Student Prizes & Awards

TDPS awards the following student prizes at the annual commencement ceremony in May.

The Dunbar Ogden Undergraduate Prize in Theater History

This prize honors undergraduate research and academic excellence in theater history, dance history, and performance studies.

The Dunbar Ogden Graduate Prize in Theater History

This prize honors graduate research and academic excellence in theater history, dance history, and performance studies.

The Julia Payne Dance Scholarship

A prize established to honor an undergraduate student who demonstrates outstanding accomplishment in dance scholarship and performance.

The Florence Schwimley Memorial Scholarship in the Performing Arts

In 1975, The Zonta Club of Berkeley established a fund in the name of Florence Schwimley, a well-known Berkeley resident who was active in the theater and dance world. It is given to honor undergraduate students who have excelled in their craft of theater and dance this year, while simultaneously keeping high academic standing.

The Grace Sprague Pillsbury and Josephine Park Pillsbury Award for an Actress of Excellence

Mr. Edwin S. Pillbsbury, a former lawyer of San Francisco, established this award in the names of his mother, Grace Sprague Pillsbury and his wife, Josephine Park Pillsbury, both of whom were very committed to the theater. He hoped that the winners would make a career of acting and performance.

The Travis Bogard Memorial Prize

An award given in honor of former faculty member and department chair, Travis Bogard, to celebrate the work of an actor who while at UC Berkeley, distinguished themselves in the arena of acting and performance. This prize is given with the intention to assist the recipient begin their career as an actor.

The Mark Goodson Prize for Distinguished Artistic Talent

Mr. Mark Goodson of Goodson-Todman Productions, New York, one of the most successful TV production companies in the U.S., was a Berkeley graduate. Some years ago he made the first of several donations in order to reward students demonstrating both academic and performative excellence and who reveal a significant interest in theater, dance, motion pictures, or television.

The Mask and Dagger Memorial Prize for Extraordinary Contributions to Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

In 1946, the Mask and Dagger Dramatics Honor Society here at UC Berkeley established a scholarship fund in the names of members of the Society who had lost their lives in World War II. The scholarships are given to majors and minors who have made extraordinary contributions to Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

The Michael Mansfield and Randy Sweringen Social Justice Award for Excellence in Creating a More Equitable and Inclusive World

Michael Mansfield and Randy Sweringen created this award to honor a member of the department who creates a public artistic work that intentionally sought to advance social justice through the performance arts. The award winner significantly contributed to the TDPS community, the campus, and beyond through their work. The nomination process encourages the department to reflect upon and live further into its mission statement — "to make diversity and inclusion a key part of our teaching, art making, and public programming." The donors also hope the funds will help the recipient to take their work to "the next stage."

The Roslyn Schneider Eisner Prize for Continuing Creative Achievement 

Established in the memory of Rosalyn Schneider Eisner by her mother Mabelle A. Marks, prizes are awarded annually by UC Berkeley for continuing creative achievement in each of the following categories — art, theater, dance, literature, music, film/video, photography, and design. This prize celebrates students who have created a substantial body of creative work during their time here in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

The Departmental Citation for Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies 

Departmental Citations are given by each department at UC Berkeley to recognize a student with a distinguished career and accomplishment of amazing work within the department. This award requires both academic and artistic excellence, and is seen as the department’s highest honor to the person who most embodies the values of the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

The Sara Huntsman Sturgess Memorial Prize for Outstanding Artistic Accomplishment in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

This prize was first awarded in 1966, by friends and former students of the late Sara Huntsman Sturgess, for students achieving outstanding artistic accomplishment in theater, dance, and performance studies. Professor Sturgess was a member of the Department of Public Speaking and taught drama and directed productions when the department did their shows in Wheeler Hall.

Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor

Each year graduate students are asked to teach courses for the department and the campus, allowing them time to gain skills and experience as an educator in the classroom, while simultaneously completing their work as a researcher and student themselves. This award is given to graduate students who come to be known as outstanding graduate student teachers.