Theater Student Earns Fellowship at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Irene Ryan Scholarship finalist and doctoral student, Jeff Scott, recognized for outstanding performance.

Jeff Scott, performing in "The Solution," was also a finalist in the prestigious Irene Ryan Scholarship competition. Photo by Steve Jones.
Texas Tech theater doctoral student Jeff Scott still has a hard time believing his name was called on April 19 as the winner of a fellowship for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. But the phone call from the company on Monday morning definitely helped to solidify the reality. Scott was chosen out of 15 who auditioned for the fellowship during the American College Theatre Festival in Washington D.C. "It was pretty shocking to hear my name," Scott said. "I honestly did not believe I would get it. When they called my name I was completely floored. They called me to chat and ask me some questions. The reality is just now setting in." After auditioning for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Scott learned that he'd won the fellowship during an awards ceremony. As part of this fellowship, Scott will serve with the company from August through June 2009. "I'll play parts in the ensemble and small speaking roles, then eventually do understudy work," Scott said. "They provide me with a place to live and a small stipend. At the end of the year, I'll be eligible for Actor's Equity." Scott also was one of 16 other theater students from across the U.S. to compete for the Irene Ryan Scholarship. He and his graduate student partner, Paul Fillingim, are the first Texas Tech students to make it to the finals for the scholarship since 1991. Bill Gelber, head of acting/directing at the Department of Theatre and Dance, is one of Scott's professors. He said he was proud that Scott earned the fellowship. "I can't say enough about him as a talent or as an individual," Gelber said. "The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a very prestigious company headed by Michael Kahn, formerly head of acting at Julliard. Among other actors, Stacy Keach will play Lear. "Jeff was the only auditioner at the American College Theatre Festival to be chosen. I have had the pleasure of working with him on several shows, and he has always been the consummate professional. He is an outstanding student whose work is always top-notch."
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