The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards sixteen regional and two national scholarships annually. One nominee and partner from every region will be invited to the national festival and the nominee will receive a $500 scholarship. The runner-up in each region will receive a $500 scholarship, but will not attend the national festival to audition for the national scholarship.
What happens if I win the regional scholarship and advance to the National Festival in April?
One national Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship award recipient will receive a $5,000 scholarship and their partner will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The second place national recipient will receive a $2500 scholarship and their partner will receive a $500 scholarship. Additional awards are made to Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Audition participants and their acting partners each year at the national level.
Students and coaches are encouraged to consult their regional chair or regional Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions Coordinator for information on other regional awards. The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships are, indeed, scholarships; so the Foundation disburses the award through a school designated by the winner, to pay tuition and fees for further education, not necessarily limited to theatre arts.
Auditions will be evaluated using the following criteria at every level of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions and are of particular importance in the regional preliminary round:
A) Ability to urgently pursue strong, clear objectives.
B) Ability to partner.
C) Ability to make varied, specific and bold acting choices.
D) Mastery of an expressive and flexible vocal and physical instrument.
E) Demonstration of facility with language and a clear understanding of the text.
F) Given the above criteria actors are strongly encouraged to select and prepare material for auditions that will demonstrate the above competencies, and to avoid material designed to demonstrate the actor's cleverness as an end in and of itself.