Theatre Scholarships

Saint Mary's offers two types of merit scholarships for artistic excellence in Theatre: Performance and Theatre Studies, and Design and Technical Theatre. Find out how you can apply!      

Saint Mary’s College awards up to $13,000 in tuition-remission, merit-based scholarships for demonstrated artistic excellence in one or more areas of theatre: acting, directing, playwriting, design, technical theatre and stage management. Performing Arts will also award three full-tuition scholarships. One of these scholarships may be combined with financial aid to allow for free books, room and board. This new scholarship will be awarded to a Black or African-American student from the East Bay. These merit­-based awards are available only to incoming first-year students, and are renewable for four years. ALL APPLICANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE SCHOLARSHIP RESULTS BY FEBRUARY 28, 2021. 

Charlotte's Web, 2015.

Theatre Program Scholarship auditions for students entering in Fall 2021 will be held on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 with possible overflow on Sunday, January 24th, 2021. We will accept applications through January 8th, 2021 or until all audition slots are filled. Students must apply to Saint Mary's College by January 15. We recommend meeting the early-decision deadline for college applications.

Due by Jan. 8, 2021:

  • Completed the Departmental scholarship form
  • Video of audition or tech presentation sent to Prof. Deanna Zibello (see directions below)
  • Letters of recommendation on Common App, preferably from Theatre directors, teachers, coaches, etc.

IF selected:

  • Synchronous interview with Theatre faculty via Zoom on Jan. 23 or 24. 
    • Actors be ready to perform ONE of your memorized monologues during the interview. You may be asked to improvise in response to specific direction.
    • Designers/Technicians: be ready to talk about any leadership exprience you may have.
  • 2 Letters of recommendation from someone familiar with your work: a director, theatre teacher, or acting coach. Please email directly to Prof. Deanna Zibello ( unless they are already attached to your college application.

How to Prepare for your Theatre Scholarship Audition Video due Jan. 8

Actors (also recommended for Directors and Playwrights)

  • Prepare two contrasting monologues, one modern/contemporary and one classical:

    • Sources for classical pieces include Shakespeare, Greek tragedies or comedies, and Moliere.
    • The two pieces may not exceed five minutes total, and should be age- and type-appropriate.
    • TIP: Your program should be fully memorized and rehearsed. 
  • Also, prepare a 90 second silent movement study.  Choose from the following menu of topics:   

    • Choose a “daily routine” – some sequence of ordinary physical actions you perform about the same every day. Now, imagine that your environment has become gigantic, ala Alice in Wonderland. Try to complete your “routine” anyway, using these giant objects. Find new steps and solutions to achieve your goal. 
    • Think of an “impossible physical action” – something it would be humanly impossible to do. Now, believe that you really can accomplish this action. Really try. Keep finding new ways to solve the problem.
    • You are a kid. One day, as you are walking your dog, an “unreal” event occurs. The event is magical or truly terrifying, or both – and it takes you on a journey. At the end, you manage to return to what you were doing at the start.  
    • TIPS: Before recording the audition video, practice your movement study. Focus on using your body fully, and connecting with the space around you. Keep your study silent, and avoid “mimed dialogue.” We’re looking for bold choices, a strong commitment to action, expressive physicality, and a clear connection between imagination and body. Make sure the audio and visuals of the video are clear, and use a plain background, if possible.

Stage Managers, Technicians and Designers

  • Prepare a six-minute oral presentation video describing your "behind the scenes" contribution to an actual production. Visual elements are helpful but not required.

    • TIPS: Make sure the audio and visuals of the video are clear, and use a plain background, if possible.

To maintain scholarship eligibility, recipients must:

  • Major or minor in theatre;
  • Be a full time student;
  • Pass all classes;
  • Maintain at least a C average;
  • Audition (performers) or crew (technicians/designers and actors not cast) for a major production each semester; and
  • Serve the production and department as model citizens.

Apply for an audition here.

Audition Applications opened in October of 2020 for Fall of 2021 Admissions.

For further information or to schedule an audition contact Deanna Zibello, Theatre Program Director, at (925) 631-8299 or