The Educational Theatre Association annually recognizes student achievement through a variety of scholarships. The 2021 recipients are as follows:
The Dr. Kenny D. Hasija Scholarship awards $1,000 to support applicants from diverse groups that are historically underrepresented in the theatre industry, such as those who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color. The 2021 recipients are Sarah Long of Bridgeland High School in Cypress, Texas; Trinity Joseph of Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Dundalk, Md.; and Imani Okwuosa of Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga.
The Christopher L. Hunt Scholarship awards $1,000 on behalf of the late Chris Hunt, former EdTA marketing director, to Thespians who plan to use skills learned though theatre in a career focused on business or marketing. Madison Crick of O’Connor High School in Helotes, Texas, is this year’s recipient.
The Educational Theatre Association President’s Leadership Scholarship recognizes Thespians who successfully demonstrate leadership abilities with a $1,000 scholarship created with donations from and/or in honor of past and current EdTA board presidents. The 2021 recipients are Jeyna Lynn Gonzalez, a former International Thespian Officer from J.R. Arnold High School in Panama City Beach, Fla.; and Rosanna Gao, a 2021-22 International Thespian Officer, from William A. Shine – Great Neck South High School in Great Neck, NY.
The EdTA Board of Directors Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship created with donations by and/or in honor of past and current members of the EdTA Board of Directors, is awarded to Charlotte Perez of Bowling Green High School in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The Melba Day Henning Scholarship awards $3,000 to an undergraduate student currently enrolled in full-time theatre education study at an accredited college or university and was given to Audrey Burgoon, formerly of Salina Central High School in Salina, Kan.
The Michael Peitz Leadership Scholarship awards $1,500 to a Thespian who successfully demonstrates leadership abilities. The 2021 recipient is Nazarene Campodonico of Salem High School in Salem, Ga.
Previously announced were scholarships awarded during the International Thespian Excellence Awards. New this year, the Grace Kelly Scholarships were awarded to 10 top scorers who represented the highest level of achievement and promise for high school theatre makers and performers. Five $6,000 scholarships for college education, along with internship stipends and professional mentors were awarded to graduating seniors Margaret Hammond of Nuview Bridge Early College High School in Nuevo, Calif.; Natalie Lawton and Grace Sorenson of Redmon Proficiency Academy in Redmon, Ore.; Pradanya Subramanyan of Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas; and Trysten Williams of George Washington Carver Magnet High School in Houston, Texas.
Additionally, five $1,000 training scholarships were awarded by the Princess Grace Foundation to underclassmen Laila Carter of North Oconee High School in Bogart, Ga.; Dane Lackey of Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls, Texas; Emma Stellmach of Brownsburg High School in Brownsburg, Ind.; Jacki Vellandi of the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, Calif.; and Caroline Yim of Juanita High School in Kirkland, Wash.
In addition to the Grace Kelly Scholarship, Grace Sorenson also received the Amy Bennett Musical Theatre Scholarship, a $2,500 prize awarded to a top-scoring musical theatre performer who plans to study musical theatre at a college or conservatory.
“As a first-generation college student [and] the only one of my siblings to formally graduate high school . . . this scholarship is a huge help in supporting my academic and professional career,” Sorenson said. Following college, she hopes to work professionally in some of the regional venues that have been the greatest inspiration to her, like the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Barring that, she said, “I plan to put on workshops and intensives in low-income areas across the nation to help kids without the resources they deserve to have opportunities they may be missing otherwise. I truly cannot express my gratitude on a deep enough level to convey how much this means to me.”