Scholarships and Financial Aid

Theatre at Grand Valley

Theatre at Grand Valley

Why study Theatre and is it practical!? Here's what one of our graduates said:

"My theatre degree/training from Grand Valley has been an integral & valuable part of the creative individual & leader I am today. As I think about how useful my background in theatre has been in my career, the list is extensive. My training in theatre molded me into most importantly a team player, who values the individual/teammates over all else. Theatre is truly only accomplished & fruitful when it is an attempt of collaboration of the skills of many, coming together to work towards the goal of expressing the vision of a director or creative team. This is my main focus in my role, as I have the responsibility of instilling & maintaining the vision of what our marketing, brand, "voice," creative, etc. looks/sounds/feels like as a church. When I value the individual - people feel appreciated, respected, and ultimately valued; if this is achieved by my leadership approach and effort, great things happen & tasks get accomplished. Something else that comes with my theatre training is the desire to also strive to push others to flex their creativity in our work together, and that we are all always learning new tricks to the trade and new things about ourselves as artists. A bonus to all of this is that those I lead, develop into leaders, and develop other leaders like them, as well." - Chris Teller

Make an investment in yourself that will last a lifetime!


Remember, March 1 is the deadline to submit applications to be considered for the many Shakespeare Scholarships, Service Awards and Branstrom Scholarship! Click here to see ALL the scholarships available. Also search under Theatre Arts Scholarships..

  • Theatre Arts Scholarship Application

    This application serves as an application specifically for the Theatre Program Scholarship Awards. By applying for this scholarship you will automatically be considered for these theatre (theater) scholarships:

    Shakespeare Scholarship - Shakespeare Scholarships - eligible to Theatre majors only. You must submit an application through myScholarships and then you can see all the scholarships
  • Application Process: To apply for all scholarships and service award listed and complete the supplemental questions.

    Award: varies depending on scholarship

    Scopes: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Music, Theatre, and Dance, Theatre

    Deadline: 03/01/2019

    Supplemental Questions:

  • Did you upload a resume on your General Application? Note: a resume is required for this scholarship application.
  • Expected graduation date:
  • Please list all drama classes and workshops in which you have been enrolled, plays you have acted in or worked backstage on (including location of play and role/tech assignment), as well as any related experience or skills you may have (such as dancing or singing skills, forensics experience, etc).
  • Please submit a 500 word essay describing why you chose your major and your plans after graduation.
  • Please list at least one individual who knows you and whom we might contact for further information regarding your application. Include their name, position, phone number and email address.
    • Scholarship is awarded to entering or continuing students majoring in Theater. Continuing students MUST re-apply each year.
    • New or transfer students must already have applied and been admitted to GVSU
    • Must participate in some way with the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival and one other production during the academic year
    • Students must continue to remain in good academic standing
    • Must be full-time
  • All incoming freshman and transfer students will be required to present an audition and have an interview with the drama faculty on the GVSU campus. Winners of this award will be notified within two weeks of their audition/interview. For current guidelines and requirements to prepare your audition go to the Theatre Program website.

    Application Process: To apply for this scholarship please see Theatre Arts Scholarship Application in myScholarships

  • Award Up to $1,250

  • Shakespeare Service Award - Shakespeare Production Service Awards are available to all Theatre majors and non-majors. Please fill out an through MyScholarships by March 1 at 3pm to be eligible. Click here to see all the available Production Service Awards!
  • Branstrom Scholarship - Branstrom Award is awarded annually and more information can be found here:
  • Branstrom Award - Applicants must be majoring in Theatre, Film/Video or Photography
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Be enrolled full time


  • Gilbert R. and Patricia K. Davis Theatre Scholarship: Remembering Shakespeare -
  • The purpose of this scholarship is to assist and encourage talented Theatre students at GVSU.
    Recipients of this scholarship shall have been accepted for or currently enrolled at GVSU.

  • Must be undergraduate residents of Michigan who have completed 30 credit hours and have a declared major in Theatre
  • Must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Be enrolled in either full-or-part-time status
  • Renewal Criteria: Scholarship may be renewed without reapplication provided the recipients continues to meet the qualifications stated above.

    Application Process: To apply for this scholarship please complete the Theatre Arts Scholarship Application in myScholarships.

    Donor:  Gilbert and Patricia Davis

    Award:  Varies

    Scopes:  Music, Theatre, and Dance , Theatre

    Deadline:  03/01/2019

  • The purpose of this scholarship is to assist and encourage talented Theatre students at GVSU.
  • Recipients of this scholarship shall have been accepted for or currently enrolled at GVSU.
    • Must be undergraduate residents of Michigan who have completed 30 credit hours and have a declared major in Theatre
    • Must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale)
    • Be enrolled in either full-or-part-time status

March 19 is the deadline to apply for directing, designers and stage managers for the PS Series!

Incoming Freshmen and Transferring Students

Shakespeare Scholarships, Branstrom Award, and Production Service Awards applications are due on March 1, 2019 for all students.

  • Shakespeare Scholarships are available to Theatre majors only. Please fill out an application through myScholarship by March 1, 2019 to be eligible. Incoming freshmen and transfer students must arrange for an audition/interview before March 1, 2019 by contacting Jack Lane at 616-331-8176 or email It is recommended that you bring a resume or portfolio of your past experience for the audition/interview.

    Scholarships are awarded to entering or continuing students majoring in Theater

  1. New or transfer students must already have applied and been admitted to GVSU
  2. Must participate in some way with the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival and one other production during the up-coming academic year
  3. Students must continue to remain in good academic standing
  4. Must be full-time

Remember to be considered for a Shakespeare Scholarship, you must commit to majoring in Theatre. Roles in the production. Other scholarships do not require a major in Theatre and are open to all students. Once you have submitted an application there are many scholarships available so check:

And look under Theatre Arts Scholarship Application for all Theatre scholarships.

If you know that you would like to audition for a part in the production and/or a Scholarship, please just let us know and we'll get it set up! It shouldn't be too demanding at all so do not to fret! If you have questions or would like more details, please call us at 616-331-8176 or email at

Theatre at Grand Valley

Thank you for visiting our website and for considering GVSU Theatre. Please follow the informational tabs to various links to find the information you may be looking for and contact us for a visit. We gladly offer free tickets to one of our productions for prospective students and accompanying family to experience our Theatre.

If you are unable to find the answers or if you would like more information, please feel free to call 616-331-8176 or email us at

We want to make certain you are on the most efficient path to graduation and there are many areas of expertise within the University that will assist you. We require no auditions to declare yourself a Theatre major or minor and you will gain experience in all aspects of the theatre.

Grand Valley State University is an exciting place to study theatre. The program prepares students for careers that require skills in communications, creativity, and problem-solving, including careers in the entertainment industry. It provides professional orientation and background within a broad liberal arts framework, the cornerstone of GVSU.

GVSU students participated in the world premiere of several productions and are now published in Max Bush's new play, An Identified Enemy, first staged a GVSU and a staged reading of alumni, Scott Watson's new play, Defy the Stars.

If you would like to visit our campus, tour our facilities, and, if you're thinking about GVSU and would like to see one of our productions, please contact us by email ( or call 616-331-8176.

The program is flexible with a strong core of theatre requirements and multiple elective offerings to allow students to pursue their own particular interests. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.

Read about us!


Theatre Students

A few Theatre students, 2011 - 2012

Why Theatre at Grand Valley

GVSU Theatre students can participate in many organizations in and outside the Theatre program such as ReACT!, Bard-To-Go, Performance Studio Series, Greenshow, GV Shakespeare Festival, Alpha Psi Omega, S.T.A.G.E., Opera Theatre, Spotlight Productions, Student Senate, and many other opportunities to enhance your education.

Read about our Alumni and our placement record!


Grand Valley State University is a four-year liberal arts school with an average enrollment of more than 24,000 students. We're located on the banks of the Grand River in the village of Allendale, minutes away from Michigan's second largest city of Grand Rapids.

Click here to visit our academic information page.

Click here to read about guidelines for Shakespeare Scholarships.

Whether your interests lie in theatre, the world of film & television, the multidisciplinary arts area, or in some combination of these, GVSU has a lot to offer. We're the fastest- growing university in the state, and our graduates have found their degrees useful as general liberal arts experiences, or as preparation for advanced study and work in post-graduate professional training programs. No auditions are necessary for students to enter the Theatre program at GVSU.

GVSU is unique among Michigan's schools for several reasons important to drama students. First and foremost, we have the lowest student-to-faculty ratio of any state university. This means that all our theatre classes are taught by  faculty who are readily available for consultation, academic advising, and independent studies or projects. In addition, our program is entirely undergraduate, which means that GVSU can guarantee that students won't be crowded out by grad students. On the contrary, they'll receive hands-on experience with equipment, facilities, and opportunities for performance & production from the very first semester they arrive. Finally, GVSU offers well respected overseas programs and theatre-related career specialty programs that are critical for success in today's entertainment industry: film & television, advertising, and public relations to name a few.

Of special interest to theatre students is the range of area cultural activities of which the University is a part. Grand Rapids, Michigan's fastest-growing city with a population of more than 700,000, boasts professional organizations such as Opera Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Ballet Company, The Grand Rapids Symphony, Broadway Grand Rapids, Dog Story Theatre, arts museums and galleries, two improv companies and numerous community theatres which perform year-round to more than 80,000 people.



Cody Robison in Kindertransport

Kindertransport, 2013


Theatre students study a variety of topics, including:

  • Communication
  • Costume construction
  • Directing
  • History of theatre
  • Improvisation
  • Play analysis
  • Stagecraft
  • Theatre production


Career Options

Versatility is the single most important factor in obtaining work as a graduate of the drama program. Grand Valley theatre students have successfully completed programs in graduate schools and professional conservatories. They have found work in schools and recreation departments, repertory theatre companies, modern dance companies, and arts organizations as:

  • Administrators
  • Designers
  • Directors
  • Performers
  • Teachers
  • Technicians


Why Study Theatre at Grand Valley?

  • Starting in their first semester on campus, GVSU students can be meaningfully involved in theatrical productions.
  • Faculty and staff with years of professional experience teach all theatre classes, and guest professionals provide an exciting complement to the major.
  • Students may take courses outside theatre or pursue a minor or even double major in other disciplines to expand their opportunities.
  • GVSU balances coursework with production work. Students participate at every level and area in theatre production work, so they graduate with good overall training and experience.
  • Since 1998, the theatre program has taken its students to international theatre festivals in North and South America for 10-day residencies during which they have participated in management and technical production tasks while enjoying an intercultural environment of workshops, performances, and social events with theatre groups from Europe and third-world countries.
  • Free master classes and workshops led by guest artists from around the nation.  These training sessions deal with stage management, acting, and other areas, depending upon the type of guest artists who may be in-residence in any given year. While master classes do not offer academic credit, they are presented in our Allendale performing arts studios & performance spaces.  There is no charge to the campus and local community, but master classes do have pre-registration requirements because space is limited.


Follow the links below for more information:

Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Submit GVSU application.
View catalog information.
View the Theatre major requirements.
Types of Theatre scholarship opportunities.
Schedule a University visit with Admissions.

Production Activities

Opera/Musical Theatre

Management Frequently Asked Questions.

Internships and Senior Projects

Cultural Diversity

Management Studies

Career Opportunities

Entertainment Careers

Business and Corporate Careers

What Theatre Majors Learn

Film & Television Studies




Theatre students


Scene from Antona Garcia

Antona Garcia, 2012

Richard III scene

Brian Webb Russell and Bridget VanderHoof in Richard III, 2014

Comedy of Errors Dromios

Sam Johnson and Cody Robison in Comedy of Errors, 2014

Page last modified October 31, 2018