College of Communication and Fine Arts Department of Theatre & Dance
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There are a number of honors and awards for Creative and Academic Achievement available to students at every level at the University of Memphis, as well as the Memphis metro-area.


The Keith Kennedy Theatre and Dance Student Enrichment Fund Expenditures provide theatre and dance students with opportunities to benefit from programmatic enhancements, both on campus and in professional venues. Such expenditures may include workshops and classes conducted by guest artists, awards or prizes to students who demonstrate outstanding ability and /or make significant contributions to the Department of Theatre & Dance, travel and fees associated with conferences, auditions and portfolio presentations, and other expenses as recommended by the departmental awards committee.


University Level

The "Works In Progress" Symposium is an opportunity for undergraduates to present their current research projects to faculty and other students. In the performance field, creative work (choreography, directing, acting, and dancing) are all recognized as research. The symposium is sponsored by the University Honors Program and is held in the Fall of each year.

College Level

The Dean's Creative Achievement Award is based on outstanding creative activity in the areas encompassed by the College (Theatre & Dance, Music, and Art.) The Department Chairs select one College winner from the candidates nominated by each department.

Department Level

The R.P. Tracks Award is a generous award for a Theatre & Dance student made on behalf of long time donors Rick Johns and Peter Moon. It is presented to a student, who in the opinion of the faculty, demonstrates the best combination of academic and artistic achievement and presents the best role model to which a theatre student should aspire.

City of Memphis

Each year, creative excellence in university theatre is recognized through the Memphis Arts Council / Memphis Magazine Awards. University of Memphis directors, actors, dancers, and choreographers are consistently among the recipients. In addition, a separate Rising Star citation, along with a cash award is given each year to a promising student in the field of theatre.

Talent-based Tuition Scholarships

All prospective incoming Freshman and Transfer students are AUTOMATICALLY considered for all Talent-based Tuition Scholarships as part of their application and audition/interview provided they complete their audition/interview by the end of March.  In general students who are competitive in the scholarship process have prepared auditions/interviews within the following structure:


Performance/Acting candidates should plan to prepare an audition package consisting of two contrasting monologues and, (optional), 16 bars of a song. Any singing will be presented a cappella. Plan that the entire presentation should last no more than four minutes.
  • Although not required for admission Design and Technical Production candidates that are successful in the scholarship process generally bring a portfolio or any other evidence of past work with them to present at the interview.
  • The requirements for the Musical Theatre audition a specific and cover all the material the scholarship committee needs for consideration.  Successful candidates are generally particularly strong in at least two of the three areas of acting, singing, and dance.

The full-tuition scholarships provide for normal in-state enrollment fees. Consideration for these awards includes demonstrated talent in the selected area of concentration, good academic standing, evidence of previous work in the field and recommendations from academic teachers and arts specialists. In most cases this is a four (4) year scholarship. Recipients must be full-time theatre majors and maintain a 2.8 GPA, perform 30 hours of work per semester in the department, and be active participants of satisfactory standing in their program.

Interested students should complete the University of Memphis and Departmental application early.  Additional questions may directed to Kristin Shupe at or at 901-678-2523.

Merit Scholarships

Merit Scholarships are those scholarships awarded at the end of each spring semester to current BFA Theatre and Dance majors. Awardees are selected through a ranking process by the department faculty who take into account BFA portfolio reviews for design students, and BFA performance auditions for performance students. Other factors considered are departmental citizenship and leadership. The award criteria for each individual scholarship is also taken into account. These awards are given in the Spring Semester of each year to be used for the following academic year.

Merit scholarships are not automatically renewed. (The one exception is the SANTI Scholarship, a two-year award.)

The Wampler Family Scholarship

Recipients are selected by the CCFA Scholarship Committee from either the Theatre program or the Music program. Candidates must be full-time freshmen pursuing a degree in voice and/or theatre.

Clement Santi Memorial Scholarship

This is an endowed scholarship, half Music, half Theatre & Dance, in memory of Clement Santi, donated by his daughter and son-in-law William and Tina Flaherty This award is given for a two-year period per recipient.

Cybill Shepherd Scholarship

Selection of student approved by the Dean. Recipients must maintain a B average and minimum 3.0 GPA. Recipients may be eligible to receive this award for a maximum of four years.

Elizabeth and Harold Robinson Scholarship

This is an endowed scholarship awarded through the College of Communication and Fine Arts. Robinson scholars must have a minimum ACT score of 24 and maintain a 3.00 GPA. Preference will be given to students from the rural Mid-South.

Elvis Presley Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is given to students who demonstrate academic merit and have a financial need.

The Hohenberg Foundation Dance Scholarship

This scholarship is given yearly to an upper-class dance student who has excelled in creative and academic studies and has made substantial contributions to the University of Memphis dance.

Joanna Helming Alumni Scholarship

This scholarship is for full-time performance or design/tech majors (Sophomores or above). Talent-based, with minimum GPA of 2.5. Preference given to greatest financial need. Renewable up to 4 years.

The Mary S. McGaughran Musical Theatre Scholarship Fund

This fund was established in 2010 and will be administered in conjunction with the new undergraduate program in musical theatre. Awards are recommended by the Department Scholarship Committee.

Application and Auditions/Interviews




Merit Scholarships

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Last Updated: 4/7/14