Student Awards

In accordance with Duke University COVID-19 travel policy, Theater Studies will not grant the following awards for the 2019-2020 academic year:  Alex Cohen Awards; Feldman Collaborator's Award; Forlines Family Theater Studies Grant; Kevin Gray Musical Theater Award. The Reynolds Price Award for an original script will still be presented.


Harold Brody Award for Excellence in Musical Theater

In recognition of exceptional achievement in musical theater, this award is given annually to a Duke student or group of students, with preference given to graduating seniors. It recognizes accomplishments in musical theater by students in the Department of Theater Studies, the Department of Music, and the student-run musical theater group Hoof 'n' Horn. The award was established by an alumnus with a deep affection for and appreciation of the art of musical theater.

  • 2020 Adam Beskind
  • 2019 Rebekah Wellons

John M. Clum Distinguished Theater Studies Graduate Award

This award is named for the distinguished founder of the Duke University Program in Drama, now the Department of Theater Studies. It recognizes a graduating senior who has made extraordinary contributions to the life of the department and who has exhibited outstanding personal and professional qualities. Faculty select the recipient.

  • 2020 Megison Hancock
  • 2019 Alexus Wells

Alex Cohen Awards

These awards, funded by the Alex Cohen Endowment and the Department of Theater Studies, support students' individual or group projects that have both educational value and artistic merit. Submit (1) an application form, (2) a project description and statement of goals, and (3) a letter of recommendation from theater faculty.

  • 2019 Casey Pettiford 
  • 2019 Samantha Steger

Feldman Collaborator's Award in Memory of Kenneth J. Reardon 

Undergraduate recipients of this award will have demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in play writing; directing; scene, lighting, or costume design; choreography; or dramaturgy as well as demonstrating excellence in leveraging the power of theater as a collaborative art. Winners may use the award to attend high-level theater training, support summer theater projects, take an internship, or participate in other immersive theater experiences. Applications should include (1) an application form including a proposed budget and (2) project description and statement of goals. This award is funded by a gift from Steve and Kathy Feldman in honor of Kenneth J. Reardon, former professor of English (1947 - 1980) and Director of Duke Players (1947-1967).

  • 2019 Maria Zurita Ontiveros

Forlines Family Theater Studies Grant

The Forlines Family Theater Studies fund supports internships for undergraduates in professional theater settings and other co-curricular experiences for theater students. The combination of academic coursework and hands-on learning is a hallmark of Duke’s approach to theater studies. Submit (1) an application form, (2) a project description and statement of goals, and (3) a letter of recommendation from theater faculty.

  • 2019 Nancy Merlin
  • 2019 Morgan Fears
  • 2019 Sam Elliott

Kevin Gray Musical Theater Award

This award provides support for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors to attend nationally and/or internationally recognized summer musical theater programs which provide high level training in musical theater. The award celebrates and honors the memory of Kevin Gray (T'80) and his spirit of generosity. Applications should include (1) an application form including a proposed budget and (2) project description and statement of goals. 

  • 2019 Adam Beskind
  • 2019 Sharon Kinsella

Reynolds Price Award

This award is presented annually to a Duke undergraduate for the best original script for stage, screen, or television. Submit a finished full-length script to

  • 2020 Valerie Muensterman
  • 2019 Morgan Fears
  • 2019 Valerie Muensterman

The Dale B.J. Randall Award in Dramatic Literature

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the study of dramatic literature and is presented annually to the undergraduate student writing the best essay in a course in dramatic literature. Faculty teaching undergraduate dramatic literature courses are invited to nominate student essays from their 2018-2019 classes. 

Award for Excellence in Directing

This award is presented annually to an undergraduate at Duke University for sustained excellence in directing for the stage.

  • 2020 Maria Zurita Ontiveros
  • 2019 Maria Zurita Ontiveros

Outstanding Acting Student Award

This award recognizes a graduating senior who has distinguished him or herself in acting.

  • 2020 Samantha Steger
  • 2019 Nancy Merlin