S. Randolph Edmonds Young Scholars Competition

In recognition of Black Theatre scholar and educator, S. Randolph Edmonds, The Black Theatre Network instituted the S. Randolph Edmonds Young Scholars Competition in 1988. This competition seeks to encourage research and scholarship in Black Theatre. The competition supports the overall mission of BTN, to expose the beauty and complexity of the inherited theatre work of our African American ancestors, as well as, preserve and develop Black Theatre’s unique art form. 


• Papers must be typed, double-spaced, and in MLA format with a bibliography page. If applicable, also include endnotes that demonstrate awareness of formal methods of documentation.

• Papers should be between 10 - 20 pages in length. This does NOT include endnotes and bibliography pages (If a submission longer than 10 pages is selected as a winning entry, the author will need to condense the paper to a focused 10 pages for presentation purposes).

• Please include 1) cover letter stating the entrant’s name, university affiliation, class rank, current and permanent address (if not the same), telephone number, email address and a one paragraph biography, 2) a 250-word abstract, and 3) a headshot. The biography and headshot will be used to feature the winners on the BTN webpage. 

• There may only be ONE submission per student. Students should submit their own work; a professor cannot submit on the student’s behalf

• Students cannot send for the conference planner’s consideration a proposal that represents the same paper that they have entered (or will enter) into this contest.



•Winners will be announced by May 15th, 2019 and will be invited to deliver their papers at the 2019 Black Theatre Network Conference in Winston-Salem, NC to be held July 25-29th 2019 

• A first-place prize of $500.00 and second-place prize of $250.00 will be awarded in both Divisions I (Undergraduate) and II (Graduate) PLUS two night stay in the conference hotel for your attendance at the Young Scholars awards ceremony;

• Winners will participate in a special reception in their honor at the conference; 

• Winners will be announced on the BTN website; and 

• Winners will receive a free one-year membership in the Black Theatre Network and a complimentary conference registration should you choose to attend the entire conference. 



Papers must be received no later than May 1st, 2019 & should be sent via e-mail to: La Tanya L. Rogers, Ph.D., at  LRogers@udc.edu. Please feel free to contact Dr. Rogers by phone (202-274-5372)  or email (link above) with questions or for more information.

Judy Dearing Student Design Competition  

The design competition and awards are presented in memory of distinguished costume designer Judy Dearing.  The purpose of this competition is to encourage Black Theatre students of design and give them an opportunity to have their work exhibited at the National Conference of the Black Theatre Network.

The Judy Dearing Student Design Competition is presented in memory of distinguished costume designer Judy Dearing.  Judy Dearing (1940–1995) was an African American costume designer, dancer, choreographer and educator. She is most well-known for costumes that covered a wide range of theatre and musical productions, including Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize winning drama A Soldier's Play and Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf. 

The purpose of this competition is: 

  • To encourage design students of African descent and present an opportunity to have their work evaluated by professional designers and other theatre professionals. 

  • To provide opportunities for mentorship and develop relationships with professionals in their field. 

  • To expose them to producers and Artistic Directors at theatres nationwide. 

    The winners will have the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Black Theatre Network (BTN) Conference in Winston-Salem, N.C. on July 28 and 29th.

A First Place Award of $500.00 will be presented in each category (Set, Costume and Lights). Each winner will also be the guest for two nights at the BTN conference where they will present their work to the membership. Additionally each winner will be granted one-year BTN membership, and mentoring by a professional.

The competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students of African descent enrolled in American colleges and Universities.  

Application Deadline:  April 5th, 2019

Awards announced May 5th, 2019

Application requirements:


  • Two productions (at least one produced), ground plan, section, elevations, etc., using Vectorworks or AutoCAD.  Sketch/rendering or model photo, research, and statement of design approach.

  • Production photos

  • One page resume


  • Two productions (at least one produced) full production color renderings with fabric, research, and statement of design approach.

  • Production photos

  • One page resume 


  • Two productions (at least one produced) using Vectorworks or AutoCAD,  ground plan, section, paperwork, research notes, magic sheet, and statement of design approach.

  • Production photos

  • One page resume

General:  All Drawings, renderings and documents should be sent as PDF files, all production photos should be sent as JPGs. Total file should be no larger than 15mb. Additionally, if you have a website, please include the link. All entries should be submitted no later than April 5, 2019 to btndearingcompetition@gmail.com.   

Entries will be evaluated by a professional design panel.