Broadway Stage Management Symposium Announces Charlie Blackwell Scholarships for BIPOC Stage Managers

January 5, 2021

Broadway SM Symposium Charlie Blackwell Scholarships SMs of Color

The Broadway Stage Management Symposium (BSMS) has announced new scholarships for specifically for BIPOC stage managers—The Charlie Blackwell Scholarships. Matthew Stern, BSMS founder announced the five new scholarships. “These five scholarships are awarded to stage managers of color, from Broadway stage managers of color,” he says. Submissions are open now with the deadline to apply of January 31, 2021. Recipients will be notified by March 1, 2021.

“We’ve collaborated with five Broadway stage managers of color to offer five individual scholarships for stage managers of color to attend the Broadway Stage Management Symposium, meet Broadway stage managers, and connect with other SMs from across the country & around the world,” says Stern.

Each scholarship is unique, curated, and adjudicated by a Broadway stage manager of color—Narda E. Alcorn, Lisa Dawn Cave, Beverly Jenkins, Kenneth J. McGee, and Cody Renard Richards.

Recipients will have the registration fee for the Broadway Stage Management Symposium waived, providing the opportunity to learn from Broadway stage managers, and connect with other stage managers from around the world. In addition to the Symposium registration, each recipient will also have a meeting with their adjudicator. These scholarships are an effort to remove economic barriers and put BIPOC stage managers in “the room where it happens.” Each of the five scholarships has slightly different criteria, set by and adjudicated by Broadway stage managers of color.

The scholarships are named after the late, great Charlie Blackwell, who died in 1995. With a career spanning decades on Broadway, Blackwell was a stage manager of color who achieved the type of success many stage managers dream of: Production Stage Manager on the original Broadway productions of Promises, Promises, Nine, Sunday In The Park With George, and Production Supervisor on Jerome Robbins Broadway. It is fitting to name these scholarships in honor of Blackwell’s great achievements and recognizing him as a role model to stage managers everywhere. His full Broadway credits can be seen here.

Apply Here!

Scholarship Criteria & Adjudicators
All scholarships are for applicants who identify as Black, LatinX, Asian, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color. Here are the specific criteria:

Narda E. Alcorn:

  •     For a student who identifies as Black and is currently studying or is enrolled to study an arts discipline in a college or graduate-level program.
  •     Adjudicator Narda E. Alcorn is the Chair of Yale School of Drama’s Stage Management Department and a fierce advocate for higher education.

Lisa Dawn Cave:

  •     Applicant is transitioning from another theatrical focus.
  •     Adjudicator Lisa Dawn Cave was a professional dancer before transitioning to stage management.

Beverly Jenkins:

  •     For a current student or an alumnus of a HBCU (Historic Black Colleges & Universities).
  •     Adjudicator Beverly Jenkins is a proud alumnus of Howard University.

Kenneth J. McGee:

  •     For a person who does not have a formal stage management education at the college or university level.
  •     Adjudicator Kenneth J. McGee has achieved great success on Broadway without a formal stage management education.

Cody Renard Richard:

  •     For aspiring or current stage manager with a broad range of interest that is not limited to theater, for example: television, cirque, cruise, dance, film, etc.
  •     Adjudicator Cody Renard Richard’s diverse career has spanned Broadway, Live TV Musicals, Award shows, Cirque du Soleil, and more.

 Information to Applicant:

  •     Each recipient will have at least one meeting with their scholarship adjudicator. This may be in person or via Zoom or similar.
  •     This is not a “Work Study” program. Recipients will be full participants in the Symposium, fully present for all sessions and opportunities. No work or assistance of any kind will be asked or required of scholarship recipients.
  •     If recipient would like to attend in NYC, but has financial constraints, BSMS will work with other organizations and partners that may be able to provide assistance with travel and housing grants, financial assistance, etc. but is not guaranteed.
  •     Applications deadline is January 31, 11:59 p.m. EST and recipients will be notified by March 1.

The requirements are:

  •     Completed application form, submitted prior to the deadline (January 31, 11:59 p.m. EST).
  •     Meet the Individual requirements for each scholarship as per the above.
  •     Finalists may be requested to interview with their adjudicator.
  •     Recipients give permission for their name and photo to be published and used by the Symposium in press releases & similar material.

Learn more about BSMS and how to apply, here, or email with questions.