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Departmental Awards

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At the close of each academic year, Theater Studies, Theater Emory, and other various organizations offer several awards and nominations to exceptional students. These awards are announced and granted at our annual spring Awards Reception.


The Alice N. Benston Award in Theater Studies

Awarded annually by departmental faculty to one graduating senior or recent graduate who has shown exceptional dedication, promise, and intellectual rigor, to encourage his or her continuing education in theater. The prize is accompanied by a cash award of $1500.

Recent Winners: Ramona Li (2021), Willis Hao (2020), Josh Oberlander-Denny (2019), Cameron Frostbaum (2018)

The Brenda Bynum Theater at Emory Award

Awarded annually to the student who has offered selfless and generous contributions of time, ability, and enthusiasm to the Theater Studies Department, Theater Emory, and student theater – to the whole of Theater at Emory. Award amount of $500.

Recent Winners: Nestor Lomeli (2021), Kayla Fallick (2020), Jess Winer (2019), Victoria Hood (2018), Jemma Giberson (2017)

The Fine Award

Bestowed annually by vote of the Theater Studies faculty on a junior or senior Theater Studies major or minor who has shown outstanding ability in acting. Theater majors and minors vote to acknowledge the faculty member who has done the most to influence the development of his or her students. Established in 2002 by Saralee G. Fine (85G) and Robert A. Fine. Award amount of $1,000.

Recent Winners: Nic Bogan (2021), Julia Byrne (2020), Geoffrey Soloman (2019), Maggie Becker (2018)

The Friends of Theater at Emory Award

Recipients are selected by the Theater Studies faculty with input from the Board of the Friends of Theater at Emory. Two to three awards, endowed through the Theater Endowment Fund, may be given each year:

  • to one or two graduating seniors in recognition of outstanding artistic achievement, leadership, and valuable contribution through a body of work to Theater Emory. Student winners receive a cash award of $1000.
  • to a professional guest artist with a demonstrated record of mentoring students, artistic achievement, and valuable collaboration through a body of work to Theater Emory.

Recent Winners: Kayla Fallick (2021), Erin Eben (2021), Jess McKeown (2020), Maggie Higginbotham (2020), Victoria Hood (2019), Adam Friedman (2018)

The Sudler Prize

The Sudler Prize for Achievement in the Arts is awarded annually to two graduating seniors (one in fine arts and one in performing arts) for outstanding achievement in studio art, creative writing, dance, music, or theater. The recipient need not be an arts major but should demonstrate the highest degree of artistic excellence. The prize was established at Emory in 1983 by Mr. Louis Sudler, a Chicago businessman, musician, and philanthropist, who endowed the same prize at 14 other universities and colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Chicago, Stanford, Oberlin, and Dartmouth. The prize is accompanied by a cash award of about $6000.

Recent Winner: Ruth Puryear (2021)

Recent Nominee: Jess McKeown (2020)

The Stipe Society of Creative Scholars

The John H. Gordon Stipe Society was founded to foster creativity and original scholarship among Emory College students. The Stipe Society is comprised of six appointed scholars each year, one from each area of the creative and performing arts. Stipe Fellows receive a $4,000 academic tuition scholarship.

Recent Recipients: Brant Adams, Theater (2021), Drew Mindell, Playwriting (2021), Nestor Lomeli (2020)

The Emory Woman's Club Arts Scholarship

Awarded annually (in sequential rotation) by decision of the faculty of the various Emory College arts departments/programs. The recipient is an arts discipline major in her or his junior or senior year with demonstrated need, merit, and commitment to their major program. Funded by the endowment from a 1998 gift of the Emory University Woman's Club and intended for such purposes as international study abroad or other enrichments not otherwise available to the recipient. The award is approximately $1,800.

Recent Winners: Yipei Shao (2016), Emily Kleypas (2012)

Friends of Theater at Emory Summer Grants

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The Friends of Theater at Emory (FOTE) Summer Grants subsidize tuition costs and/or living expenses of students involved in unpaid or under-paid summer theater internships or summer theater study opportunities. The FOTE Summer Grant specifically awards each recipient up to $1,500 to subsidize either unpaid or under-paid theater internships or theater study programs.

2023 Applications are Due April 12th. Please click here to access the application.

Eligible theater internships will:

  • have a clear theater focus
  • not be an official Emory internship
  • not involve academic credit
  • be completed between the end of Spring, and beginning of Fall, semester.

Eligible summer study programs will:

  • be theater focused, particularly for areas of study unavailable at (or through) Emory
  • support the applicant's academic or career plan to continue in theatrical study or work beyond graduation.


  • Click here to apply for the 2023 FOTE Summer Grant.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to apply early.


  • Applicant must be either a rising junior, rising senior, or graduating student.
  • Graduating students are eligible only if they can provide evidence they are remaining in the Atlanta area for the coming year.


  • FOTE makes a total of $3,000 available for grants. Recipients may be awarded up to, but no more than, $1,500. The total amount of all combined annual grants will not exceed $3,000. Students may request up to $1,500, but final award amount to be determined by the FOTE Grant committee.

Grant Recipient Requirements:

  • FOTE Summer Grant recipients are required to present on their experience to peers, Theater Studies faculty, and FOTE Board members before the mid-point of the Fall Semester.

Student Grantee will be notified by April 19th, 2023.

Additional Funding

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The Martin Foundation

The Martin Foundation, a charitable corporation, founded to support research and education. This contribution is to be used toward undergraduate research in the making and studying of theater at Emory University. 

Who: This opportunity is available to rising juniors and seniors pursuing honors OR a unique theater project in the pursuit to further their theater education at Emory. It is not to be used for Student Theater, Emory summer courses, or study abroad. We recommend that students use these funds to pursue research undertaken via class credit:

  • THEA 495W: Honors in Theater (can be with or without W)
  • THEA 494RW or ENGCW 495RW: Honors in Playwriting (can be THEA or ENGCW?)
  • THEA 499RW: Independent Research in Theater (can be with or without W, we just got approval for the added W section).

What:  $3,000 total in grant money is available. Up to $1,500 may be awarded to any one student. (*this is subject to change based on the number of applicants) It is to help aid in the costs of production needs, such as but not limited to; paying for building materials, costumes, or a special guest artist. 

When: 2022-2023 Academic Year

Where: Emory University in the Department of Theater and Dance

Why: To help subsidize costs of special projects or honors production costs. 

Review Committee: Sara Culpepper and Michael Evenden, Director of Undergraduate Research

Applicants must submit the following by September 1st 2022 before funds are needed in the Fall ’22 for honors OR the semester before needing funds for following semester presentations/production. Students can update their request prior to the semester when they need the funds.

  1.  A completed application form. Please fill out the APPLICATION, staying within the character limits. 
  2.  A letter from your faculty supervisor confirming your project and funding needs. If a letter or proof is not available at the time of application, please indicate the date when confirmation is expected and submit materials then. Any grant awarded is subject to verification by Sara Culpepper or Theater Studies faculty or staff acting on their behalf.

Character limits: Character limits for each question include blank spaces.

To submit: CLICK HERE to fill out the application and submit by:  September 1st, 2022.

Applicants will be notified by Sara Culpepper and Michael Evenden if they have received funding and the amount they will receive. If not already submitted, verification will be due before funds are disbursed. Please note that Sara Culpepper, acting on behalf of The Martin Foundation, holds the right to request receipts of tuition paid, evidence of rental rates and payment, or any other documentation they require. 


While scholarships and awards recognize achievement, they are also vehicles for continued professional and personal growth. Theater Studies strongly supports its majors pursuing internal and external scholarships that will facilitate the kind of training and connection they require for their professional future.

Theater Studies majors interested in pursuing internal or external awards are strongly encouraged to contact their theater advisor, who can offer guidance and support.

Emory Scholarships

Emory College maintains a current listing of internal awards. It is important to review all information for each award, especially eligibility, application requirements, and deadline(s).

Theater Studies majors/minors interested in these awards should

  1. review the list of Emory Internal Awards
  2. work with their faculty advisor and Department Undergraduate Supervisor to develop their application.

External Scholarships

Many nationally competitive external scholarships and awards-including the Rhoades, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Jack Kent Cooke, Luce Scholars, Beinecke, and Fulbright-actively seek candidates from the performing arts.

Emory College's National Scholarship & Fellowships Program (NSFP) provides information and support for current Emory students and recent alumni/ae in pursuit of these merit awards.

NSFP offers numerous resources:

Theater Studies majors/minors interested in these opportunities should

  1. review the descriptions of each scholarship provided by NSFP
  2. make an appointment to meet with Emory's National Scholarships & Fellowships Program to discuss specific scholarship requirements and deadlines.
  3. work with their theater faculty advisor, the theater Department Undergraduate Supervisor, and NSFP office to develop your application.

Arts Funding

Center for Creativity & Arts Project Grants

Twice annually, Emory's College of Arts & Sciences' Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA) offers grants to support Emory artists and arts-related projects that have the potential to engage a wide audience.

These grants are intended to support activities outside of the regular academic responsibility of individuals, departments, or units.

Students may apply for grants in the amount of up to $500. Faculty and staff may apply for grants in the amount of up to $1,500. Please review the eligibility requirements and grant application for complete information.

Ethics and Servant Leadership (EASL) Summer Internship Program

The Servant Leadership Summer is a funded summer internship program that places qualified Emory University students in Atlanta-area nonprofits, government agencies, and socially responsible businesses. The Servant Leadership Summer Program includes an orientation, weekly class sessions, projects, and 240 hours of work at your placement site. Students receive a $4000 stipend.