Student Support

New Scholarship

Theatre Alumni Diversity Scholarship for Emerging BIPOC Artists

"I believe in the American theatre. I believe in its power to inform about the human condition, its power to heal . . . its power to uncover the truths we wrestle from uncertain and sometimes unyielding realities." – August Wilson

The Theatre Alumni Diversity Scholarship for Emerging BIPOC Artists provides financial assistance to help bridge the gap between opportunity and talent for BIPOC theatre makers. This scholarship will contribute to establishing a sustainable legacy of equality, diversity, and inclusion in the Department of Theatre and Dance. We envision a thriving theatre arts program rooted in empowering BIPOC theatre artists, and representative of the community it creates for and the world its artists will enter.

The scholarship will be awarded to a current, incoming, or transfer student who identifies as Black, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC), Latinx or Asian. The applicant must be a theatre major who exhibits an exceptional desire to pursue a career in theatre arts. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need. 

In addition to the general West Chester University Scholarship Application, applicants will submit a video or written statement outlining their previous theatre experience, aspirations for the future, and a short personal statement about themselves. Up to three recommendations will be considered but are not required. The scholarship selection committee will interview all finalists.

To learn more about this scholarship and how you can get involved email

Scholarships and Awards


The J. Peter Adler Prize for Excellence in Theatre is an annual award endowed by the family and friends of J. Peter Adler and West Chester University. The J. Peter Adler Prize will be awarded each spring to a current West Chester University Senior, regardless of undergraduate major, who has participated in the theatre arts while at West Chester University and will use the scholarship associated with the prize to attend graduate school or work in professional theatre. The winner of the J. Peter Adler Prize may take up to three years from graduation to initially use the scholarship funds associated with this award.


The J. Peter Adler Scholarship is a $1000 renewable scholarship awarded to a first year student who demonstrates high academic and creative potential. The award is based on a review of grades, community, extra and/or co-curricular, or volunteer activities, performance audition/portfolio, and an interview. Applications can be obtained by calling the theatre office. This scholarship is renewable for four years based on the recipient maintaining an overall 2.5 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in theatre courses. Contact Thomas Haughey for more information.


The Barbara J. Lappano ’67, M ’73 Dance Scholarship honors Barbara Lappano who taught dance at WCU from 1970-2004.  This scholarship is awarded to a full-time student who has declared a dance minor and completed at least 60 credits.  Selection is based upon academic record and active involvement in the university dance program. Other factors include involvement in the field of dance outside the university and a personal statement. Applications are due in April, contact Gretchen Studlien-Webb for more information.


The Dance Alumni Chapter, started by Barbara Lappano, WCU dance faculty from 1970 -2004 and founder of Dance Production Workshop, honors current University Dance Company students for their excellence in choreography. Recipients receive an award stipend.  The fall awardee is invited to perform their work in the Winter Alumni Dance Festival. Contact Gretchen Studlien-Webb for more information.


This scholarship is awarded to eligible full-time dance minor who has successfully completed 15 credits and a maximum of 55 credits at West Chester University (transfer students must have completed 15 credits at WCU). Selection is based upon an academic record of minimum 3.0 GPA and involvement in the field of dance, primarily within the WCU dance program. Applications are due in January, contact Gretchen Studlien-Webb for more information.

Scholarships and Awards Winners


  • J. Peter Adler Prize Scholarship | 2020-2021
    • Cara Cashman '24 (Musical Theatre concentration)
  • Barbara J. Lappano '67, M'73 Dance Scholarship Fund | 2021-2022
    • Claudia Adams '21 (Dance minor)
    • Christina McLaughlin '22 (Dance minor)
  • Department of Theatre and Dance Out of State Scholarship | 2018-2019
    • Sarah Ford '22
  • Emerging Dance Minor Scholarship | 2020-2021
    • Holly Mcmenamin '24
    • Molly Thorpe '24
  • Lila Berkovich Achuff Memorial Scholarship | 2020-2021
    • Ellie Dilworth '21 (Dance minor)


  • J. Peter Adler Prize For Excellence In Theatre | 2020-2021
    • Erica Barnes '21 (B.A. Theatre with Dance minor)
    • Becs Smith '21 (B.A. Theatre with Design + Production concentration)
  • Alumni Awards For Choreography | 2019-2020
    • Julia Rizzo '20 (Dance minor)