Undergrad Meili Monk receives 2024 Cody Renard Richard Scholarship

Third-year Drama major Meili Monk has been awarded the 2024 Cody Renard Richard Scholarship, joining a cohort of ten students selected for this year. Each recipient will receive a $10,000 grant for the academic spring semester, along with opportunities for networking, mentoring, and team-building. Furthermore, they will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to immerse themselves in the Broadway theatre scene.

Expressing gratitude for the opportunity, Monk stated, "I am so grateful to be included in this empowering experience and to meet students like me who love working in theatre. I highly encourage other theatre tech people of color to apply. I cherish this opportunity to grow. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity and I can’t wait to meet my cohort in person."

Now in its fourth year, the Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program aims to promote diversity and inclusivity in the theatrical industry, particularly focusing on students of color, such as Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and others. The program encourages their pursuit of degrees in theatrical management and non-performance artistic fields, providing support, mentorship, and fostering connections between scholars and established community leaders of color. Through building a tight-knit community of scholars, the program emphasizes collaborative learning and understanding, empowering them to contribute significantly to a more vibrant and equitable theatrical landscape in the future.

Past recipients of the scholarship have gone on to work on Broadway productions like Hamilton, Hell's Kitchen, Lempicka, and Sweeney Todd, as well as on tour with Jagged Little Pill and Tina Turner: The Tina Turner Musical. They have also found opportunities at Regional theatres such as the Utah Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center, and the Public Theatre.

The 2024 recipients include Meili Monk (University of California, Irvine), Uchenna Agbu (Rutgers University), Genevieve Bellavance (University of California, Berkeley), Shavante Brogley (Webster University), Paul Molina (Carnegie Mellon University), Phanésia Pharel (University of California, San Diego), Tia Smith (Yale University), Natalia Jiménez Torres (Florida State University), Joshua Treviño (Texas State University), and Mary (MK) Ware (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

The 2024 selection committee featured prominent BIPOC theatrical professionals including Richard, Lawrence Bennett, Jhanaë Bonnick, Dria Brown, Yang-Yang Chen, Ann James, Zhailon Levingston, Tina McCartney, Kenneth McGee, and Nzinga Williams.

The program is supported by the Jeffrey Seller Family Foundation as well as The Miranda Family Fund, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Jujamcyn Theaters, Tiger Baron Foundation, The Theater Leadership Project, Kevin McCollum, Thomas Kail, Junkyard Dogs, Jenny Steingart, Lee Perlman, Heather Gilbert, Gavin Creel, and Jill Furman. The Jeffrey Seller Family Foundation and The Miranda Family Fund serve as lead sponsors.