SETC Convention Grant

About the Grant

The SETC Convention Grant is intended for non-academic professional theatres that are not yet organizational members of SETC. The grant provides a trial membership and convention registration, and funds to assist theatres with lodging and related travel for up to four theatre staff members attending the event. The 2023 SETC Convention will be held March 1-5 in Lexington, KY.

Past Recipients

Charlottesville Opera | Charlottesville, VA

“The SETC Convention Grant will provide Charlottesville Opera the opportunity to connect with theater professionals from across the country. Charlottesville Opera has recently gone through a time of change and growth. One of the initiatives of the current General Director is to establish connections with theater professionals including stagehands, lighting designers, carpenters, wig and make up designers, and properties designers. Each summer, Charlottesville Opera hires more then 140 company members including singers, designers, technicians, and orchestra musicians. Charlottesville is a smaller community in comparison to the number of arts organizations that exist in the town. There is a dearth of qualified theater technicians, therefore most of the individuals come from outside of the Charlottesville area. Through attendance at the SETC Convention, participation in SETC workshops and membership in SETC, Charlottesville Opera seeks to find and employ technical theater workers and make connections with other theaters and theater operators.”

Actor’s Express, Inc.

“The convention can offer us strategies that will help us to mature as an organization where our performance both on and offstage is collaborative, creative, and inclusive. We would like both our artists and our staff to learn, grow, and be confident in their work. At SETC, we hope to collaborate with and learn from other professionals who are implementing anti-racism into their strategic planning and the tactics they are using to be successful.”

Upstream Theater

“This time of re-emergence at SETC is a great chance to build new connections. We are certain there’s much for us to learn, and hope, too, that we might be of service to the organization. In turn we would like to share our experience championing new–and especially international—plays as well as any insights gleaned from our long history of inclusive casting.”

Nebraska Shakespeare | Omaha, NE

Rehearsal for Life | Alexandria, VA

RhinoLeap Productions | Asheboro, NC

“This is the first nonprofit our executive director has managed, and being exposed to the ways of working of other theatre thought leaders will be invaluable in strengthening the structural decisions we make moving forward.”  Jeremy Skidmore, Artistic Director

Theatre West Summer Repertory | Scottsbluff, NE

“The immediate benefit is to vastly increase our hiring pool for actors and technical crew. And as a small producing organization in an isolated part of the country, we need to make regular contact with others in the business to stay informed of current trends, make networking connections, and find ways to build audience. We believe SETC is an excellent convention at which to achieve all these goals.”  Patrick Newell, Artistic Director

Markell Williams (left) portrays Booth and Eric Little is Lincoln in the 2018 production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog. Photo by Larente Hamlin.

NC Black Repertory Company | Winston-Salem, NC

“The informative workshops and essential networking opportunities with a community of high caliber theatre professionals were invaluable and we hope to have at least one representative of the NC Black Repertory Company at future conferences … This grant allowed NC Black Repertory Company to heighten our visibility with the southeastern theatre community in a way that was previously unexplored. We were so honored and thankful for the opportunity to take part in SETC as grant recipients.”

Thunder Bay Theatre’s 2018 Summer Core Company performs in Annie Get Your Gun. Photo by Don LaBarre Photography.

Thunder Bay Theatre | Alpena, MI

2019 SETC Convention Grant Recipient

“As Thunder Bay Theatre continues to grow, we’re excited to continue our pursuit of diverse voices to share with our community through SETC. We look forward to finding more like-minded artists to join our mission and produce high quality, consistent professional theatre at Northern Michigan’s only year-round professional nonprofit theatre.”

Childsplay, 2018 Theatre Job Fair, 69th Annual SETC Convention, Mobile, AL

Childsplay | Tempe, AZ

“Childsplay was fortunate and very thankful to be the recipient of a grant to support our attendance at the 2018 SETC Convention in Mobile. Childsplay last attended SETC in 2003. As much as we valued our attendance at the conference, the cost of travel, hotels, and per diems for staff became difficult for us to bear throughout the great recession. The grant was a great way to get us back to the convention and introduce new staff members to SETC.”

Jefferson Performing Arts Society, 2018 Theatre Job Fair, 69th Annual SETC Convention, Mobile, AL

Jefferson Performing Arts Society | Metairie, LA

Inaugural Recipient (2018 SETC Convention)

“We continue to believe this convention is a great way for JPAS to bring new talent and skilled theatre artists to work and enrich our community. Overall SETC was a fantastic experience for both the organization and the staff of JPAS and we are already looking forward to next year.”

Virginia Stage, 2018 Theatre Job Fair, 69th Annual SETC Convention, Mobile, AL

Virginia Stage Company | Norfolk, VA

Inaugural Recipient (2018 SETC Convention)

“The [Theatre] Job Fair is one of the main reasons that VSC attends the conference, and this year it was very beneficial to us since we were able to hire a Master Electician, which was a position that had been left empty during the 17-18 season. The grant helped us attend the conference this year, and we know it will help other organizations in the future.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SETC?

Our Mission: Connecting You to Opportunities in Theatre Nationwide
Our Vision: SETC is the strongest and broadest network of theatre practitioners in the United States. We provide extensive resources and year‐round opportunities for our constituents. Our services, publications, and products contribute significantly to the careers of emerging artists, seasoned professionals, and academicians. SETC energizes the practical, intellectual, and creative profile of theatre in America.

What organizations are eligible for the SETC Convention Grant?

This grant program is intended to support non-academic professional theatre companies with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. The SETC Convention Grant is open to companies that are not currently organizational members (and have not been SETC members for the past 2 years). Non-Academic Professional Theatres are eligible to apply to the SETC Convention Grant Program if the organization meets the following requirements:

  • Are not current SETC Organizational Members
  • Have not been SETC Organizational Members for at least two years prior to application
  • Are not primarily funded by a college or university
  • Currently possess and have possessed 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as defined by the IRS for at least two years prior to applying for this grant
  • Are not prior recipients of this grant

My organization is already a member of SETC. Is there a grant for me?

Yes! Our Staffing Development Matching Grant is intended for non-academic professional theatres with current SETC organizational membership status.

What is SETC’s definition of a professional theatre?

A theatre that provides monetary compensation/salary on a contracted basis to a minimum of 85% of their staff, designers, technicians, actors and musicians. In addition, companies must have been in production a minimum of two full seasons.

What’s involved in completing a grant application?

Details are provided on the grant guidelines documents, but the application process has been specifically designed to be simple and straightforward. SETC encourages interested theatre companies to apply! Please complete the online application, answering required questions as instructed and uploading supplemental materials as directed.

How do I submit my application?

Applications must be completed and submitted online via our applications portal.

What is the application deadline?

Application Opens: September 13, 2022

Application Closes: October 20, 2022 at 11:59 ET

How many grants will be awarded?

SETC looks to award between two and four SETC Convention Grants during each grant cycle. For the inaugural grant program (2017-2018) SETC awarded a total of three Non-Member Convention Grants.

What if I have additional questions?

For assistance with the grant application process, please email with a detailed explanation of questions regarding the application or the program. Please provide return contact information (email and phone). Every attempt will be made to reply to requests within two business days. Replies may be made in the form of email or phone contact.


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