The New Theatre Scholarship Guild

Supporting the Arts through Scholarships

Our goals help to align the stars of the future . . .

Named Scholarships

An individual may have a scholarship established in their name, or a name they shall designate, by contributing $15,000.00 to their fund. The funding can be made in incremental payments They can designate which of the 4 universities the scholarship should go to. The board of directors, jointly with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, shall determine the amount of that fund to be awarded in scholarships each year.

What our Scholarship students are saying.

"Not only is it an absolute honor, and a privilege to be able to receive the Dodie Myers Brown Scholarship from the New Theatre Guild Foundation, but it also helps to relieve me from the financial burden that accompanies a college education. I am so excited to be able to continue my studies in theatre, with the help of you all at the New Theatre. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!"
Theatre Major
"I am one of the lucky theatre students who is a New Theatre Scholarship Guild recipient. I am incredibly grateful to the Guild for their generosity. I couldn't be in graduate school without scholarships like this one. I am currently in my third and final year of studying for my MFA in Acting. I feel lucky to be supported by an organization like the Guild. I hope one day to be in the position to help theatre students in the way you've helped me. Thank you!"
MFA Student
"I am a Kansas City-based artist who has a passion for the stage. Currently, I am pursuing my BFA in Musical Theatre, (with a minor in dance and marketing) at the University of Central Missouri. Some of my credits include: "The Polar Express Live!" (2018-2019), "Winterfest," (WOF 2017), "Songs for a New World," (Parkville Theater 2017) Storling Dance Theater, and countless performances with local theaters across the KC Metro Area. In my free time, I enjoy being on the worship team with my local church and playing music with my brothers. Thank you again for this scholarship!"
BFA Student
"This scholarship gave me the opportunity to focus on growing as a theatre artist and preparing for the professional world, while helping me fund my last year of college."
“The freedom this aid grants me is something I can’t have harmoniously in the working world. Support through this connection that we forged at UMKC can last a lifetime. It is how we will find work, resources, strength, and empowerment. The people who we will graduate with will not be our competition, they will be our collaborators and comrades. And that’s the real value of this scholarship."
Lighting Designer
“I am incredibly grateful to have been offered this generous scholarship as it is quite frankly one of the reasons I am able to stay in UCM's Theatre Program. Having this wonderful support, and scholarship, from the Guild allows me to focus more on the work I’d like to do in my last year of college and grow as an artist. Instead, I don't have to worry about how I will afford to pay for classes and rent, which is always a nice weight to have off of one's shoulders! It is a privilege to be recognized by the New Theatre Scholarship Guild, and I deeply thank all of those involved!"
BFA Student
"This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams of completing my undergraduate degree. I have big plans for the future and when I achieve them, I will remember the help I received along the way, from my professors to this scholarship. I would have never been able to achieve where I am, alone. Thank you and I promise to do the New Theatre Guild proud."
BFA Theatre
"Receiving this honor has truly inspired me to continue working towards my dream job of Stage Managing productions and concerts! After the pandemic hit, I was starting to lose some of my confidence in my craft and life decisions regarding my future. When I transferred this past Fall to UCM, it truly changed my life, and slowly regained that confidence that I thought was lost. I appreciate being recognized for the work I have put in this past year, solidifying that I am on the right path. This scholarship will help tremendously with my tuition finances as I finish furthering my education. Thank you very much for your support!"
BFA Theatre
"I first want to thank you all for this generous scholarship. Theatre has seen such dark days recently and receiving the means to continue to create this art is truly a feat. Continuing the greatness that previous recipients have upheld will be a tremendous task that I can not wait to take on this fall. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. This scholarship will allow me to focus on my endeavors of being a high school theatre educator. I hope to teach at an urban trauma-sensitive school on the east coast. Eventually, I hope to get my masters in directing and stage management or directing and acting. Which hopefully will lead to a Ph.D. and opening a performing arts center in an impoverished area. I have very big dreams, and this scholarship is without a doubt setting me up for success. With the most love and appreciation."
BFA Theatre
Webster McDonald is a Jamaican theatre practitioner and educator. He received a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and a M.A. in Theatre Education: Theatre and Community from Emerson College. He has served as an adjudicator and performing arts consultant for speech, dance and drama for many years in the Open Bible churches across Jamaica. He was an adjudicator for the Massachusetts Thespians High School festival in 2019. He has worked extensively as a production assistant and choreographer with Jamaica’s annual independence celebration for over seven years. In Jamaica he taught Theatre Arts for five years at the secondary school level. In his quest to promote the theatrical skills of his students and the indigenous cultural forms in Jamaica; particularly Revival, Brukkins and Kumina, he was instrumental in bringing fourteen students to Guyana in August 2016 to conduct workshops in improvisation and playmaking with the frame of emancipating theatre from colonial prescription. Webster has presented at national and international gatherings around the themes Our History Our Heritage, Black Masculinities in African Diaspora Theatre, interrogating hegemonic beliefs about gender and sexuality unfolding in the Caribbean. Webster is co-author for the anthology Dubbin Monodrama Anthology I: Black Masculinities in African Diaspora Theatre (Edited by d’bi. young anitafrika and Christopher Oliver, published by Spolrusie Publishing, 2019). Webster’s research delineates/deconstructs the relationship between masculinity, Caribbean culture, sexuality, and performance. At the doctoral level he intends to further critique and problematize the ways in which aspects of Jamaican popular cultural expressions such as Dancehall music serve to engender hegemonic constructions of masculinity and femininity and to provocatively explicate the intersection between heteronormativity and heteropatriarchy. Webster will expand on his emerging theory “creative retributive violence” influenced by Fanon’s “The Wretched of the Earth”, which will embed radical social change practices while centering Dub-poetry theory, Jamaican Folk rituals, avant-garde theatre-making practices as sites for social critique and restorative justice.
Doctorate Program
I am a second-year student pursuing a BFA in Theater Design with a definitive focus on dramaturgy, but still exploring where my focus lies in design. I have been an active participant in KU Theatre during my two years at KU. In the Spring of 2020, I served as the assistant Stage Manager of Indecent until its cancellation. Last semester, I served as both designer and dramaturg on the production of Reach during which I also participated as deviser and served as stage manager during our filming. Additionally, Kalen Stockton and I pushed for, organized, and moderated the theater festival talk back which provided essential feedback for such a new process in our department. This coming semester, I will act as dramaturg on Goodnight, Tyler and Lot’s Daughters where I hope to explore how dramaturgy can function across a production season and employ my standards of allyship dramaturgy/the knowledge I have gained in researching social justice theatre. This past summer, I had two proposals accepted for presentation at the LMDA Conference. Both had to be delayed due to the pandemic, but will be finally presented this coming summer. One discusses my personal experience as an early career dramaturg attempting to balance a director’s production vision with personal ethics/social conscientiousness. The other explores how a dramaturg should ‘recognize the gaps’ and intercede when a show may not on face value connect with certain members of the audience. I am also in the process of publishing a paper which outlines how a dramaturg can serve as an ally for marginalized identities within the institution of theater. The essay outlines a series of standards for the ally dramaturg to follow and how allyship dramaturgy can be applied in different dramaturgical situations. It has been submitted to and awaiting response from LMDA’s online publication Review. I am consistent with my enrollment, support, and participation in KU Theatre, and I have begun to expand my work beyond the University’s walls. The work I have done in and outside of this department has not only been beneficial to my growth, but the department’s as well.
BFA Theatre Design
Last Spring I was part of the cast of KU Theatre’s production, “As You Like It.” While in this production I was given the opportunity to take the class, Vocal Approach to the Classics, which went over in detail how to speak Shakespeare’s text. As a result, I became very interested in working in Shakespeare productions, whether that be as an actor or as a voice and text coach. This past school year I have been given the opportunity to work as a voice and text coach with professor Santiago Sosa on his devised Shakespeare production, “Musings of Fire.” Through this work I have realized my passion for voice and text coaching as well as my passion for Shakespearean and classical theatre in general. My hope is to be able to continue working as a voice and text coach as well as auditioning for Shakespeare productions once I graduate. Further down the line I’d also like to pursue going to grad school for voice and text coaching.
At this time, career aspirations are scary. The theatre world has been completely shaken by the pandemic. I love the stage and telling stories in ways that are emotionally impactful. I still haven’t decided whether I am more strongly inclined towards film or stage but I know I would be happy with either. Theatre is where I finally found the people that made me feel like I belonged.
In Fall 2020, I directed a devised show called “Who’s Got the Pain?” for the KU Digital Theatre Festival. It was really important to me that my show was performed in front of an audience. Obviously, there is a pandemic, so an audience cannot look the same as it used to. I decided to have the show take place in a parking lot with limited audience members who would sit outside of their vehicles. To my knowledge, this was one of the only in-person audience experiences at KU last fall, and it proved to be a huge and rewarding undertaking. The show itself was a reaction to class issues during the pandemic. I learned an invaluable amount about conceiving, producing, and directing a production that has prepared a considerable amount for future devising and experimental theatre work, which is what I want to pursue.
Dear New Theatre Scholarship Guild, I am writing to thank you for your generous Michelle Bushman Scholarship. I was very happy and appreciative to learn that I was selected as the recipient of this scholarship. When the Fall 2022 semester rolls around I will be entering my senior year at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where I am majoring in Theatre Performance with a minor in History as well as Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I plan on graduating in May of 2023 with the intention to spend some time working in the industry before attending graduate school to earn my Master of Fine Arts in acting. By awarding me the Michelle Bushman Scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school, learning. Your generosity means the world to me and I can’t thank you enough. Sincerely, Hannah
Theatre Performance

It’s through your generosity and support we are able to maintain the number and quality of our scholarships.  Please consider contributing in any way possible.