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Department Scholarships & Awards

Revised 02/26/2010

The Department of Theatre and Drama is able to present awards to deserving students through the beneficence of alumni, faculty, and friends of Theatre. Over the years a variety of funds have been established to support these awards. While the income generated by a particular fund may not allow us to provide an award each year, where possible, the intent of the original grantor is followed. Below you will find the complete list of awards that might be given in a particular year, and the description of the award.

Each year an Award Advisory Committee will be formed. In the spring of the year, the Award Advisory Committee will solicit nominations for the awards. Where, in the view of the committee and chairperson, there is no appropriate nominee for an award, the award will not be granted. The Award Advisory Committee chairperson will present to the department chairperson a prioritized list of (no fewer than two) nominations for each agreed upon award.

In addition, the Award Committee will solicit nominees for the Theatre Circle Award and will review them to be certain there is sufficient and appropriate information for the Theatre Circle Award Committee to make its selection. The chairperson will pass the nominations to the Theatre Circle Award Committee.

Awards given in a particular year include:

Charles Aidman (Spoon River) Scholarship/Fellowship – This scholarship (first awarded in December of 2003) shall be given, from the Gift income, to one or more deserving undergraduate or graduate students majoring in the Department of Theatre and Drama. Awards are to be based upon the merit and need of a talented student or students in acting or directing. The Donor wishes to honor her late husband, Charles Aidman, who had a distinguished career in theatre and television. The Donor intends, but is not obligated, to make annual contributions to fund this scholarship. Not given until fall 2005.

Colleen Alexander Memorial Scholarship - Award is awarded annually to a Theatre & Drama major. The award can be given to one student or divided, at the discretion of Award Advisory Committee Walter Keith Alexander, a former student and loyal lifetime support of the College and the Department, wishes to memorialize his late wife, Colleen J. Alexander, a recipient of a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in 1951 and also a loyal lifetime supporter of the College and the Department.

James F. Elrod Scholarship - Will go to a junior or senior student with a meritorious academic record and demonstrated financial need, who is an Indiana resident.

Featheringill Theatre and Drama Scholarship - This new undergraduate scholarship began in 2001. The scholarship is given by Jack Featheringill, a graduate of the Department of Theatre and Drama. Featheringill spent 15 years in New York as a dancer and as a casting director, and retired after 30 years in the Department of Theatre at Portland State University, Oregon.

The main tenets of the scholarship are that the undergraduate be a junior (minimum of 56 semester credit hours) Theatre and Drama major, who is pursuing a full course of study including academic and production activity during the scholarship year. The recipient’s academic excellence must be demonstrated by an average GPA of not less than 2.50 for all courses taken and an average of 2.75 for Theatre and Drama courses taken. Production and academic excellence are to be supported by the inclusion of a letter of application from the student and one letter of recommendation from a faculty member who has worked with the student. Since financial need is a component of this scholarship, the financial need will be determined by the IU Student Financial Assistance Office to be no less than 40% of the amount required for an academic year. Applicants must comply with the IU standard Financial Assistance certification process. The results of this process will be available for review by the Department’s Scholarship Committee. This is an open application process from which recipients meeting criteria will be selected. The 2004-05 scholarship will range between $5,000 and $11,000. If the recipient satisfactorily maintains academic and production progress, GPA, and demonstrated need, support will be repeated for the senior year. An abbreviated senior year application will be required.

Catherine Feltus Preston Scholarship - Goes to support and undergraduate student who is pursuing a BFA degree in musical theatre. In 2007 it will go to a promising incoming BFA student.

Gary Gaiser Award - In 1995, the Department of Theatre and Drama established the Gary Gaiser Award. This award is given on an irregular basis to a graduate or undergraduate student in the Department of Theatre and Drama who has been self-motivated and unusually innovative as an artist, technician and/or scholar during his or her career. It is awarded in memory of Gary Gaiser who began his career at Indiana in 1944, retired in 1980, died in 1994. Gary Gaiser, who had a wide range of interests and an absolute love of lighting and technology, was an inspiration to hundreds of students and colleagues. He was continually exploring, experimenting, and proving that age need not dampen the enthusiasm for living. What is more, Gary was always upbeat, had a wide smile, boundless energy and enthusiasm, and an insatiable curiosity. He was constantly filled with a sense of awe — and it was Gary Gaiser’s sense of awe that was so infectious. It was his sense of awe that set him apart from the rest of us.

Ruth N. Halls Scholarship - The Ruth N. Halls Award is awarded annually to a theatre and drama major or minor who has made an outstanding contribution to the theatre and drama program. The award can be given to one student or divided, at the discretion of the department.

Foster Harmon Graduate Fellowship in Theatre - Not a committee selected award. A fellowship, to be awarded annually, to a full-time graduate student enrolled in the Department of Theatre and Drama at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University. The recipient of this fellowship must be talented in his or her field and exhibit dedication to the theatre. The recipient shall have a good scholastic record and have demonstrated financial need. The fellowship shall be awarded by the Chairman of the Department of Theatre and Drama, Bloomington campus, upon the recommendation of that Department’s faculty. Only income shall be available for fellowship purposes. Income not utilized in any given year for fellowship purposes shall be added to principal and reinvested.

Foster Harmon Undergraduate Scholarship - is awarded annually to a Theatre & Drama major. The award can be given to one student or divided, at the discretion of Award Advisory Committee.

Russell A. Havens Theatre Scholarship/Fellowship - Not a committee selected award. This award was established through the estate of Helen I. Ravens to honor her late husband, Russell A. Ravens. Guidelines state that the award may be given at either the graduate or undergraduate level, and that a recipient shall be chosen pursuant to the established procedures of the College of Arts & Sciences.

David S. Hawes Award - The "Award" (to begin in 2003) shall be given to an undergraduate student of junior or senior class standing, majoring in the Department, or to a student in the graduate program who has demonstrated exceptional creative work in playwriting, acting, or directing. The donor retired in 1980 after twenty-five years of challenging and rewarding service as a faculty member of the Department. Grateful that demanding work with talented students brought lasting joy to his teaching, the donor, having made this trust, wishes that income from this gift be used to support awards in the Department of Theatre and Drama.

Hubert C. Heffner Award - Selected by the History/Theory/Literature faculty. The Hubert C. Heffner Award, which was established in 1987, is presented each year to a graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Drama. The recipient must have consistently exemplified the high academic standards in the area of theatre history, theory, and dramatic literature that marked the career of Distinguished Professor Hubert C. Heffner during his years at Indiana University (1955-1971).

William Kinzer Memorial Scholarship - One scholarship may be awarded annually. The scholarship shall be awarded to a sophomore or junior majoring in Theatre and Drama on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University. It is the donor’s desire that this scholarship recognize a student who has made a substantial contribution to the overall program of the Department of Theatre and Drama and who in some way exemplifies the character and spirit of William B. Kinzer, a faculty member in the Department from 1951 to 1984. In selecting the recipient the committee shall seek recommendations from faculty and shall consider participation in the various Departmental activities and programs as the primary qualification. Academic performance and need may be considered but should not be controlling criteria for the awarding of the scholarship. The amount shall be determined by the income generated by the Endowment Fund as determined by the chairperson.

Nota Scholl McGreevey Scholarship - The Department of Theatre and Drama annually awards an undergraduate scholarship in the name of Nota Scholl McGreevey. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to an undergraduate student majoring in Theatre and Drama, or an IMP student whose area of emphasis is in theatre, and who is in the process of completing her degree. Thus, the scholarship will be awarded to a student who has completed her sophomore or junior year and will be enrolled in the Department during the coming year. It is the desire of the donor that preference be given to a female student and that this student have demonstrated superior talent and dedication to the theatre.

Jay Mark Scholarship – presented for the first time in 2001-2002, is to be given to a Theatre and Drama student in good standing (graduate or undergraduate major) in even number years.

Marion Bankert Michael Career Award - Selected by the head of acting/directing area, was established in 1998 by R. Keith Michael and Marion Bankert Michael. It will be presented annually under the auspices of the Theatre Circle to a graduating M.F.A. student in the area of Acting and Directing at Indiana University-Bloomington who has displayed evidence of exceptional talent and dedication and who, immediately upon graduation, is intent upon pursuing a career as an artist in the professional theatre. If there is no M.F.A. student in the area of Acting and Directing who meets the criteria, the award may be given to a talented and dedicated undergraduate actor or director who is graduating and is intent upon pursuing a career in the professional theatre. The selection of the recipient will be made by the Head of the Acting and Directing program, in the Department of Theatre and Drama in consultation with Theatre and Drama colleagues, and representatives of the Theatre Circle if he wishes. The primary source of funds for the award is the R. Keith Michael and Marion Bankert Michael Fund, a designated endowment fund in the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Inc. Until the fund has grown substantially, the Marion Bankert Michael Career Award is to be given annually to only one person, the time and occasion of the presentation to be determined by the President of the Theatre Circle in consultation with the Head of Acting and Directing. If there is no graduate or undergraduate student who meets the criteria, the award need not be given. The amount of the initial award shall be $1,000.

Richard L. Scammon Award - Each year at the Theatre Banquet, the Richard L. Scammon Award is presented to a graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Drama who has consistently exemplified the "high artistic standards and sense of dedication to the theatre that marked the career of Richard L. Scammon during his 33 years at Indiana."

Jason W. Stradtman Award – Not a committee selected award. Selected by the Playwriting Program. The Stradtman Award was established in 2000 by Charlotte and Marty Stradtman of Irvine, CA, in honor of their son Jason. Jason was a talented young man who had committed to the IU Playwriting program in 1998 but who succumbed to cancer before he could join us. The Stradtman Award is intended specifically to honor outstanding work in playwriting and screenwriting.

Rosemary R. Schwartzel Scholarship – The donor wishes to support scholarships in the Department of Theatre and Drama. Ms. Schwartzel, an IU alumna of 1939 with a B.A. in English, created and funded this scholarship.

Theatre Circle Award - Not a committee selected award. In 1979 the Theatre Circle established an annual award to recognize the outstanding achievements of an undergraduate major in Theatre and Drama. The awardee receives a stipend of $1,500, and the name of the recipient appears on the permanent plaque. The plaque will be displayed in the Theatre and Drama Center. The Theatre Circle invites theatre students, faculty, and administrative staff to nominate persons who are deserving of this recognition. In general, the award will be presented to a major in the undergraduate program of the Department of Theatre and Drama who is of junior or senior standing. The student must be in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in theatre courses. Preference will be given to students with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0; the award will recognize the sum of the contributions made by a student to the art of the theatre during his/her career at Indiana University rather than a single performance, design, or other creative effort; contributions for which the student has received financial remuneration are not considered, and the award will recognize achievements of excellence significantly above and beyond those that might reasonably be expected of a student; the winner will be selected by a committee of members of Theatre Circle.

Helen Sarah Walker Scholarship – The scholarship (as much as $2,000), beginning in 2003, is to be awarded to an outstanding undergraduate junior enrolled in the Department who is concentrating in design and technology (in particular stage management) and is committed to returning to the university for his/her senior year. The donors wish to honor the memory of their daughter, Helen Sarah Walker, a theatre student with a particular interest in stage management, who died tragically in an auto accident.

Faculty Memorial Award – may be awarded to one or two outstanding graduate or undergraduate students whom the committee deems deserving but who are not receiving other departmental awards.

Theatre and Drama Merit Awards – may be awarded to one to three outstanding graduate or undergraduate students whom the committee deems deserving, but who are not receiving other departmental awards.