NATCHITOCHES – Majoring in theatre and dance isn’t for the faint of heart and a group of Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance alumni have decided to do their part to help current students in the program.
The alumni have created a “Theatre Utility Scholarship,” which will be awarded to a student this fall. Alumnae Joanie DiPrizio and Jenny Schroeder Weber spearheaded the fundraising campaign to start the scholarship. An initial donation was made to the NSU Foundation at an alumni reunion over the weekend.
“When looking back over our years at NSU, we remember fondly our days and nights there and the valuable lessons we learned over the years,” said Weber, a 1996 graduate of NSU who lives in Peoria, Illinois. “We also remember what it was like to be in college and struggling to make ends meet. You have regular classes, plus specialty classes designed for our craft, and production requirements which took not only the books and necessities of a traditional degree, but countless hours and funds in attaining the correct makeup kits, head shots and resumes, video and now internet reels, dance shoes and attire and tools needed for tech and practicum hours.”
Weber said she and her fellow students valued the education they received from faculty including Jack Wann, Ed Brazo, Terry Byars, Vicki Parrish, Vernon Carroll, Jan Johnston, Chris and Sharon Foster, Bill Brent, Michael Rorex, Sue Cherry, Scott Burrell and others. They decided one way to honor these faculty would be to “give something back.”
“We decided to begin a scholarship fund for students who are deserving of some financial help, with regards to pursuing their degree and following their dreams of a career in the arts, one of the most daunting careers one can choose,” said DiPrizio, a 1995 graduate who lives in Orlando, Florida. “If we can help a student get the right tools necessary to succeed properly, at the base level, we can help keep the arts education a viable option for young performers seeking good training.”
Students receiving the scholarship must be at least a sophomore with a 3.0 average with demonstrated financial need. Funds must be used and documented on theatre supplies herein referred to as “utility” including but not limited to: head shots, resumes, makeup kits, dance attire and shoes, tech tools, acquisition of theatrical books or plays.
For more information on the Theatre Utility Scholarship, contact the NSU Foundation at (318) 357-4414 or go to northwesternalumni.com and click on NSU Foundation.