Robert Porterfield Scholarship Award

$2,000Award Amount
1Number of Awards
4/1/2023Submission Deadline

The Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) is one of the largest associations of theatre professionals in the U.S. It connects people to opportunities and resources in theatre. It offers the Denise Halbach Performance Scholarship in honor of the founder of The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, and the first lifetime member of the SETC.

The annual scholarship awards $2,000 to one graduate student pursuing studies in theatre. It is open to students who have studied or will study at a university in the SETC region. The SETC region comprises the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Applicants should submit a personal statement detailing their plans and objectives for their graduate studies. They are also to attach detailed resumes and a complete transcript from all universities attended. Three recommendation letters are required and should speak to the applicants’ potential as graduate students.

Key Information of Robert Porterfield Scholarship Award

Study Details

Area of Study


Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study


Award Amount


Number of Awards


Robert Porterfield Scholarship Award Timeline

January 1, 2023

Application Open Date

The application opens in January.

April 1, 2023

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM ET.

April–June 2023


Applications will be evaluated and interviews conducted during this period.

July 2023

Winner Announcement

The winner will be announced.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: Graduate
  • Maximum Age: Any
  • Required GPA: Any
  • Geographic Eligibility: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity: Any

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Essay
  • Present Work Experiences
  • Recommendation letters
  • Grade transcript

How to ace the Robert Porterfield Scholarship Award


Select recommenders carefully

Select recommenders who know you well and can speak to your abilities in detail. These can be college professors or direct supervisors in roles you’ve played. Ensure that you inquire about their availability and inform them early to ensure they have ample time to write and review the recommendation letters.


Collect your transcript early

You will need to submit official transcripts. Pick them from your school if you don’t have them ready yet. If you went to multiple institutions, make sure you have a transcript from each. Scan them and save them in PDF format ready for upload whenever you need to submit your application. Ensure that the scans are clear.


Revamp your résumé

Your resume is your chance to show your experience in the performing arts. Include all projects you’ve been on and highlight the roles you played. You could also add a Drive link to a portfolio of your work. Revamp your résumé and give it a fresh look. You could include the contacts of the recommenders in your résumé.


Write a winning essay

The personal statement is your chance to show your plans and goals for your studies. While those are the bare minimums, you should show off your uniqueness, personality, and passion for theatre. Create an essay outline that defines the structure of your essay and use it to craft the first draft. Revise your draft severally for clarity, coherence, and correctness. Seek feedback from a few people and incorporate it into your essay.

How the Robert Porterfield Scholarship Award is Judged

Applicants are judged based on their academic performance and experience. Significant experience in theatre and a driving passion are qualities that distinguish applicants. Recommendations help the judges get a holistic view of applicants and are critical to the judging process.

Why We Love the Robert Porterfield Scholarship Award


Winner attends the SETC Convention

The winner gets a free ticket to the SETC Convention.


Winner gets a free one-year student membership

The winner receives a free SETC membership.


Past winners’ profiles are available

The profiles of former winners are available on the website.

5 Facts About SETC


It offers five other scholarships

SETC offers five other scholarships to students in theater-related studies.


It has a design competition for students

Undergraduate and graduate students display their designs at the SETC Convention and receive feedback from distinguished professional designers.


They have a quarterly magazine

The ‘Southern Theatre Magazine’ offers tips and insights to get you up to date with the latest trends and developments in the theatre industry. It is free to download on the SETC website.


It has more than 4,400 individual members

More than 4,400 professionals and students are members of the SETC and make up the vibrant community.


It has 347 institutional members

347 theatres, art-related companies, and educational institutions are members of the SETC and offer many opportunities to members of SETC.

Denise Halbach Performance Scholarship Award

The Denise Halbach Performance Scholarship awards $2,000 to a graduate student studying acting or musical theater. Students who graduated from universities in the SETC region can apply.

Scholarships awarded
1 winner
Required GPA
April 1
Winner announcement
July 2023

Marian A. Smith Costume Scholarship Award

The Marian A. Smith Costume Scholarship awards $1,500 to a graduate student studying costume design or technology. Applicants must have studied or will study at an SETC region institution.

Scholarships awarded
1 winner
Required GPA
April 1
Winner announcement
July 2023