The statewide service organization for all nonprofit theatres in Texas.

The Marilyn Pool Allen Directing Scholarship

Applications Closed for 2018

Scholarship Application Form

Marilyn Pool Allen has been active in community theatre for many years. One of the founding members of Texas Nonprofit Theatres and a Past President of the organization, Marilyn is an accomplished director and actress, as well as a valued arts leader. She attended West Texas A & M University and received her MFA from Stanford University. She studied acting under B. Iden Payne and directing under Dr. Frances Hodge. Before moving to Midland, Texas, where she currently resides, Marilyn was the Managing Director of Amarillo Little Theatre in the Texas panhandle and worked with the Horseshoe Players. She was on the board of the American Theatre Association (ATA) before its demise, and later served on the board of the American Association of Community Theatre as the Region VI Representative and as Vice President of Long-Range Planning. She served on the board of Midland Community Theatre (MCT) for six years and served as Chair for the 2005 AACTFest at MCT. Her acting and directing skills were put to use at the Permian Playhouse and the Globe of the Great Southwest in Odessa as well as at MCT.
         Though her resume is extensive and her honors numerous, Marilyn's passion now lies in the development of directing expertise. Such expertise is the basis for achieving excellence, she believes, lifting the quality of productions in every aspect of performance. To that end, she has made a generous contribution to establish the funding source for the Marilyn Pool Allen Directing Scholarship.
        Texas Nonprofit Theatres is honored to administer the Marilyn Pool Allen Directing Scholarship Fund and looks forward to helping students of all ages advance in their studies. See details of application below.


  • To develop and support excellence in community theatre through advanced directing study


  • To provide financial support for the continuing education of Directors


  • Scholarship may or may not be awarded annually based upon quality of submissions.
  • More than one Scholarship may be awarded in any given year.
  • Monies to cover tuition, expenses, and fees.
  • Up to $1000 Award available annually.
  • Scholarship money is sent to program/company/school. Other payment arrangements are possible upon consultation.
  • Scholarships/program must be at a TNT Member Theatre or TNT Member College/University, or be sanctioned by TNT (IATA, USITT, AACT, TYA)

Who May Apply

  • Anyone who has previously completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline- doesn't have to be arts related
  • Continuing education students
  • Previous Scholarship recipients may apply again


  • Not available for current semester
  • Award is not retroactive
  • Award is void if student is not accepted into proposed program


  • Applicant must have the sponsorship/support of a current TNT Member Theatre/College - should include history of community theatre involvement.
  • Applicant must be a TNT Individual Member in good standing.
  • Applications due in February - for exact date see Application Form

Selection Committee

  • A selection committee of three to five people will be formed to review applications and conduct interviews.
  • Committee members must be TNT Members with a directing background or current employment as a director.
  • The Committee will evaluate all applications and may select several for phone or personal interviews.
  • Financial need is not a factor for selection of award.

Application Process - Applicant must submit:

Scholarship Application Form
  • The Scholarship Application Form and the following attachments:
  • A resume with detailed curriculum vitae.
  • Letter(s) of reference/support from sponsoring TNT Member theatre/college.
  • Letter of Intent with details on the program, course, conference, or event the Scholarship will be used to attend.
  • No more than one-page essay on “How will this (project, course, conference, or event) further your journey as a director?”

Completion of Project and Reporting

  • An evaluation of the experience from the Candidate must be submitted to the Scholarship Committee upon completion of the program, course, conference, or event.

Previous Scholarship Awardees

2018 - Bridget Gates

In March 2018, the Scholarship Committee of the Marilyn Pool Allen Directing Scholarship announced the selection of Bridget Gatesas its 2018 recipient. Bridget will be attending the Blackfriars Conference in Virginia, through the American Shakespeare Center in October of 2019. Bridget Gates is the full time Artistic Director of the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, teaching and directing Shakespeare for all  ages of actors and students.  This last year she taught the children's Shakespeare workshops for the Texas A&M First Folio event.  She is the coordinator of the Shakespeare High School Monologue Competition for the ESU, Austin branch. Bridget is a professional actress and director, as well, in Central Texas.  Her greatest loves and joys in life are her husband, Kevin, and 4 year old daughter,  Rosalind.

2017 - Hope Wilton

In March 2017, the Scholarship Committee of the Marilyn Pool Allen Directing Scholarship announced the selection of Hope Wilton as its 2017 recipient. Hope used the funds to attend the AATE Conference in New Orleans to attend workshops to aid in her development as a director. Hope joined the Kids Who Care Staff in Fort Worth, TX, as the Education Director after receiving her BFA in Theatre with an emphasis in Theatre Education and her Teacher Certification from the University of Texas at Austin. As a Director, Hope recently lead the productions of Lily Plants a Garden at Anderson High School and Kentucky Cycle: Fire in the Hole at Hendrickson High School. As an Assistant Director and Assistant to the Director, she has cultivated a long career with Kids Who Care, assisting with the productions of The Little Mermaid, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Shrek, Peter Pan, and many July Original Works, including this year’s The King’s Door. This is her first year as Assistant Director of the KWC Resident Company. As a new member of TNT and recipient of the Marilyn Pool Allen Directing Scholarship, Hope is honored to have the opportunity to continue growing in her craft this August as she attends the 2017 AATE National Conference.

Thank you to our Partners

TNT programs made possible in part by

Arts Council of Fort Worth