Denise Halbach Performance Scholarship Award

denise_halbachThe Denise Halbach Award is awarded to a student pursuing a graduate degree in acting or musical theatre performance. The amount of the award is $2,000. The award is named for Denise Halbach (pictured left), a past-president of SETC and 2011 recipient of the Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award.

Application Guidelines

Application Deadline: April 30, 2016
Dowload Application Form

In order to apply for the Denise Halbach Award, the applicant must:

  • Have completed undergraduate work at a regionally accredited institution within the SETC region no later than June 30 of the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is announced;
  • Be currently enrolled in an accredited graduate degree program in acting or musical theatre performance, or be entering such a program for the first time; and
  • Submit the completed application, including all supporting materials, no later than April 30 of the calendar year in which the award is announced.

The following information should be provided by all applicants:

  • Personal letter outlining plans and objectives for graduate study in acting or musical theatre performance.
  • A recording on an electronic medium (videotape, DVD or website link) of the candidate performing three contrasting monologues of less than two minutes each; presentation of a song from musical theatre may take the place of one or two of the monologues.
  • A detailed resume of all theatre work.
  • The candidate’s headshot.
  • No fewer than two or no more than three letters of recommendation from professional directors or teachers familiar with the applicant’s work in either educational or professional settings; letters must include contact information for the reference provider.
  • Complete official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.

Note: Scholarship application and supporting materials must be submitted to the committee chair electronically via email or URL link.  Please note, all text document submissions must be in PDF format. 

  1. The winner of the Denise Halbach Award for Graduate Study in Acting or Musical Theatre Performance will be notified by July 1 and announced at the Awards Banquet held Saturday evening of the SETC Spring Convention. The award winner will be recognized, should the winner be in attendance.  It is requested but not required that the recipient be present at the banquet. The committee chair will request a complimentary banquet ticket in the event that the winner attends the convention.
  2. Upon presentation of suitable documentation (e.g. class schedule, proof of registration, or enrollment notification from the school registrar’s office) to the SETC Executive Director that the winner is enrolled in an accredited graduate program as specified above, a check will be sent to the recipient of the award.

Award recipients will be chosen by the Denise Halbach Award Committee. Creating this award is a dream come true for contributor Halbach, and for many future recipients. The Southeastern Theatre Conference extends its heartfelt thanks to Halbach for her vision and dedication to theatre education. To contribute, send donations to SETC earmarked for the “Denise Halbach Award.” 

For more information, please contact:
Glenn Gourley, Chair
Graduate Study in Performance Committee

Recent Halbach Scholars

Anita Salley ~ 2015 Scholar

Anita Nicole Salley is a proud alumna of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia (C’2014) where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in theater and served as a college Queen. She is currently a first year graduate student at Regent University pursuing her MFA Acting degree. She is humbled to have the opportunity to study the teachings of Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, Kristen Linklater and Michael Lugering and apply them in performance on Regent’s Main Stage. According to family folklore, at the time of her birth, instead of crying, Anita held one long note to the delight of everyone in the delivery room. She has enjoyed performing through grade school, high school, and college as a means of sharpening her acting and singing talents.

Anita’s immediate goals include becoming a well-rounded actor and vocalist who is competitive within the professional market and discovering how she can use her artistic gifts and talents to achieve her God-given purpose. Her aim is to integrate intellect, critical thinking, community engagement and ethical leadership into her art for the purpose of combating the negative hyper-sexualized images of Black women shown in the media. She deeply desires to inspire audiences to become their best selves through her work as a performing artist.

Anita will next appear onstage in Roger Miller’s Big River on the Regent University Main Stage. Recent roles from across the country include Macbeth (Regent University Theatre – Virginia Beach, Virginia), Worth the Wait (Regent University Student Film – Virginia Beach, Virginia), Night in Harlem (Morehouse College Ray Charles Performing Arts Center – Atlanta, Georgia), The Vagina Monologues (Spelman College Cosby Auditorium – Atlanta, Georgia) and Mad at Miles (Spelman College Main Stage – Atlanta, Georgia). Anita is proud to have crewed Regent University’s first feature film “Jesse & Naomi” during the winter. Anita thanks the Denise Halbach Award Committee for supporting her journey within higher education and Ms. Halbach for making the award possible.

Thomas Azar ~ 2014 Scholar

Thomas Azar graduated in 2006 from the University of Alabama. His first professional role, as Joseph in the outdoor drama Blue Jacket, came in 2004 after the SETC Convention in Chattanooga. Since then, he has performed in more than thirty productions in nearly twenty venues from coast to coast.

Thomas’s theatrical education and acting experience has offered him the opportunity to expand his practice of the craft off the stage. He is currently a teaching artist with This Wooden O, the educational outreach program of the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina. From Shakespeare for third grade students to audition prep for high school seniors, Thomas brings his love of theatre into classrooms all over South Carolina.

Thomas will next appear onstage as Prior Walter in Tony Kushner’s two-part epic Angels in America at the Warehouse Theatre, where he has previously performed in Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio) and Stones in His Pockets (Charlie). Selected roles from around the country include the regional premiere of Yellow Face(TheatreWorks – Mountain View, California), Romeo & Juliet (California Shakespeare Theater – Berkeley, California), In the Shadow of His Language (Alliance Theatre – Atlanta, Georgia) and The Lost Colony(Roanoke Island Historical Assoc. – Manteo, North Carolina). Thomas is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and SETC.