interested in theatre. Winners of this scholarship do not have to choose theatre as their major. The application process consists of an audition or presentation of portfolio and an interview with faculty members. Several scholarships will be given out annually for various amounts up to $4,000. The scholarship may be renewed each year, as long as the theatre department at the college the individual is attending declares that the individual is meeting performing expectations.
6. Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship
-American citizen or permanent resident
-Current full-time college student studying performing art
-African American or black
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is dedicated to helping provide financial assistance to students majoring in performing arts with the Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship. Interested individuals must send in a resume, recent picture of themselves, two letters of recommendation, an official transcript, an essay, and two visual recording samples that are two minutes each of their creative pieces. Everything must be turned in by April 30th.
7. The David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts
-Current college student or high school senior planning to pursue a degree in the arts
The David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts is awarded by the Berrien Community Foundation to high school senior students in Berrien County, Michigan. The winner will be awarded $1,000 toward their college tuition. Preference is given to students who attend River Valley High School, which is located in Three Oaks, Michigan. All interested individuals must apply by March 6th. The materials that must be submitted are an application form, three recommendation letters, an essay, high school transcript, SAT transcript, FAFSA letter, and one sample of art.
8. Lyon Graduate Fellowship
-Current graduate student enrolled in a college in the United States or Canada
-Film making students will receive priority consideration
Phi Delta Theta features a fellowship for students interested in film making, which is named the Francis D. Lyon Graduate Fellowship. This scholarship is not only for members of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity; anyone may apply if they are studying film making in the United States or Canada. Applications are accepted until March 29th. The awardee of the fellowship will receive around $2,500.
9. Arts Council of Greater Rapids Minority Scholarship
-Racial minority (African American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander)
-Current college student in West Michigan with a major in Fine Arts
-Resident of Kent County
Racial minority students are encouraged to apply for the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids Minority Scholarship, which is managed by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. African American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander students attending an institution in West Michigan can apply, as long as they are pursuing a major in Fine Arts. All applications must include employment, volunteer, and awards as well as a written essay, a recent transcript, and up-to-date financial income of family.
10. Iowa Scholarship for the Arts
-Senior of Iowa High School
-Planning to pursue a college education in the arts at a college or university in Iowa
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs offers an Iowa Scholarship for the Arts to all seniors attending high schools in Iowa. Applicants must show that they are committed to studying the arts at a college or university in Iowa. Applications are required to be submitted by March 2nd. The winner will receive a scholarship of $1,500.
11. Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship
-Current college student
-Experience in performing
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival offers the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship for college students who possess exceptional performance skills. The applicants will audition and compete at the regional level and will go on to the national level if selected. The nominee will be awarded a $500 scholarship, and each region’s runner-up will also be awarded a $500 scholarship. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship, and second place will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
12. The Marcia Quick Gard Theatre Arts Scholarship
-Age 18 or older
-Current or prospective college student
-Majoring or planning to major in theatre
The objective of the Marcia Quick Gard Theatre Arts Scholarship is to provide financial assistance to college students who are passionate about acting. Applicants will be required to audition and may receive a scholarship toward their college education to become an actor. The grand prize winner will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, and the runner-up will be awarded a $500 scholarship.
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13. Marco Island Foundation for the Arts Scholarship
-Marco Island resident or currently attending school on Marco Island
-Possess experience in visual, literary, or performing arts
-Planning to major in the arts
Marco Island Foundation for the Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to visual, literary, and performing arts on Marco Island. The organization provides a scholarship to students on Marco Island who have experience in the arts and plan to pursue a major in the arts in college. The application consists of two recommendation letters, art examples, a current transcript, and a written narrative sketch. All materials must be submitted by April 30th.
14. Princess Grace Foundation Award
-Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
-Nominated by the dean or chair of a school department or a registered company artistic director
The Princess Grace Foundation is committed to helping upcoming artists in theater, dance, or film. In order to receive this award, the individual must be nominated by a non-profit organization or school. If chosen, the individual will receive a decent grant to pursue their artistic passion.
15. Project Yellow Light
-High school or college student
-Interested in encouraging safe driving
The Project Yellow Light Scholarship was created to promote safe driving. There are three competitions for this scholarship, which are a video submission, billboard submission, and a radio submission. Videos must be submitted by April 1st, and the winner will receive $8,000. Billboard ideas must be submitted by March 1st, and the winner will receive $2,000. Radio recordings must be submitted by April 1st, and the winner will receive $2,000.
16. Show Choir Scholarship
-High school senior or college student
-Scored 20 on ACT or 1410 on the New SAT
The McKendree University Show Choir Scholarship is directed toward students majoring in any subject. If selected based on criteria, applicants will be asked to audition for the scholarship. The winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship toward their education.
17. SOD Pearl Anna Neal Scholarship
-Resident of Mecklenburg County
-Accepted to a 4-year college or university
-Minority female high school student
The Psi Mu Zeta Chapter is offering a SOD Pearl Anna Neal Scholarship for minority female high school seniors who are participants of the performing arts. Individuals must live in Mecklenburg County and have received an acceptance letter from a four-year institution. An essay of 500 words is required by February 7th.
18. The Nora Excellence in Art Activism Scholarship
-High school or college student
-Possess a digital portfolio
The Nora Excellence in Art Activism Scholarship is a great opportunity for high school or college students who would like to use their creativity to prevent gun violence. Applicants are required to digitally create a portfolio of art, writing, music, or other forms of art to prevent gun violence. In addition, applicants must explain the reasoning behind their art. The deadline to apply is December 31st.
19. Mary Doctor Scholarship
-High school student planning to major in the arts full-time
-Accepted to a college or university
-Interest and experience in the performing arts
Blumenthal Performing Arts features a scholarship called the Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship. High school seniors are chosen for this scholarship based on their academic grades and interest and experience in performing arts. The winner may receive a scholarship for as much as $10,000 which may be renewed each year.
20. Miranda Scholarship
-Part of an underrepresented group defined by the United States government
-First-generation junior or senior at a college
-Studying Music, Dance, or Theatre
The Miranda Scholarship is sponsored by Rhode Island College to help provide financial assistance to first-generation college students who are majoring in performing arts. Applications must be submitted by September 27th. If selected, individuals will be invited for an in-person interview and audition. The scholarship award can be renewed for two years.
21. Troublemaker Scholarship
-Interest in solving social issues using activism and art
-Demonstrated need for financial assistance
The Slants Foundation offers the Troublemaker Scholarship to encourage people to come up with solutions for social issues by using activism and art. The winner of this scholarship will receive a $1,500 scholarship as well as a mentorship and promotion of their art.
22. Thea Foundation Performing Arts Scholarship
-High school senior in Arkansas
-Possess a talent in performing arts
The Performing Arts Scholarship is given as a prize by the Thea Foundation. This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors in Arkansas who possess an outstanding talent in performing arts. Applicants must submit an audition video showing their abilities to sing, dance, or act. Audition videos must be submitted by April 3rd. Ten people will be awarded scholarships, ranging from $4,000 to $2,000.
23. Expressions Challenge
-United States citizen
-Currently living in Chicago, Illinois, or St. Louis, Missouri
-Age 14 – 18
-High school student
Each year, Expressions offers a scholarship opportunity called the Challenge to help young people earn financial assistance for college. The purpose of the Challenge is to encourage individuals to use creativity to explain how they feel about what is occurring in the world. There are a variety of different topics to choose from, and applicants may use art, media art, and poetry for their submissions. The first-place winner will receive $2,000, and the runner-up will receive $1,250.
24. Beglin Family Award
-Nursing or theater major
-Freshman, sophomore, or junior college student
California State University Bakersfield features a scholarship opportunity for nursing and theater students enrolled in college, which has been named the Beglin Family Award. One winner will be selected for each major and will win $250 toward their college education.
25. Drew Scholarship in the Arts
-Experience or interest in performing arts
-Planning to participate in performing arts in college
-Current full-time college student
Drew University is a well-known institution in the United States for theater. Students interested in the Drew Scholarship in the Arts must complete an application, submit a portfolio, and audition if selected. Each year, the deadline to apply is February 1st. Students who are awarded this scholarship will receive $1,000 for up to four years (4,000 altogether).
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