The American Theatre Wing's Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative has announced 2021 recipients of university scholarships and grants, including the inaugural recipients of the Stewart F. Lane Fellowship for Career Advancement.
Receiving scholarships of up to $10,000 towards course fees at a four-year university program are sound designer and stage manager Alena Serrano of Lake Worth, Florida, attending University of Michigan; composer-lyricist and actor Chelsea Rose of Durham, North Carolina, attending University of North Carolina School of the Arts; playwright, composer-lyricist, dancer, director, and actor Jeyna Lynn Gonzales of Panama City Beach, Florida, attending University of California, Irvine; actor Oluchi Nwaokorie of Jackson, Mississippi, attending Unviersity of Michigan; actor Taylor Jackson of Hover, Alabama, attending Pace University; and lighting designer Thania Melendez of Houston, Texas, attending University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Each recipient will be able to renew their scholarship for four years as long as a GPA of at least 3.0 is maintained.
The inaugural Stewart F. Lane Fellow for Career Advancement, receiving a $10,000 grant, will be arts administrator Carrli Cooper of Winter Garden, Florida, a graduate of University of Michigan.
Created in 2016 with funding from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and administered by the American Theatre Wing, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative looks to affect systemic change and promote diversity and equity in the theatre industry by bolstering career pipelines for historically underrepresented talent both onstage and behind the curtain. While the initiative's scholarship program supports university students, the newly introduced Stewart F. Lane Fellowship will continue financial support of a ALWI scholarship recipient. The fellowship joins the initiative this year thanks to a $200,000 endowment gift from Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane.
"Any artform’s enduring relevancy is dependent on the strength of its emerging talent," says Lane. "The theatre needs new perspectives, exciting ideas, and fresh voices. By alleviating some of the financial pressure that graduates face as they enter the workforce, we hope to give our fellows the inner space needed to focus and develop their talent."
For more information and to support the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, visit AmericanTheatreWing.org.