Smithfield Little Theatre presents scholarships

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Smithfield Little Theatre Performing Arts and Educational Scholarship Selection Committee has named its three scholarship recipients for 2022. 

The winners, who will each receive a $1,500 scholarship, “represent an excellent cross-section of our area and respective school systems,” said Scholarship Program Chair Elaine Dairo. “These students are avid theater and community participants.”

The recipients are:

  • Aubrey Price from Smithfield High School, attending James Madison University and majoring in Marketing. She is the daughter of Jason and Amber Price.
  • Matthew Miller from Windsor High School, attending Virginia Tech and majoring in Biology. He is the son of Mark and Carmen Miller.
  • Rachel Hall, a former homeschooled student attending The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and majoring in Dance Theatre. She is the daughter of Robert and Leigh Hall.  

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“The $1,500 check will allow them to supplement their educational endeavors in their varied fields of studies,” Dairo said. “We look forward to hearing more about them as they pursue their degrees.”

The scholarship’s aim is to provide financial support to a deserving student who has shown interest in the performing arts, substantial community involvement, high academic standards, solid character and is pursuing full-time higher education at a two or four-year accredited college or university. It is awarded annually to high school graduating seniors or current college students from the Western Tidewater area.

“The scholarship award program was initiated during our 50th anniversary celebration. We’re looking forward to more corporate sponsors in the future,” said Dairo. 

The initial 2012 effort was kick-started by a $5,000 donation from Farmers Bank with matching gifts from Smithfield Little Theatre and requests made by Dairo in the community.

SLT audiences continue to supplement those efforts in concessions purchased at the theater.

“SLT would like to extend a big thank you to our ever-supportive community,” Dairo said. “We are so fortunate to have you and so happy to be able to have full seasons again.”

The award recipients were chosen by a selection board independent of the SLT Board of Directors. The board included Hugh Copeland, executive director of Hurrah Players; Susan Babiy-Lawrence, retired executive director of Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts; and Elaine Abicht, retired executive of Smithfield Foods, co-owner of The Christmas Store in Smithfield and co-founder of the nonprofit Smithfield Music.