Awards

SETC honors theatre practitioners of all levels through a variety of prestigious awards. From celebrating young scholars to recognizing lifetime achievement in theatre, SETC’s awards take many forms and serve to distinguish a diverse range of theatre artists. Nominations are accepted May 1st - September 15th annually.  

Please note the revised dates and deadlines to allow Central Office and our awardees time to adequately prepare for their appearance at the upcoming convention!

Distinguished Career Award

The Distinguished Career Award is the highest award bestowed by SETC and is established to honor one individual or artistic team each year who has a distinguished career in the theatre. The recipient is requested to speak at the annual SETC Convention as a keynote address, and to accept the award during the Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony.

Administration of this award is assigned to the Executive Committee in collaboration with the Executive Director. SETC members are invited to make suggestion for consideration. Email [email protected] to submit your recommendation(s) for this award. 

The awardee receives:

  • Honorarium of $1,500
  • Private airport transfers, first-class air travel, and hotel accommodations
  • Acknowledgement at the annual awards luncheon
  • Registration waiver
  • Per diem for dining and incidentals.
  • Honored Saturday Keynote Speaker
  • Acknowledgement and plaque presented at the closing Awards Gala

Suggestions are accepted from May 1st - September 15th annually. 

Getchell New Play Award

Charles M. Getchell New Contest is dedicated to the discovery, development and publicizing of worthy new plays and playwrights.

The awardee receives: 

  • $1,000 honorarium  
  • Certificate at Recognition
  • Acknowledgement at the annual awards luncheon
  • Staged Play Reading at the annual SETC Convention
  • Travel and hotel accommodations.
  • Acknowledgement in an SETC publication

Submission Period: May 1st - September 15th annually.

Established by SETC in 2015, the Southeastern Theatre Conference Hall of Fame recognizes persons, living or deceased, who have made major contributions to the organization. These contributions may be administrative, artistic, and/or financial and have made a significant impact on SETC’s success over a sustained period of time. The Hall of Fame commemorates their achievements and celebrates their meaningful contributions to the organization.

The awardees receive:

  • Convention fee waiver.
  • Acknowledgement at Friday Awards Luncheon
  • Award Plaque
  • Acknowledgement in an SETC publication

Nominations are accepted from May 1st - September 15th annually.

Innovative Playwriting Instruction Award

This award was established to honor one high school teacher each year for innovative instruction in playwriting. Nominate your favorite teacher (including yourself). The administration of this award is assigned to the Innovative Playwriting Instruction Award Committee. 

The awardee receives: 
  • A Certificate and $1000 Honorarium
  • SETC registration to the SETC Annual Convention for the award year
  • A ticket to the Awards Gala
  • Reimbursement of up to $600 to cover hotel accommodations to attend the Convention.
  • Recognition at the Convention
  • Recognition in an SETC publication. 

Submission Period: May 1st - September 15th annually.

The Distinguished Design/Tech Award is established to honor individuals each year with a distinguished career in costume, lighting, and scenic design. Each awardee also serves a distinguished adjudicator for the student Design Competitions.

Administration of this award is assigned to the Design/Tech Committee. SETC members are invited to make suggestion for consideration. 

The awardees receive:

  • Honorarium of $1,000
  • Private airport transfers, air travel, and hotel accommodations
  • Registration waiver
  • Per diem for dining and incidentals.
  • Honored Design/Tech Keynote Panelists
  • Acknowledgement and plaque presented at the Design/Tech Awards

Submit your recommendation(s) for this award between May 1st and September 15th annually.

Convention Design Competition Awards

Each year, graduate and undergraduate students display their design and technology work at the annual SETC Convention.

Entrants have a chance to have their work displayed and reviewed by distinguished industry professionals- modern masters of design and technology with national and international reputations. The experts use an open, one-on-one critique format to offer invaluable learning for all in attendance — whether a student, professor or professional.

The awardees receive:

  • A cash award for first, second, and third placements.
  • A certificate of achievement.
  • Recognition at the Convention
  • Recognition in SETC publications. 

Submission Period: October 1st - January 15th annually.

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you review the OFFICIAL GUIDLINES before submitting your design. 

John Spiegel Theatrical Artist Award

The John Spiegel Theatrical Artist Award is presented annually to a student pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the following areas: lighting design, properties design, scenic design, sound design, or technical direction. 

The awardee receives:

  • A Certificate of Recognition
  • $1,000 honorarium  
  • SETC registration to the SETC Annual Convention for the award year
  • Eligible to participate in the Convention Design Competition Awards
  • Reimbursement of up to $600 to cover hotel accommodations to attend the Convention
  • Recognition at the Convention Design Tech Awards as the John Spiegel Theatrical Artist Awardee

Submission Period: May 1st - September 15th annually. 

Keynote Emerging Artists of Promise (KEAP) Awards

The Southeastern Theatre Conference implemented an initiative to support and encourage young theatre artists in our region: The Keynote Emerging Artist of Promise Award (KEAP). The idea for the award was born when 2005 Convention Keynote Speaker Samm-Art Williams asked that his honorarium as a speaker that year be used to bring one or more promising high school students to the 2006 convention - students who would not ordinarily be able to attend the convention and who could take advantage of the excitement and encouragement that the country’s largest theatre gathering would provide.

The KEAP Award is presented to four (4) recipients who have strong academic backgrounds (GPA, ACT, SAT) and a strong commitment to theatre (statement from teacher or counselor), a financial disadvantage to attend the SETC Convention. [WATCH VIDEO]

The awardees receive:

  • A Registration waiver to SETC's annual convention.
  • Hotel accommodations.
  • A $1,000 travel stipend.
  • Acknowledgement in a SETC publication.
  • Acknowledgment at the Friday luncheon and award ceremony. 
  • A Certificate of the Award

NOTE: Nominations can be submitted by anyone (self-nominees included). Awardees under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Nominations are accepted from May 1st - September 15th annually. 

Mark R. Sumner Award

Established in 1990, this award recognizes significant contributions by an individual to a specific outdoor drama, or to the outdoor drama movement as a whole, including but not limited to playwriting, directing, acting, design, theater architecture, patronage, scholarship, musical composition, technology and innovation, producing and administration. The award is presented annually at the National Conference on Outdoor Theatre in October.  

The awardee receives:

  • Acknowledgment of achievements at the closing dinner of the NCOT
  • Plaque of Recognition
  • Acknowledgement in the an SETC publication

 

Ready to Design Award

Each year, SETC partners with renowned professional professional theatres to co-sponsor the Ready to Design (previously Ready to Work) Awards, which help talented young designers jumpstart their professional careers. Designers are chosen from all graduate-level entrants to the annual Design Competition at the annual SETC Convention.

 

SETC is currently reviewing and improving its programming. As part of this process, we have temporarily suspended this award. We appreciate your understanding and will provide updates through email communications. Thank you for your support.

Ready to Direct Competition Award

The Ready to Direct Competition offers early career directors (graduate students and adults only) who are seeking professional experience and an opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals during an immersive schedule at the annual SETC Convention. They may also be awarded the opportunity to work at a professional theatre.

SETC is currently reviewing and improving its programming. As part of this process, we have temporarily suspended this award. We appreciate your understanding and will provide updates through email communications. Thank you for your support.

Ready to Publish Award

Playwrights submit unpublished, original scripts for the opportunity to “pitch” their play/musical to Stage Rights and the SETC Playwriting Committee. One winner earns publication in the Stage Rights catalog of plays and musicals in addition to other opportunities from Stage Rights and SETC.

SETC is currently reviewing and improving its programming. As part of this process, we have temporarily suspended this award. We appreciate your understanding and will provide updates through email communications. Thank you for your support.

Sara Spencer Child Drama Award

This award recognizes an individual or organization for distinguished achievement in child drama. Nominees can excel in such areas as playwriting, performance, audience development, curriculum development, funding, scholarship, community programs, research, television programming, creative drama or other enrichment programs at their community, state, regional or national level. This award honors children’s theatre pioneer and founder of the Children’s Theatre Press (now the Anchorage Press) Sara Spencer. Spencer was the first recipient of SETC’s Suzanne M. Davis Award in 1965.
 
The awardee receives: 
  • An engraved plaque 
  • Recognition in SETC publications.
Submission Period: May 1st - September 15th annually.

Scott Parker Award

Presented to an exceptional volunteer in the field of outdoor theatre. This individual is nominated by an IOT committee member for their extraordinary, dedicated and unpaid service to the organization over a significant period of time. The award is presented annually at the National Conference on Outdoor Theatre in October. 

The awardee receives:

  • $500 honorarium
  • NCOT registration waiver
  • Plaque of Recognition
  • Acknowledgment in an SETC publication

Nominations are accepted from May 1st to September 15th annually. 

Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award

The Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award was established to honor one SETC member each year for distinguished service to SETC over a number of years and is presented during the annual SETC Convention awards banquet. Administration of this award is assigned to the Nominations Committee, with the final choice made by vote of the Board of Directors.

If you would like more information about this award and the selection process, please contact us. 

Tom Behm Award

SETC’s Tom Behm Award provides professional development funds — whether to attend a conference or to assist with education credits — to people who have a demonstrated record of professional employment related to the field of Theatre for Young Audiences, Theatre for Youth, or theatre education; OR people who are currently enrolled in a graduate program with emphasis in Theatre for Young Audiences, Theatre for Youth, or Theatre Education.
 
The awardee receives:
  • $1,000 Honorarium 
  • SETC registration to the SETC Annual Convention for the award year
  • Registration to the SETC Teachers Institute for the award year
  • Recognition in SETC publications. 
Submission Period: May 1 - September 15th annually.

Young Scholar's Award

SETC’s History/Theory/Criticism/Literature Committee invites submissions from graduate students and undergraduate students relating to the committee’s interest areas of history, theory, criticism, and literature. One graduate and one undergraduate paper will be chosen to win a cash prize and to present their winning papers at the annual SETC Convention.

The awardee receives: 

  • $400 Honorarium
  • SETC registration to the SETC Annual Convention for the award year
  • Invitation to the Friday Awards Luncheon 
  • Recognition in an SETC publication. 
Submission Period: May 1st - September 15th annually.

Judy B. Dearing Award

SETC provides $5,000 to the Black Theatre Network's Judy B. Dearing Award fund. This initiative was established to encouraging African American individuals to advance professionally in the areas of sound, lighting, costume, and scenic design. 

Utilization of Funds 

The proposed funding will be instrumental in supporting the award's finalists, enabling them to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference annual convention. At the SETC Conventions, they are required to participate in workshops tailored to technical design and production, fostering their growth and expertise in the field. 

Responsibilities 

BTN will assume responsibility for recruiting, administering, and selecting the awardees for the Judy B. Dearing Award. In recognition of its contribution, the SETC will be acknowledged as a supporter and partner in this endeavor on the BTN website and receive public acknowledgment at the annual BTN conference. This partnership will not only enhance the visibility of SETC but also strengthen our network's commitment to professional development in the realm of theatrical design.