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Graduate Student Drama Scholarships

Every spring, the School of Drama awards scholarships for current graduate students for the next academic year. Scholarships can range from $100 to $1,000. 

The scholarship application must include a coversheet, drama resume, current transcript, and short essay. Forms and eligibility information will be posted here in spring of each year. Scholarship applications should be submitted as a single PDF file to Sue Bruns ( by the April deadline each year.

Scholarships for 2017-2018 included:

  • The Frank and Martha Ackerman Scholarship – This fund was created by Frank and Martha Ackerman in honor of Martha’s mother. It is intended to be equally divided between the Schools of Drama and Music. This scholarship is awarded to either graduate or undergraduate students who have provided evidence of financial need and are in good academic standing.
  • The John Ashby Conway Memorial Scholarship – John Ashby Conway taught design at the School of Drama for 40 years and retired in 1975. He was the original designer of the Penthouse Theater. Upon his death in 1987, a memorial scholarship was set in his name and overseen by his widow, Dorothy. This scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student in design or technical theatre. Students must be active participants in the School of Drama community.
  • Michael Quinn Writing Prize – Michael Quinn was a member of the SoD PhD faculty from 1989 to 1994 when he lost his battle with lymphoma. In the words of Sarah Nash Gates, “PhD and BA students found him intellectually challenging, clear and very witty. His photographic memory allowed him to quote playwrights, theorists and baseball stats with amazing ease. Michael was instrumental in bringing major guests to campus to enrich our program and was an excellent mentor in the PhD program. Illustrating his generosity – before he died, he arranged for the royalties from his book to fund a student prize for writing.” Barry Witham adds, “Michael was a genuine young scholar who prized scholarship and wanted to encourage it. At first the fund was meant for PhD students but then he decided it should award good writing at any level. For me it certainly encapsulates the spirit and vision of a wonderful man.” The faculty selects the best essay written by a School of Drama student for the Quinn Writing Prize. This prize is traditionally awarded to a student in the doctoral program.
  • Shelley & Phil Schermer Endowment Scholarship – Phil and Shelley (Henze) Schermer both graduated from the University of Washington's School of Drama. Phil's MA in Scenery, Lighting Design and Technical Direction and Shelley's BA in Drama led them both to work in the professional theatre community of Seattle. Shelley was hired by ACT and the Seattle Rep as a scenic artist and prop master. Phil was hired at the University as the School of Drama's Theatre Production Supervisor where he oversaw the School's scenery shop, student workers, and technical staff. Years later Phil worked as the Technical Director of ACT and eventually became the Producing Director. After Phil's untimely death in 1997, Shelley has continued as a valued member of the Seattle theatre arts community. This award provides financial assistance to undergraduate or graduate students who are studying technical theatre, scenic or lighting design, or sound design. Selection for the undergraduate scholarship will be determined by demonstrated aptitude for success in theatre design and/or technical theater. Graduate students who receive this award must participate in an internship with one of the professional theater companies in Seattle.
  • School of Drama Scholarship – In 1962, when Greg Falls was Director of the School of Drama, he felt it necessary to establish a School of Drama Scholarship. Many, many alumni have and continue to support this fund.  This scholarship is awarded to students on the basis of merit and leadership within the School of Drama. This scholarship is typically given to undergraduate students, but can be awarded to graduate students as well. To be eligible, students must be in residence on the Seattle campus for the quarter they will be receiving the award.

We also have information about Graduate Tuition and Financial Aid and past Scholarship Recipients available online.

The Graduate School has a list of fellowships they administer.

The College of Arts and Sciences has scholarships they administer. Area faculty nominate graduate students to be considered for these awards.