Theatre Company Grants

SETC offers two grants for non-academic professional theatre companies—one for current SETC organizational members and one for non-member organizations.

Applications for 2019-2020 grants are now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied! We look forward to announcing our newest grant recipients.

SETC Convention Grant

This 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 2020 SETC Convention will be in Louisville, KY, Feb. 26 – Mar. 1, 2020.

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

“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

“We are eager to connect with the professionals at SETC and introduce them to our work, our mission, and the professional opportunities we can offer. This is an experience that is bigger than just networking for Childsplay, we are looking to build long-term relationships with talented young professionals.”

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

“The 2018 SETC Convention will provide JPAS with opportunities to recruit performers, designers, production technicians and administrative staff… SETC Organizational membership and participation in the 2018 SETC Convention will further our goals of providing quality arts education and entertainment programs to our community.”

Virginia Stage, 2018 Theatre Job Fair, 69th Annual SETC Convention, Mobile, AL
Virginia Stage Company | Norfolk, VA

“Being able to attend the convention and hire electricians, tailors, drapers, actors, etc., would allow us to become a stronger link in the process of career development… Rebuilding a stronger connection to other theatres in our region allows us to have additional contacts to call, opinions to get, and folks to consult regarding designers, talent, and general hiring.”

Staffing Development Matching Grant

This grant is intended for non-academic professional theatres with current SETC organizational membership status. Funds may be used to support existing programs or to develop new programs that provide early career theatre professionals in the field with experiential learning opportunities. At least two of these grants will be awarded for 2020.

  • Endstation Theatre Company | Lynchburg, VA

    Grant funds will be used to enhance and expand the apprentice program across the U.S. to bring in young professionals, who are the lifeblood of the organization, and to provide them with a professional development experience working ground-up in a professional theatre.

  • Weston Playhouse Theatre Company| Weston, VT

    Grant funds will be used to expand the Weston Fellowship program, which provides a full-year internship focused on arts administration.

  • Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma | Oklahoma City, OK

    Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma has been an organizational member of SETC since 2013. Grant funding will be used to hire interns as part of a long-range plan aimed at combatting “an industry shortage of Technical Directors.” The goal is to provide mentorship and training to help build a new generation of Technical Directors who can not only see to raw technical needs but can balance those needs with creating and implementing production designs.

  • Williamstown Theatre Festival | Williamstown, MA

    Williamstown Theatre Festival has been a member theatre of SETC for more than 12 years. They aim to apply the grant funds to hire a new assistant position for their Community Works program which brings together local residents and professional theatre artists and culminates in a new work shown on their Main Stage each summer.

  • The Lost Colony | Manteo, NC

    The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA)/The Lost Colony has been a member of SETC for over 60 years. They plan to use the funds awarded from this grant to hire an Educational Coordinator who will oversee theatre art camps, backstage tours and outreach programs for The Lost Colony historical drama.

  • The Stephen Foster Story | Bardstown, KY

    The Stephen Foster Drama Association has participated as an SETC professional hiring company for more than 20 years and hires at least 25% of their summer employees from SETC auditions each year. Grant funds will help pay performance internships for 5-7 college freshman and sophomores as part of a professional training program that allows the interns to perform in two productions and receive instruction in Voice, Dance and Acting from staff directors and guest teachers.

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 SETC's grants?

SETC’s grant program is intended to support non-academic professional theatre companies with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. The Staffing Development Matching Grant is open to current SETC member organizations, and 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).

Organizations are eligible to apply to the Staffing Development Matching Grant Program if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Are current SETC Organizational Members
  • Have been SETC Organizational Members for at least one year prior to application
  • Are a producing theatre company that is 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
  • Have not been awarded a Staffing Development Matching Grant in the last three years
  • Will provide an internship, mentorship or apprenticeship opportunity to an emerging professional during the grant period
  • Will provide 1:1 matching funds and/or in-kind services to support the internship, mentorship or apprenticeship, as described in the guidelines
  • Comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and ordinances, including but not limited to those that bar discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, military veteran’s status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law
  • Comply with Fair Labor Standards

Non-Academic Professional Theatres are eligible to apply to the 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

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, including a required project narrative as instructed, supplemental materials as directed, and for the Staffing Development Matching Grant a supplied budget form.

How do I submit my application?

Applications must be completed and submitted online via Kaleidoscope at the links provided below.

What is the application deadline?

Applications for 2019-2020 grants will be accepted from June 14 – Aug. 2, 2019.

How many grants will be awarded?

SETC looks to award between two and four grants for each program during each grant cycle. 

For the inaugural grant program (2017-2018) SETC awarded a total of three Non-Member Convention Grants and four Member Staffing Development Matching 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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