Department of Theatre

2021-2022 USM Department of Theatre Scholarship Recipients

Samantha Dalton: Department of Theatre Scholarship


Sam joined the Department of Theatre this past Fall as a transfer student from the Nursing Program with a goal of completing all her theatre requirements in a short timeframe. Not only has she excelled in the courses she has taken, but she also has shown incredible improvement in her short time. Sam is an excellent example of what it is to listen to one's heart and follow one's passion, even if the path isn't direct. Her motivation and dedication to her new major is an inspiring model for her peers.


Wendy Ducas: Grannia Theatre Scholarship

From the moment Wendy became a theatre major, she has brought a spirit of enthusiasm and an ever-present willingness to dive in. Her curiosity, critical thinking skills, and kindness has been a huge asset to our department. Her passion for theatre first brought her to work in the Box Office, where she showed a strong work ethic and creativity. Since becoming a theatre major, she has shown great initiative and a drive to bring what she's learning back to her community.  Wendy continues to impress us with her courage and enthusiasm to tackle all elements of theatre. Her passion for storytelling is such that she has decided to pursue a focus in both performance and design, a combination that makes Wendy a complete theatre-maker and provides her with untold possibilities upon graduation. She is always ready to volunteer for tasks and remains completely committed to the betterment of the department. Wendy will be a great leader within the department and has a bright future in our industry.


Arianna Gordon: Bronwyn Millard Memorial Scholarship

Arianna Gordon has represented the USM Department of Theatre as a student, an actor, a technical crew member, a work-study employee, and a friend.  Arianna tackles every task she is given with positive energy and a whole heart.  She possesses a true desire to learn and to make the world a better place, which is not only commendable but what we all need to do.  As part of the cast of our main stage production The Love of the Nightingale, she connected the production with the support organization RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and facilitated a group donation to the organization on behalf of the production. She connects her work as a theatre artist to outreach and community engagement, exuding incredible intelligence and sensitivity. Arianna is a truly exceptional student and human being. 


Ryan Kohnert: Richard S. Petereit Scholarship

Ryan has proven himself a talented designer in multiple areas having explored lighting, projections, and sound onstage. He has also served as an ambassador of the USM Department of Theatre in his work at his former high school. Ryan is always eager to assist in the everyday work around the theatre, despite traveling three hours every day to and from campus. He has a demonstrated incredible reliability and dedication. Ryan 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 continue to grow at USM.


Madison MacDonald: Minor Rootes Memorial Scholarship

Underneath her quiet and unassuming demeanor, Maddie has an immense energy that is ready to burst forward and create something that the world will sit up and take notice of. As a theatre student, she dedicated hours of time working in the scene shop as a painter and props artisan, demonstrating her skill and creative problem-solving with every project she's taken on. Recently, she has demonstrated a talent for graphic design, creating posters and marketing materials for the student group Performers At Work, and for the student tour production of The Women Who Mapped the Stars. Her creativity as a visual artist and storyteller will take her far in whatever field she chooses. 


August "Will" Thornton: Walter Stump Memorial Scholarship

There is no doubt that theatre major August "Will" Thornton is one of our department's best and brightest. As a first year student, he had the unusual accomplishment of garnering roles in two of our main stage productions, and finishing the fall 2019 semester with a challenging leading role in The Love of the Nightingale. He came to USM Theatre with talent, but he has been using his time at USM to hone his skills and develop technique, as well as acquiring an interest in dance. His deep curiosity for and inquiry into the process of making theatre is evident in his scholarship. Despite the challenges of COVID, Will has demonstrated positive leadership in our department, continuing with his work study to make our scene shop ready for the return to production in the fall, and collaborating on student artistic endeavors with his peers. This summer, he landed a leading role at the Lakewood Theatre in Maine as part of their summer season.