13 College Scholarships for Theatre and Arts Students | Playbill

Back to School 13 College Scholarships for Theatre and Arts Students

This roundup of scholarships is full of resources for students in theatre and performing arts.

Are you pursuing an arts education? It's no secret that school is not cheap, and we're here to help. Get financially ready for back to school season with Playbill's roundup of 13 scholarships for students interested in theatre and the arts.

While each of these descriptions and deadlines are up-to-date at the time of publication, interested students should monitor scholarship sites for any changes. 

Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) Scholarships
: This group of performing arts scholarships is open to students at various levels of theatre study (from graduating high school senior to college senior). ($1,000-$2,000) Deadline: The scholarship application period is January 1 to April 1. 

  • The Dr. Kenny D. Hasija Scholarship is a one-time scholarship honoring Broadway producer Ken Davenport’s father by supporting applicants traditionally underrepresented in the theatre industry. The scholarship is awarded to one graduating senior who is Black, Indigenous, or a person of color. 
  • The Mark Drum Scholarship is a one-time scholarship created to support Asian and Pacific Islander Thespians with donations from and in honor of Thespian alumni, EdTA board member, and teaching artist Mark Drum. The scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors and undergraduate students in an accredited college or university who are Asian or Pacific Islander. 
  • The Future Theatre Educator Scholarship is a one-time scholarship to support Thespians pursuing a career in theatre education. It was created by Nebraska and Indiana chapter leadership, with funding from chapter leaders across the country. The scholarship is open to graduating seniors enrolling in an accredited college or university as theatre education majors. 
  • The Gai Laing Jones Theatre Education Scholarship is a one-time scholarship created by former EdTA board president Gai Laing Jones to support preservice theatre educators in completing their degrees. The scholarship will be awarded to two college juniors or seniors working toward their theatre education degree at an accredited college or university. 
  • The Board of Directors Scholarship and Presidents’ Leadership Scholarship are each one-time scholarships created with donations by and in honor of past and current EdTA board directors and presidents. One of each scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who can successfully demonstrate leadership abilities. 
  • The Christopher L. Hunt Scholarship is a one-time scholarship in honor of the late EdTA marketing director. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior pursuing a degree and career in business or marketing. 
  • The Michael J. Peitz Leadership Scholarship is a one-time scholarship in honor of the former executive director of EdTA. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who can successfully demonstrate leadership abilities.
The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program: This program was founded by Richard and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition to build a bridge into the industry for the next generation of theatre-makers of color working behind the scenes. The cohort is open to students who identify as Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, or a person of color who are pursing a degree or concentration in stage management, technical theatre, theatre design, playwriting, directing, or theatre management at an accredited college or university. Deadline: Applications for the 2024 cohort will open in late fall 2023. 

The Dorian De Long Arts and Music Scholarship: This one-time scholarship is awarded annually to one or more graduating Colorado high school students in honor of educator and activist Dorian De Long. Recipients must plan on majoring or minoring in the arts (visual or performing) at a Colorado university/college/post-secondary institution. ($1,500-$2,500) Deadline: The 2024-25 application will open January 1. 

The John L. Dales and George Heller Scholarships: These two one-time awards are available for eligible SAG-AFTRA members and their dependents. Scholarships are granted to applicants for study at accredited and licensed universities, colleges, junior colleges, adult specialty schools, and trade/vocational schools. The number and amount awarded are determined by a committee of the SAG-AFTRA foundation. Deadline: The 2024-2025 application will open November 15. 

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship
: Open to student performers wishing to pursue further education and professional development, this scholarship offers 16 regional awards ($500 each, to one nominee and one runner up from each region). Select recipients are invited to take week-long, expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C. to present their scholarship audition to a panel. The two national winners will receive $3,500 scholarships. Deadline: Check based on your region. The 2024 Regional Festivals will be held in January and February. 

The Nellie Love Butcher Music ScholarshipThis one-time scholarship is awarded annually to a male and female music student who is pursuing an education in piano or voice. Special consideration is given to students currently attending the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (Up to $5,000) Deadline: Contact [email protected] for submissions and more details. 

National YoungArts FoundationThe YoungArts national competition is open to students in grades 10-12 or age 15-18 in disciplines including theatre, dance, classical music, jazz, voice, and more. Winners of the submission-based program receive financial awards, mentorship by accomplished artists, and the opportunity to be selected to attend National YoungArts Week as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. ($250-$10,000) Deadline: October 13.
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