/ Theatre Department

Distinguished Artists Award

Renewable for four years, the Distinguished Artist Awards (DAA) provide eligible incoming art, dance, music, theatre or creative writing students with $3,000 each year toward their college costs.

Each year, up to 60 Distinguished Artist Award (DAA) scholarships are given to students with strong academic records and outstanding creative abilities in art, dance, music, theatre or creative writing. In addition to scholarship funds, DAA recipients also take part in a variety of opportunities set up to increase their creative experience and technical knowledge in their chosen field. Awards are announced in March of the student’s senior year, and a student may receive up to two (2) DAA awards.

Graduating seniors in high school that are considering minoring or majoring in theatre at Hope are encouraged to apply. Theatre DAA recipients must major or minor in theatre.  

If you’re interested in design, stage management or technical theatre, the Distinguished Artist Awards are for you, too! Prepare a portfolio of your theatre and related work to present to the department. We are interested in seeing art work, designs, pictures of scenery, costumes or props that you have built or created, production shots showing lighting that you have designed and prompt books. 

Applying for the DAA

The theatre department will be holidng all DAA auditions/interviews virtually this year. In order to be considered, you must submit a DAA application, your resume, and an interview video. In addition, please submit the following materials relevant to your area of interest. You can apply in more than one area.

  • Actors: Submit an audition video, following the guidelines below.
  • Designers/Technicians: Submit a portfolio of at least 3 images showcasing your theatrical or artistic work (eg. scenic painting, costume design or construction, photos from your work on a production, etc).
  • Directors/Stage Managers: Please see "interview video" guidelines for added questions to answer in your filmed interview.
Audition Guidelines

The purpose of the DAA audition is to offer you an opportunity to tell us something about yourself as a performer, an artist and a person. An ideal audition will include two contrasting monologues, each one not more than two minutes in length. One of these may be a song, or a song may be done in addition to the two monologues. The song should not be longer than one minute and can be as short as sixteen bars. 

The total audition should be no more than five minutes. It may be a good idea to seek the help of a drama coach for guidance in finding appropriate material and preparing the audition. The following is a checklist to help you prepare:

  1. Try to choose selections that are relatively close to your own age and life experience. Generally, characters of old age are not good choices.
  2. Avoid selections that demand extreme use of accents or dialects.
  3. Avoid gimmicky selections that are dependent on tricky staging, props and/or costumes. A simple chair will be provided in the audition space.
  4. Contrasting can mean modern vs. period, comic vs. serious, prosaic vs. poetic, realistic vs. stylized. You can also look to the rhythms of the characters involved to find contrasting qualities.
  5. Don’t explain the selection or “set it up” by giving a background to the scene. Just introduce yourself and tell us what you will be doing. Example: “My name is Robert de Niro. I will do a monologue from The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, Hamlet’s “Advice to the Players” speech and a song from Paint Your Wagon.” When you are finished, simply smile and say, “Thank you!"

Be sure to observe the following guidelines when taping your audition:

  1. For the introduction of your selections, have the camera in fairly tight for a close-up.
  2. Pull back into a full body shot for the audition itself.

The taping should be done simply and against a neutral background; we are not interested in fancy camera techniques or special effects. Please do not send videotapes of school performances.

Interview Video Guidelines

Please answer the following three questions into the camera as if you are speaking to us in person:

  1. Why are you interested in Hope College?
  2. What interests you specifically about the Hope theatre department and, if you decide to enroll at Hope, how do you plan to be involved with our program?
  3. What are your immediate and long-range academic and professional interests and ambitions?

If you are applying as a designer or a stage manager, please also include answers to the following questions:

Tell us about your interest in directing.  Please include any experiences you have had directing and why you think this might be a good fit for your talents.  

Stage Managers:

  1. What do you find exciting or fulfilling about stage management?
  2. How do you collaborate on projects as a stage manager?
  3. Talk about your communication style and how it has helped or hindered your work as a stage manager.

Apply for the DAA Scholarship in theatre