Collier Woods Scholarship

Supporting Black, African American Designers and Technicians 

Applications are now open for the Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarship to support Black and African American students with interests in lighting design and/or theatre production, technology, and associated theatrical fields. Applications will be open through June 16, 2022.

Collier Woods
The scholarship is named to honor designer and technician
Collier Robert Woods, Jr.
Image courtesy of Anjali Austin-Woods.

“We are honored to be the home of the Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarship,” said David Grindle, USITT executive director. “USITT is committed to life-long learning, just as he was. I look forward to this scholarship growing to make training accessible to people who will be the future of our art and industry while honoring the memory of Collier Woods.”

Woods, who passed away in 2020 at age 64, was a veteran lighting designer and stage technician with extensive lighting design credits in opera, ballet, modern dance, music and theatre. He was a dedicated member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in Seattle and Sarasota, Fla., and a member of the United Scenic Artists in New York. A native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theater, a Master of Fine Arts in Design from the University of Washington, and taught at the University of Washington and Morgan State University.

Woods' design credits include performances at the Seattle Repertory Theater, Intiman Theater, and Bellevue Community College, as well as productions at Cockpit-In-Court Summer Theater in Maryland, PepsiCo Summerfare in New York, the University of Delaware's Professional Theater Training Program, and for Festival Sundiata performances of Gil Scott-Heron, Branford Marsalis, and Albert King in Seattle. Dance and opera companies he designed for include Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Pennsylvania Opera Theater. He served as Head Electrician for the First National tour of “The Color Purple,” Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. His national and international touring credits include Bruce Springsteen, “Riverdance,” and Broadway tours of “Phantom of the Opera,” “Showboat,” “The Full Monty,” “Hairspray,” “Spring Awakening,” “West Side Story,” “Anything Goes,” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

Winners of last year's inaugural Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarship, costume designer, technician, and graphic designer, Brittannie Travis and lighting designer, scenic designer, and actor, Jordan Hall, shared their thanks and sentiments to Collier Woods, his family, and the scholarship:

“I am truly honored to be the recipient of the Collier Woods Scholarship upon the first anniversary of his passing,” Hall said. “His career and legacy serve as an inspiration to me as an African American lighting designer. Thank you for enabling me to reach my fullest potential both academically and professionally. I will be forever grateful for the generosity of his family.”

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Woods family and USITT,” Travis said. “I am thankful and appreciative for being selected as a recipient of the Collier Robert Woods Jr. scholarship. Your generosity is providing support as I begin my second year as a Costume Design and Technology MFA candidate at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music (CCM). Since my freshman year of undergrad, I’ve asked myself, “How do I want to contribute to society?” In 2021, my answer: acts of service through art and love. From my faith in God, support from immediate family and mentors, I’ve been encouraged to shoot for the moon. Through a career in the entertainment industry, I aspire to design, sketch and stitch for the next revolutionary ‘Schuyler Sister’ that is gazing at the stars. I am grateful for Mr. Woods' dedication to life-long learning and mentorship. Thank you for providing a gift that will let my light shine!”

To apply, click here.

Recipient(s) are slated to be announced in August 2022.

To make a donation to the Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarship Fund, please click here.