This article was last updated on Feb. 19, 2015.
Careers in theater are not usually known for their immediate financial upside. Instead it’s a field chosen by people with a passion for the stage, but fortunately there are many organizations willing to help with tuition so students can pursue their desire to act, direct, sing, dance or design sets. If you’re seeking financial backing to learn your craft, explore this list of excellent theater scholarships.
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For 30 years the Princess Grace Foundation has been supporting film, dance and theater artists in honor of Princess Grace of Monaco. This scholarship is for directors, actors, and costume, set, sound, projection and lighting designers. The Princess Grace Foundation offers many other scholarships and grants for film and dance.
For those students pursuing careers in organ playing. Scholarships are available for students studying with a professional organ instructor or pursuing an organ performance degree. Students as young as 13 are eligible.
For the Joseph Collins Foundation scholarship, applicants must be medical students who intend to specialize in neurology, psychiatry or general practice and who show a passion for the arts (writing, theater, music). You must also be in the top half of your class and demonstrate financial need.
The Screen Actors Guild offers two kinds of scholarships for members or their dependents. The first type is for members of SAG or their children attending an accredited institution of higher education. The second type helps SAG members change or further their careers. Academic standing, financial need, an essay and letters of recommendation are all considered in the application process.
Applicants must display talent and dedication to creating outstanding writing, dance, music or theater pieces. Each field is broken into a category and has separate application instructions.
Students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University can receive awards for displaying excellence in theater. Apply early in your college career; the scholarships are renewable for up to four years. You’ll need to be able to sell yourself well, as the application process requires a face-to-face interview.
Drew University is ranked one of the best schools in the country for theater. The application is open to creative writing, music, art and theater students. For theater, submit your acting, dancing, design work or playwriting examples to be considered for the award.
Students who got their start performing in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area and are now pursuing a theater career are eligible for this award. Students must be at least 25% American Indian and an enrolled member of a U.S. tribe.
This scholarship is for graduating high school students in the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, area excelling in art, music, theater, drama or dance. To be considered for this award the student must show financial need and a dedication to actively participating in their community. As with all of these scholarships, good academic standing helps too.
Zach Bowers contributed to this report.
Theater performance photo via Shutterstock.