Department of Theatre

2020-2021 USM Department of Theatre Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the USM Department of Theatre faculty and staff select a small group of talented and hard-working current students to receive scholarships. Here are the recipients for 2020-2021 academic year:


Bronwyn Millard Theatre Scholarship

Elizabeth Donato has demonstrated amazing growth and skill this year in the Department of Theatre. She took on an exceptionally challenging performance role on the department main stage, showing a depth of character and emotion that was moving and inspiring. As she prepared for that role, Elizabeth also learned a role for, and was a leader in, an outreach program, bringing a staged reading of a seminal theatre piece to four venues in Southern Maine where she contributed to thought-provoking audience Q&As around race, feminism, and storytelling. Her Capstone thesis paper was well-crafted, insightful, and contained a good amount of foundational work for a potential thesis on the power of theatre to move, inspire, and transform communities.  Determined and hardworking, a formidable dancer and actor, Elizabeth has recently been accepted into the competitive National Theatre Institute intensive study program, and has the potential to become a powerful leader in the performing arts. 


Walter Stump Memorial Scholarship

Cami Gibson has continued to grow as a leader and role model among her peers in the Department of Theatre. High spirited with a terrific and infectious can-do attitude, Cami is specifically encouraging of our first and second year students.  Cami is a talented and passionate actor, but has also proven herself to be a genial, clear-sighted, and remarkably effective young theatre director.   Her genuine work ethic is founded on commitment, responsibility and service. She has continued to be a Department ambassador, volunteering to lead tours for prospective students, often accompanying them to lunch in her generous efforts to make them feel welcome.  We couldn't ask for a better student to not only represent our Department, but also to represent USM.




 Arianna Gordon  holds herself to an exceptionally high standard of intellectual rigor and professionalism both in the classroom and as a practitioner of theatre. While working on a production that represented emotionally-charged, difficult themes, Arianna was vigilant in making sure that rehearsals remained safe spaces so that her fellow cast-mates and crew members could proceed in a responsible, protected, and respectful manner.  Her insights are often rooted in a place of compassion, empathy, and appreciation of the power of the performing arts to reach beyond theatre walls and bring awareness to important issues.  Through it all, Arianna's great attitude and good nature always shine through. 

CAHS Dean's Annual Scholarship

Arianna Gordon is a very kind and thoughtful person as well as also being extremely hardworking and conscientious. Over the past year, as a work study student in the department costume shop, her skills have grown immensely. As a theatre major, Arianna works hard to gain technical theatre skills as well as performance skills; she excels as one of our most well rounded theatre majors. In her classes, she contributes thoughtfully to discussion and group work; she shows a maturity of thought in all her endeavors. 


Richard S. Petereit Theatre Scholarship

Ryan Kohnert is a student who continues to amaze his instructors. He is always eager to assist in the everyday work around the theatre, despite traveling three hours every day to and from school. He is talented in several areas of design and loves to learn different ways theatre can be produced. He is an asset to the department and we look forward to seeing him grow at USM.  

CAHS Dorothy "Dee Dee" Schwartz Memorial Scholarship

Already a skillful lighting and sound technician  and consummate theatre artist with impressive credits from his theatre efforts in his high school theatre program, Ryan Kohnert dove into his college theatre education with immense energy & an open mind,  knowing there was a lot he still needed to learn.  His goal is to establish a performing arts program here in Maine where he can instill the love of theatre in the next generation of young theatre artists.  Ryan already displays several key traits most necessary for a successful career in theatre:  commitment, dedication, and the willingness to always keep learning and improving himself.


Department of Theatre Scholarship

Kevin Paradis has the uncanny ability to raise the bar for intellectual conversations and artistic rigor amongst his classmates, but he does so in a completely inclusive, non-egotistical way; his contributions come from an unassuming spirit of inquiry and enthusiasm that is infectious. Kevin is highly aware that academic research and intellectual rigor are an integral part of creating art. Thus, he has set himself apart as a student of dramaturgy, acting, and directing.      

CAHS Treworgy Scholarship

Kevin Paradis displays an insight and focus that raises the standards and goals of both his fellow students and his teachers alike. Smart, insightful,  and extremely supportive of his peers, he exudes a positive, creative energy that is fun and infectious. He is a clear leader in the Department of Theatre, a committed member of the theatre program, and has assumed a leadership position in the university student group, Performers at Work (PAW).  He has been instrumental in recruiting students to participate in the performing arts, encouraging them to find their own creative spark.  We in Theatre are inspired by Kevin's generous and compassionate nature.  Kevin understands and puts into practice that theatre & performance are agencies for change, inclusion, diversity and awareness.


Minor Rootes Memorial Scholarship

 Keegan Perry is an intelligent, energetic, and meticulous student.  He has become a leader in our department, taking on many projects that go above and beyond his academic needs.  He tackles big challenges only to further his knowledge and experience in the field. His work can be found leading many of the department’s recent productions, as well as several for the School of Music.  Extremely responsible and easy to work with, Keegan is always on top of the situation and handles everything with a great attitude and calm confidence.