Theatre and Dance Scholarships

Interested in theatre and dance-related programs? We offer a variety of scholarships, with some funded by our department and its donors and others funded through the university. This page includes scholarships offered through the Theatre and Dance Department and its supporters. We strongly recommend students also visit here to learn about the valuable academic merit scholarship program.

Theatre Talent Scholarships

Our Special Talent Scholarship program is part of our ongoing effort to identify and attract talented performers, designers, and theatre technicians. Recipients receive an award valued at up to $4,000 over their college careers.

Auditions and Interviews for Fall 2020 are now complete and our registration forms will soon be updated for the Fall of 2021.

Students entering the BFA Acting, Design/Tech or Music Theatre programs will be considered for these scholarships based on their admission interview/audition and need not register using the following form. Students entering our BA/BS/BAA theatre programs, minoring in theatre or studying in other non-theatre degree programs can compete for these awards by auditioning/interviewing at our Scholarship Audition events which will take place in February and/or March of 2021 for students starting in Fall of 2021. 

New Students:

To qualify, first, complete the new student Theatre Scholarship registration form or the form for returning students. New students will receive an immediate confirmation email letting you know that we received your registration request and providing important event information. 

Actor/Directors: Audition preparations

Prepare two contrasting memorized monologues (no longer than 3 minutes combined total). Both must be from a contemporary (post-1960) play. "Contrasting" can mean two distinct styles, such as comedic and dramatic, or two distinct types of characters. We recommend selecting monologues that aren't too far removed from your age, type, and experience.
Please bring a headshot (if you have one) and résumé that highlights any related training you may have had, performance experience, leadership or volunteer experience, and special skills. You may leave these at the registration desk when you arrive.
In addition to the monologues, there will also be an interview and a 45-minute group movement workshop. Please dress to move and bring a change of clothes for your audition pieces.

Designers (Lighting, Scene, and Costume)/Technicians: Interview details

Students applying for a design/technical scholarship will meet with our designers in an interview setting. These students will be asked to discuss their design/technical background and interests in the areas of scenery, costuming, and lighting. If students have a portfolio, they may present it. We do not expect that most students will have such material, and therefore we do not require it.
For additional information, please visit our office at 133 Moore Hall or call us at 989-774-7710.

​First Nighter Scholarships

First Nighters, the Central Michigan University Theatre support group, have endowed a scholarship for TAI majors and minors which is awarded each spring for use in the following academic year. The amount of the award varies but has been $1,000 - $2,000 for the past three years. TAD Faculty and Staff will choose recipients with regard to their demonstrated overall contribution to the theatre program at CMU. (Note: requires a minimum of 15 completed credit hours of TAI coursework with a grade of "B" or above, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5)

Donor Scholarships

Denny L. Bettisworth Theatre and Interpretation Award

Established in 2005 by Denny and Linda Bettisworth and friends, this scholarship is a renewable scholarship for a junior or returning senior who has demonstrated outstanding promise in theatre directing, as determined by the Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Marie Donner and Fred R. Bush Scholarship

The Marie Donner and Fred R. Bush Scholarship Fund were established by Fred R. Bush, his family and friends. Professor Bush, former Director of the University Theatre, was a graduate of Central Michigan University and a member of the faculty for 33 years. Mrs. Bush was a faculty member in the Music Department. The earnings of the funds are to provide an annual scholarship for a student studying in Fine Arts.

John Genette and Andrea Dicky Genette Award

The John Genette and Andrea Dickey Genette Award is to recognize an entrepreneurial spirit in a student wishing to produce his/her own project with the intent to pursue theatre as a profession as a career actor, director or teacher. The winner of this renewable scholarship award is selected by the Theatre and Dance area. 

The Wilbur Moore Prize

Established in 1989 in memory of Wilbur E. Moore, founder of what is now known as the Summer Remedial Clinics and the university's first vice president for academic affairs, for a junior who is enrolled as a major in one of the four departments: Communication, Communication Disorders, Broadcast and Cinematic Arts and Theatre and Dance.

Doris J. Ramsey Endowed Theatre Scholarship

The Doris J. Ramsey Endowed Theatre Scholarship was established in 2019 by Doris Ramsey, a costume and make-up designer for University Theatre for over 40 years.

The scholarship will be awarded to a student majoring in the Department of Theatre and Dance with preference given to a student actively involved in costuming, lighting, or make-up in a CMU production. Recipients of the award will demonstrate financial need and maintain a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0.

Gavin J. Smith and Mary C. Mertz-Smith Endowed Scholarship in Technical Theatre

The Gavin J. Smith and Mary C. Mertz-Smith Endowed Scholarship in Technical Theatre is named in honor of Gavin Smith, a CMU theatre alum and his wife, and is awarded to a student in good academic standing with an interest in technical theatre.​


Irvine N. Smith Scholarship

​Established in 1978 by Nancy Page Smith, family, and friends in memory of Irvine N. Smith, a member of the faculty for eight years and director of university theatre from 1974 through 1976, for a freshman, sophomore or junior student as an incentive award in acting and/or directing.

William E. Valle Design and Technical Theatre Award

Established in 2005 by William E. Valle and friends. Bill is a retired professor who taught scenery design, lighting design, and technical theatre at CMU for 35 years. Income from the renewable endowment will support an award for a student who participates and has an interest in the study of design or technical theatre, has demonstrated promise in the field of scenery design, lighting design or technical theatre and has a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.