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.
The Bret Ratner Grant
$10,000 tuition grant based on financial need only for One, Two Year & MFA Filmmaking Programs.
Through the generosity of Brett Ratner, the New York Film Academy is able to offer a limited amount (50) of $10,000 tuition grants. Only applicants to our One & Two Year Filmmaking programs are eligible to apply. To qualify, applicants must show a credible need for financial assistance through [...] More
Hope College Distinguished Artist Awards - Theater
February 22, 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
WMU Lawrence, Clara & Evelyn E. Burke Scholarship
Full or part-time graduate or undergraduate students enrolled in Theatre or Journalism
GPA of 3.0 or higher
Selected on the basis of scholastic achievement
-Have participated in a theatre production either at the high school or college level
-Are deemed to have outstanding potential for a career in theatre
-Shall have had [...] More
University of South Alabama/Drama Assistantships/Scholarships
December 01, Annually
Performance scholarships and scene and/or costume shop assistantships. Must be a drama major and maintain a 2.2 GPA for Assistantships and a 3.0 for [...] More
GRCF Grand Rapids Combined Theatre Scholarship
April 01, Annually
Student must be a full-time theatre arts major at an accredited college/university with theatre experience at one of the local community theatres. Must provide three letters of recommendation and have financial need.
For more information about this award, please visit our [...] More
Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Scholarship
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
May 02, Annually
The CBC Spouses Heineken USA Performing Arts Scholarship was established in 2000 in honor of the late Curtis Mayfield to ensure that students pursuing a degree in the performing arts receive financial assistance while achieving their goals. The performing arts include theater, motion pictures, drama, comedy, music, dance, opera, marching bands and other musical ensembles.
Applicants must be [...] More
CBC Spouses Visual Arts scholarship
May 02, Annually
The CBC Spouses Visual Arts scholarship was established in 2006 for students who are pursuing a degree in the visual arts.
Applicants must be preparing to pursue an undergraduate degree full-time, or be a current full-time student in good academic standing at a U.S. accredited college or university located within the United States. Applicants must also have a minimum 2.5 GPA, exhibit leadership [...] More
Francis D. Lyon Scholarship
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
Stoody-West Graduate Fellowship
March 15, Annually
The purpose of the Stoody-West Fellowship is to enhance the recipient's professional competence and thereby help to perpetuate the standards exemplified by Ralph Stoody and Arthur West. Religious journalism is interpreted to include news writing for secular press, church press and for church institutions. The committee will consider appropriate news and journalism forms, including electronic and [...] More
Terry Albee Memorial Scholarship
March 08, Annually
The Terry Albee Memorial Scholarship was established by family and friends to honor Terry’s work as a journalist and his love for music. Terry spent his career as a newspaper reporter and editor, working at both the Caledonia Record and Newport Daily News. A 1958 graduate of Newport High School, Terry served two years in the navy prior to attending Boston University’s School of Journalism. [...] More