Broadway Stage Manager Cody Renard Richard Launches Scholarship Program for BIPOC Theatre Makers

September 16, 2020

Photo by Ronald “Rdot” Smith

Article Sourced from Stage Directions Magazine Theatre Buzz

Broadway Stage Manager and one of Variety’s 2020 Broadway Players to Watch, Cody Renard Richard, in partnership with the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, announces The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program to honor, uplift, and support the next generation of Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) theatre makers working behind the scenes. The program will provide financial support, as well as mentorship through online seminars focusing on community building, leadership, and social justice from Richard and various leaders from the theatrical industry.

In the inaugural year, selected recipients will receive a $1,500 scholarship for the Spring 2021 semester. The scholarship program strives to encourage more Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and People of Color to pursue degrees in the theatrical management and artistic fields, such as Stage Management, Technical Theatre, Theatre Design, Theatre Management, Playwriting, or Directing. In partnership with the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, the program also hopes to build a community of scholars who will connect with each other through leadership seminars as they continue their various educational journeys.

“As someone who has navigated this business rarely seeing a reflection of myself in other managers, designers, or directors I know first-hand how important it is to be exposed to theatrical leaders that look like you,” says Richard. “Future generations of BIPOC theatre makers deserve to have access to current working professionals who can provide them with resources and help usher them into the industry. This program is a result of a long-time dream of mine and I am thrilled to be able to release it into the world. I have always been passionate about paying it forward and providing space for early career professionals, my hope is that the recipients will not only benefit from the financial aspect but will also grow as artists and leaders as they join the program.”

“Broadway Advocacy Coalition is committed to supporting the leadership of individuals directly affected by systems of racism which make this scholarship particularly exciting during this time of reckoning and accountability within our theater community,” said Britton Smith, President and co-founder of Broadway Advocacy Coalition.

Submissions for The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program are open through Sunday, October 25th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Eligible applicants will need to submit a one-minute video essay describing why they are the ideal candidate for the program, along with their current transcript, and two letters of recommendation.

The 2020/2021 selection committee features prominent BIPOC theatrical professionals including Richard and Smith, Narda E. Alcorn, Saheem Ali, Lawrence Bennett, Jhanaë Bonnick, Yang-Yang Chen, Matthew Lopez, Zhailon Levingston, Tina McCartney, Laurie Woolery, and Nzinga Williams.

Donations are now open with seed funding for the program provided by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. To make a donation or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please visit or email

Further information from the Cody Renard Richards Scholarship:
Further information from the Broadway Advocacy Coalition:

About the Cody Renard Richard Scholarship

The Cody Renard Richard Annual Scholarship strives to:

  • Encourage more Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and People of Color individuals to pursue degrees in the theatrical management and artistic fields, such as Stage Management, Technical Theatre, Theatre Design, Playwriting, Directing, or Theatre Management.
  • Cultivate and provide a space for the next generation of BIPOC artists, while honoring, recognizing, and welcoming their future contributions to the theatrical world.
  • Connect our scholars with theatrical and community leaders of color, that will provide mentorship through social justice and leadership seminars.
  • Create a community of scholars who will learn and grow together throughout their various educational journeys.
  • Remind Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) that their voice and talents are needed and will be supported.

About Cody Renard Richard

Cody Renard Richard is a professional Stage Manager with a career that spans many genres including Broadway, Television, Cirque Du Soleil, and Opera. On Broadway, he has worked as a full time and substitute Stage Manager on 12 productions: Freestyle Love Supreme (PSM), Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour, Kinky Boots, If/Then, After Midnight, Motown the Musical, Ghost the Musical, Cyrano de Bergerac and Lysistrata Jones. TV: 2019 Tony Awards, 2019 MTV VMAs, Jesus Christ Superstar Live! (DGA Nom), Hairspray Live! (DGA Nom), The Wiz Live! (DGA Nom). Cirque du Soleil: OVO (North American Tour), Wintuk (Madison Square Garden). Off Broadway/NY: Porgy and Bess (Metropolitan Opera – Assistant Stage Director), Freestyle Love Supreme, Candide at Carnegie Hall, 5 productions with NY City Center Encores!, The Public Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company, 2nd Stage, Transport Group, Pearl Theatre Company. Selected Regional: Lempicka at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Muny, TUTS, Stages STL, Kansas City Rep, Alley Theatre, Repertory Theatre of STL. In addition to his production credits, he has served as Adjunct Professor of Stage Management at Fordham University and has been a guest Lecturer at Yale School of Drama, New York University, Ithaca College, SUNY Purchase and Hofstra University. As an advocate for change and equity, Cody has appeared live on CNN and has been interviewed on WNBC. Cody holds a BFA in Stage Management from Webster Conservatory and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Directors Guild of America. @codyrenard

About Broadway Advocacy Coalition

Founded in 2016 by members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation’s pandemic of racism and police brutality, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition is a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community leaders to create lasting impact on policy issues from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration. Via its partnership with the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, BAC has collaborated with institutions across New York City, including the New York City Council, Bronx Defenders, and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. Recently named To Variety’s 2020 “Broadway Players to Watch” list, it has worked with artists ranging from Jesse Williams, Lynn Nottage and Billy Porter. To learn more about their work, and to get involved, visit their website at or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.