Incoming freshmen prepare to audition for scholarship

The theater department plans to have auditions March 5 for incoming freshmen who have applied for the Excellence in Fine Arts scholarship, or the EFA scholarship.

The department first gave out the award in 1989, and each year it has had enough funding to award to two to three applicants.

Damita Lewis, the office manager of the Eastern theatre department, said the scholarship

is specific to the theatre department.

“We normally have spring auditions,” Lewis said. “If they choose not to go to Eastern, then we have one in fall.”

Performance concentration-based applicants will present two one-minute monologues of contrasting nature at the audition.

The scholarship applicants need to submit three items to qualify for the scholarship that include a resume, a headshot and three letters of recommendation.

“Some send letters from their acting coaches,” Lewis said.

Linda Barter, the administrative assistant of the dean’s office, said the scholarship was started by the Tarble family and is funded by the EIU Foundation.

“Each department has a committee that reviews the applications and selects the students to receive the scholarship,” Barter said.

Student applicants are required to major in theater and keep their grade point average at a 3.0 departmental level.

Lewis said the scholarship winners must also audition for each play, and if they don’t get a part, they have to work behind the scenes.

“If they are doing student teaching, the department is more understanding,” Lewis said.

Lewis said it is important for the students to get experience in order to maintain their scholarship with Eastern’s theatre department.

“If they are performance (concentration), they are pretty strong so they will be cast in something,” Lewis said. “While students can’t be in two shows at one time, they can have two minor roles.”

Lewis said the EFA students are required to work in all of the shows, and if they are not able to do so, they receive a warning by the department.

If the students are not cast in any play or musical, they have the option to work in technical areas such as costumes, props and lights.

However, if students are participating in shows outside of Eastern, such as a local theater, this could accommodate their requirements to the Eastern theatre department.

Alex Truccano, a freshman theatre major, applied for the EFA scholarship in spring 2010 and was awarded the scholarship for the fall 2010 semester along with the spring 2011 semester.

“I found out about the EFA scholarship through the EIU website,” Truccano said.

He said he applied for the scholarship because he wanted to have money for college, but for the most part because he enjoys performing in the theater best.

Truccano was cast in the fall 2010 production of Translations and the spring play Tartuffe.

“I have to try out for plays and get as much experience as possible,” Truccano said.

Jennifer Brown can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]