2019 Marcia Quick Gard Theatre Arts Scholarship Winners Announced

2019 Marcia Quick Gard Theatre Arts Scholarship Winners Announced

The annual Marcia Quick Gard Theatre Arts Scholarship was founded and funded in 2018 by Larry Gard in memory of his wife and her life-long commitment to excellence as an actor. The scholarship offers awards of both $1,000 and $500 to university level theatre students who intend to become professional actors. The funds are intended to provide financial support for the recipients' education expenses.

Each year auditions for the scholarship are hosted and facilitated by a different organizational member of RVATheatre Alliance and, in addition to the scholarship funds awarded to students, the hosting theatre receives $500 from Mr. Gard in return for its support.

On May 25, 2019, twenty actors representing university theatre departments in three states auditioned for 2019 scholarship funds at Firehouse Theatre in Richmond. Adjudicators for the auditions were Joel Bassin, producing artistic director of Firehouse Theatre; Suzi Moore-Fenton, actor and theatre teacher from Indianapolis; Alan Sader, professional actor; and Larry Gard.

Joel, Suzi, Alan, and Larry are happy to announce the two recipients of scholarship funds in this second year of the program:

The $1,000 recipient for 2019 is Candace Spencer. Candace is a 2019 graduate of Greensboro College. She received a BA in theatre. Her recent credits include A Doll's House, Part 2 as Nora Helmer, The Book of Will as Rebecca Heminges, Laughter on the 23rd Floor as Carol Wyman, and Disaster the Musical as Levora Verona at Greensboro College. She has also recently worked on Taking Flight with Barter Theatre in Virginia. She recently contributed to a short film called Oh Crappy Day (OCD). This summer, Candace will be going to the Glow Lyric Theatre in Greenville, SC. She will be performing in three shows; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as Jewel, Carmen as Ensemble, and My Fair Lady as Flower girl/Bystander 3. She has also accepted an offer for the fall to go to graduate school at The University of Louisville. She will be acquiring a MFA in Performance and gaining a Graduate Certificate in African American Theatre (GCAAT). Louisville is the only university in the U.S. that offers this prestigious certificate. She wants to thank God, her Grandmother, and all of her friends for their continuous support. Getting this scholarship means that funding will be the least of her problems when she goes to Kentucky all by herself in the fall. Being awarded this money will help her to fund her transportation, housing, food, and other miscellaneous expenses.

The $500 recipient for 2019 is Scout Smith. Scout is approaching her last semester at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she will graduate with a BFA in theatre performance. Scout's passion for theatre started at a very young age when she would dress up and force her family to watch her perform. At VCU, she is able to create even more sparks of passion, she discovered a joy for writing stand up comedy, and writing with sketch comedy groups such as The Roast in VCU's No Shame Variety show. It was projects like these that excited Scout to continue working at her craft. From productions on VCU's mainstage such as The Three Musketeers and The Wolves, to student films, and sketch comedy groups Scout constantly took on new projects and opportunities in the community to grow. She recently had the opportunity to voice a character for Cartoon Networks, "Best Furry Friends." Scout is eager to continue to work and collaborate with strong women to create work that makes an impact on the audience. Upon graduation in December, Scout will be participating in a showcase that will take a group of students to New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta in hopes to continue her professional career. Scout would like to thank her mom, dad, and brother for their endless support, and her professors at VCU who have taken the time to help her grow as an actor and a person.

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