Department of Theater

Home / Introduction to Undergraduate Programs / Undergraduate Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarships

Case Western Reserve University has made merit-based scholarships available for prospective theater students.  Each year, the department of theater awards four full-tuition scholarships to students who intend on majoring in theater, and two $10,000 scholarships to students who intend on minoring in theater, or those interested in pursuing theater as an extracurricular activity at CWRU.  



For students intending to major in theater at CWRU, we have FOUR FULL TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS to award.  Each scholarship is a full-tuition, four-year scholarship (room and board not included).  To retain the scholarship, student must declare theater as a major by the end of their freshman year, as well as maintain the stipulated GPA.


For students intending to minor in theater, or pursue theater as an extracurricular activity, we have two $10,000 SCHOLARSHIPS to award.  Each scholarship is a four-year scholarship.  To retain the scholarship, students must contribute to theater productions in either a performance or backstage capacity on an annual basis, as well as maintain the stipulated GPA.

Hear undergraduate major Cassie White talk about how the department’s scholarships and student aid made her study possible.



To compete for one of these scholarships, the prospective student must apply to the university by the traditional route, and also make an appointment to audition (for an acting concentration), and/or interview/present portfolios (for a concentration in directing, playwriting, stage management, or design). Audition and Portfolio requirements are the same for both scholarships.  See specific audition and portfolio requirements below.

The audition and portfolio application process is for scholarship eligibility only.  We do not hold auditions or interviews to determine admission to our department.  If you do not receive one of the theater scholarships you are still welcome to study theater with us!  The only requirement to study theater at CWRU is to be admitted to CWRU.

How TO schedule an audition or interview

  1. Attend CWRU Theater Scholarship Weekend:Scholarship weekend gives prospective students the opportunity to stay at CWRU for the weekend with a current CWRU theater student. Prospective students will have the opportunity to audition and/or interview for the scholarship, take a campus tour, participate in an acting or design workshop, attend an undergraduate theater production, meet with faculty and students, and ask questions about the program.  If you wish to be notified regarding registration for Scholarship Weekend, please email Professor Bohan at


Upcoming Scholarship Weekend Dates:

FALL: Friday, October 9 thru Sunday, October 11, 2015

(REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED!) – Event filled to capacity!

Email to be put on the waiting list.

SPRING: Friday, February 19 thru Sunday, February 21

(Registration opens mid-January 2016)


  1. Theater Open House:In case you cannot make one of the overnight weekends, we will be hosting an open house during the CWRU President’s Day open house. You can visit our theater, meet faculty, and sit in on classes, as well as audition or interview for the theater scholarship.  If you plan on attending the open houses, be sure to contact CWRU Admissions and schedule an official campus tour while you are here! Please email Professor Bohan to register for this event.

                        Open House: Monday, February 15, 2016


  1. Schedule an On-Campus Audition or Interview:If you are unable to attend the Scholarship Weekend, you may contact Professor Bohan to schedule a time to come to campus for an audition or interview. Individual auditions or interviews are only held during the school week. If you would like to make an appointment, please contact Professor Bohan at


  1. Submit an audition video or electronic portfolio: If you are unable to make it to CWRU’s campus, but would like to be considered for the scholarship it is now possible to submit videos and portfolio documents with your CWRU application. When filling out your application, make sure to select the ‘Arts Supplement’ tab to submit your materials.  The theater faculty will review your submission and contact you to schedule a phone/Skype interview.


Hear Professor Bohan speak about the opportunities in the Department of Theater,

and why the program might be right for you.


IMPORTANT DEADLINES for 2016 Scholarship Eligibility:

January 15, 2016: Deadline to submit your CWRU application

  • You must submit a CWRU application to be eligible for consideration
  • All Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Decision applicants are eligible
  • You may audition/interview for scholarship before submitting CWRU application
  • If you are not able to make it to campus to audition/interview for scholarship, be sure to add your audition video or theater portfolio to the Arts Supplement section of the online application

February 1, 2016: Deadline to submit video audition/portfolio

  • If you are not able to make it to campus for an in-person audition/interview, you must submit your audition video or portfolio documents by February 1, 2016
  • We would prefer that you submit video/portfolio via the Arts Supplement section of the CWRU application

February 21, 2016: Deadline to audition/interview for scholarship

  • By Feb. 21, 2016 you must have either attended Scholarship Weekend, Theater Open House, scheduled an individual audition/interview, or submitted an audition video/portfolio


Scholarship Audition/PORTFOLIO Requirements

Applicants may present material for multiple disciplines


Acting: Candidates interested in focusing on the Acting concentration need to prepare two contrasting monologues, one Shakespeare and one contemporary, not to exceed a total time of four minutes. You may also prepare 16 bars of any song, but this is not required.  If possible, please present a headshot and resume at the audition.

Directing: For candidates interested in the directing concentration, a portfolio presentation is needed.  Your portfolio should consist of the following: 1) A one-page resume documenting your theater experience (directing, acting, playwriting, design, stage management, etc).  2) A 1-2 page Director’s Concept for a published play or musical that you would be interested in directing, detailing your vision for the show (characters, moods and tones, visual aspects) and what you would want the audience to take away from the production in terms of its central themes and ideas.  3) Production photos from previous projects you have directed (if applicable, not required).  Candidates should be prepared to speak about their interest and passion for directing, as well as their previous directing and/or theatre experience. 

Dramatic Writing/Playwriting: Students interested in the dramatic writing/playwriting concentration should submit a 20 page sample of their work in either playwriting or screenwriting (or both) at least one week prior your interview date. This can include either an excerpt from a full-length work or a combination of shorter pieces, such as 10 minute plays or short film scripts.  While dramatic writing is preferred, you may also submit other examples of your creative writing, such as short stories, poetry, essays, etc.

Stage Management: Students interested in stage management should bring in their SM binders, copies of scripts they have worked on (with cues written in), paperwork related to the show, and any other evidence of skills related to stage management such as organization, managing/coordinating large groups of people, multitasking, and communication.

Design: For the design concentration scholarships, a one-page resume of experience in theater is required.  Students may also include experience in a related field, such as art, architecture, graphics, or photography.  Additionally, a statement of intent, even if that statement is exploratory should be provided. Other materials may include a portfolio demonstrating skills in theater (renderings, sketches, paperwork, scale drawings, production photos, etc.) and related areas (artwork, photography, drawing, drafting, computer graphics, etc.) The portfolio may be in scrapbook format. Art projects or model making could substitute or be included with the other requirements. The material should be organized into some kind of cohesive presentation, with identifying labels for references.  The interviewer will retain a copy of your resume, but will not keep your portfolio.  Portfolio is for presentation purposes only.



If you are submitting a video audition AND/OR portfolio documents, please use above requirements.  In addition to the above requirements, please add a one-minute video describing why you want to study theater at CWRU.

Please submit all electronic material through the CWRU application Arts Supplement.  If you are not able to submit your material through your CWRU application, please contact us to submit materials directly.



The department of theater will make its scholarship award selections in the first week of March.  Award selections will be sent to the CWRU department of admissions.  Awardees, regardless of application submission (Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Decision) will be notified by CWRU admissions during the second or third week of March.  The CWRU Department of Theater is not authorized to notify awardees.



For general scholarship information, and auditions/interviews for actors/directors, contact:

Professor Christopher Bohan at 216-368-6097 or


For design/technical theater portfolios/interviews, contact:

Professor Angelina Herin at 216-368-2856 or