Awards

Each year we recognize a student group committed to community service, individuals demonstrating leadership and pursuing creative internships, and a full panel of graduating seniors who have left their mark on the performing arts community. Read more about the nomination/application processes, deadlines, and past winners below.

Rewarding Excellence in the Student Performing Arts​:

The George and Jane Wallace Summer Performing Arts Internship Award

Awarded to fund an undergraduate’s summer internship in a professional performing arts or related entertainment organization.

History

More than fifty years ago, George and Jane Wallace met at a Pennsylvania Players audition. Their love for theatre transformed into their love for each other and eventual marriage. After his wife’s death, George decided to honor her by starting an endowment in her name at the University of Pennsylvania. The resulting creation was the Jane Wallace Memorial Theatre Internship Program. In 2009 in honor of George’s 95th year and to celebrate 20 years of the Wallace Award, the Award name was changed to the George and Jane Wallace Summer Theatre Internship Award. In an effort to best serve the growing community of student performing arts at Penn, the award expanded to include media outside of theatre including comedy, dance, entertainment, music, spoken word, storytelling, entertainment, and more. To reflect this expansion, the Award was renamed “The George and Jane Wallace Summer Performing Arts Internship Award.”

Program

The Wallace Award provides one Penn undergraduate with funds to support a summer internship in a professional performing arts or related entertainment organization. The award recipient receives a $3,000 stipend, a portion of which is awarded before their internship. The remainder is awarded upon submission of a journal essay describing the learning experience. Past winners have completed internships at non-profits and arts centers and organizations in Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis, the Berkshires, Paris, and points beyond. Applicants are responsible for securing their internship.

Past Recipients

1990 – David Simon

1991 – Janice Jackson

1992 – Carolyn Kelson

1993 – Bardo Ramirez

1994 – Alison Cote

1995 – Michael Neal Scraggier

1996 – Jeff Klein

1997 – Ruth Mercado

1998 – Marya Sea Kaminski

1999 – Hannah Sassaman

2000 – Erin Reilly

2002 – Joshua Sauerman

2003 – Matt Lipsitz

2004 – Katharine Croke

2005 – Rebecca Goland-Van Ryn

2006 – Julia Baldwin

2007 – Sheira Feuerstein

2008 – Jason Butler

2009 – Elisabeth Humphrey

2010 – Ali-Reza Mersajadi

2011 – Kristen Kinstrey

2012 – Rebecca Adelsheim

2013 – Seth Simons

            Gilberto Vega

2014 – Catalina Mullis

2015 – Jordan Rodnizki
2016 – Helena von Nagy
            Nathaniael McLeod
2017 – Nicole Frazzini
2018 – Hannah Spear
2019 – Logan Flake
2020 – Hannah Paquet
2021 – Christopher Kwok
2022 – Tejaswi Bhavaraju

Application

Please Note

Funding awards are contingent upon the student being able to take part in the internship. Should the changing public health situation render the internship no longer possible before the start of the internship, money will no longer be distributed or (if already distributed), will need to be returned. Funding for international opportunities may be revoked if Global Health Advisories are updated to ban or limit travel.

Applicants must be Penn undergraduates. Juniors will be given preference. Seniors are not eligible to apply. The Award recipient will be selected on the basis of a 3-5 page double-spaced essay.

In your essay, include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your Class Year
  • Your School
  • Your Major
  • Your Hometown
  • Your Activities (on and off campus)

AND address the following issues:

  • What is the extent of your performing arts experience at Penn?
  • What kind of internship are you pursuing and what kind of organizaiton do you want to intern for?
  • Do you have a geographical preference for your internship, and if so, where?
  • How will this experience benefit your professional or academic aspirations?
  • List in preferential order the internship opportunities you would like to explore.

Please note: the selection committee will consider the following areas during the selection process: professional and academic aspirations, type of internship/organization, performing arts experience at Penn, and campus benefit. 

The 2023 Wallace Award application process is now open. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 20th. 

For more information about The Wallace Award, please contact the Director of Platt House at 215-898-2312 or platthouse@pobox.upenn.edu.


Apply for the Wallace Award

The Peter Whinnery Summer Arts Internship Award

Awarded to fund an undergraduate’s summer internship in a theatre arts related field.

History

Peter Whinnery served the students of Penn’s performing arts community for 36 years as the Technical Director. Peter’s iconic 36 years of stagecraft, technical design, and design instruction at the PAC Shop ended upon his retirements in the Spring of 2019. His impact on the student performing arts community as our Technical Director will never be forgotten.

More than a Technical Director, Peter he served as coach, counselor, and friend. For many alumni, the course of their lives was changed because of their relationship with Peter. He created a space for students to explore art and career paths they did not even know existed. The students, alumni, and staff will never forget the magic he created on stage and the way he lit our dreams.

Upon his retirement, alumni came together to honor Peter’s tenure, creating the Peter Whinnery Summer Theatre Arts Internship Award.

Program

The Whinnery Award provides one Penn undergraduate with funds to support a summer internship in a theatre arts related field. The award recipient receives a $2,000 stipend, The first winner of this award will be named in the Spring of 2020.

Past Recipients

2020 – Tias Volker
2021 – Blake Velick
2022 – Devi Bass
            Charlie Ross

Application

Please Note

Funding awards are contingent upon the student being able to take part in the internship. Should the changing public health situation render the internship no longer possible before the start of the internship, money will no longer be distributed or (if already distributed), will need to be returned. Funding for international opportunities may be revoked if Global Health Advisories are updated to ban or limit travel.

Applicants must be Penn undergraduates. Juniors will be given preference. Seniors are not eligible to apply. The Award recipient will be selected on the basis of a 3-5 page double-spaced essay.

In your essay, include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your Class Year
  • Your School
  • Your Major
  • Your Hometown
  • Your Activities (on and off campus)

AND address the following issues:

  • What is the extent of your performing arts experience at Penn?
  • What kind of internship are you pursuing and what kind of organizaiton do you want to intern for?
  • Do you have a geographical preference for your internship, and if so, where?
  • How will this experience benefit your professional or academic aspirations?
  • List in preferential order the internship opportunities you would like to explore.

Please note: the selection committee will consider the following areas during the selection process: professional and academic aspirations, type of internship/organization, performing arts experience at Penn, and campus benefit. 

The 2023 Whinnery Award application process is now open. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 20th. 

For more information about The Whinnery Award, please contact the Director of Platt House at 215-898-2312 or platthouse@pobox.upenn.edu.


Apply for the Peter Whinnery Award

The Stephen Goff Award for Student Performing Arts

Awarded to a graduating senior demonstrating commitment and leadership in the student performing arts.

History

The Stephen Goff Award for Student Performing Arts was founded during the 2017-2018 academic year and is supported by The Mask and Wig Club. The Mask and Wig Club developed this award to honor a graduating senior involved in the student performing arts at Penn.

Program

The Stephen Goff Award for Student Performing Arts rewards a proven and committed student leader at the University of Pennsylvania who best exemplifies the spirit of Penn’s performing arts community.  The Award will be presented to a graduating senior by a representative of the Mask and Wig Club. Winners need not, but may, be affiliated with Mask and Wig.

This award will be presented to a graduating senior who has shown leadership in the Penn student performing arts community.  A special ceremony will be held during Alumni Weekend. The recipient will be recognized in the Commencement Program, and their name will be added to a plaque in Platt Student Performing Arts House.

Past Recipients

2018 – Grant Shao
2019 – Susanna Jaramillo
2020 – Priscilla Felten
2021 – Hannah Paquet
2022 – Erin Hayes

Award Criteria

Key question: Which member of the senior class best exemplifies the spirit of Penn’s performing arts community?

A student leader within the Penn undergraduate performing arts club community who:

  • Has been actively involved in student performing arts productions during a majority of his/her semesters at Penn.
  • Promotes the value of deep involvement in performing arts leadership on campus and is or has been deeply committed to the pursuits of one or several student performing arts groups.
  • Currently holds or has held in the previous three semesters a leadership position in a student performing arts group.

This student leader may distinguish themselves further by demonstrating that they have:

  • Provided support to community members interested in or involved in performing arts opportunities on campus.
  • A record of distinguished service to Penn in addition to the performing arts community (i.e., other extracurricular activities, service, ambassadorship).

Please note: the selection committee will consider the following areas during the selection process: performing arts leadership, impact on the performing arts community, performing arts participation, performing arts service, performing arts mentorship, as well as leadership and campus involvement outside the performing arts.

Definitions & Notes

“Student performing arts groups” are defined as student-led, University-recognized extracurricular groups.  Groups may be:

  • a member group of the Performing Arts Council (PAC), and/or
  • one that practices, performs and/or teaches performing arts, and/or
  • one that uses performing arts in a community service context (e.g., After School Arts Program, Penn Music Mentoring)

Nomination & Application

The 2023 Goff Award nomination and application process is now open. The deadline to nominate a student or yourself is Thursday, March 16th. The deadline to apply once nominated is Wednesday, March 22nd.

If you have any questions, please contact Platt House staff.

For more information about The Goff Award, please contact the Director of Platt House at 215-898-2312 or platthouse@pobox.upenn.edu.


Nominate a Senior for the Stephen Goff Award

The Francis Johnson Baton: An Award for Altruism

Awarded to a student performing arts group demonstrating meaningful and consistent community service.

The Office of the Chaplain and Platt Student Performing Arts House collaborate to bring you the Francis Johnson Baton: An Award for Altruism. Named for Francis Johnson (1792-1844), Penn band leader and internationally renowned African American musician and composer, this award celebrates community service provided by University of Pennsylvania student performing arts groups.

Past Recipients

2013 – 2014     CityStep
2014 – 2015     Disney A Cappella
2015 – 2016     New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir
2016 – 2017     The Mask and Wig Club
2017 – 2018     Front Row Theatre Company
2018 – 2019     Sparks Dance Company
2019 – 2020     Stimulus Children’s Theatre Compoany

Francis JohnsonGet
Award Criteria

The student performing arts group that demonstrates the most meaningful and consistent community service as determined by a committee of Penn staff will be awarded its name upon a plaque to be displayed in Platt Student Performing Arts House and a dinner party hosted by the Office of the Chaplain.

Community service includes, but is not limited to, fundraisers and charitable performances benefiting outside causes, workshops for local public school children, and group participation in After School Arts at Penn (ASAP). Throughout the year, it is the responsibility of the student group to record and evaluate community service. At the close of the academic year, participating student groups will submit a summary of their community service including a reflection on the impact their work has made on their communities and the members within the student performing arts group. Student performing arts groups are not required to be members of the Performing Arts Council (PAC) or have an affiliation with Platt House and/or the Office of the Chaplain to be eligible for this award.

Groups that receive the Award are not eligible to receive it again for the following two academic years.

Application

The 2022 Francis Johnson Baton Award application is now closed. Please check back in Spring 2023 for more information on the 2023 Baton Award application cycle. 

If you have any questions, please contact Platt House staff.

For more information about the Baton Award, please contact the Director of Platt House at 215-898-2312 or platthouse@pobox.upenn.edu.


Apply for the Francis Johnson Baton Award

The Fresnel Award

The Fresnel Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Performing Arts Technical Community was created in 2022 as a yearly award to highlight and elevate the contributions of a technician in the senior class, within the Performing Arts at Penn. The award is given to an individual who selflessly supports, builds, and elevates the tech community. This individual is not someone who seeks the spotlight, but instead, seeks to support those in the spotlight.

The award is handcrafted by the PAC Shop, and utilizes a Fresnel lens that was saved by former Technical Advisor, Peter Whinnery during a renovation of Irvine Auditorium. 

 
Standing award made of a circular lens from a light with a grey name plaque in front.
Award Criteria
Key question: Which member of the senior class best exemplifies the spirit of Penn’s Tech Community for the Performing Arts?A member of the senior class within the Penn performing arts tech community who:

  • Has been actively involved in tech for student performing arts productions during a majority of their semesters at Penn.
  • Has been deeply committed to the technical aspects of one or several student performing arts groups.
  • Has worked tech, held a leadership position in tech, and/or has designed for at least three student performing arts productions.

This student technician may distinguish themselves further by demonstrating that they have:

  • Been actively involved in creating an inclusive and welcoming Tech community.
  • Participated in multiple groups and/or in multiple tech departments.
  • Mentored other technicians for productions.
  • Actively sought out ways to expand, uplift, or educate the Tech community.

A leadership position in tech is defined as: Technical Director, Stage Manager, or Department Lead (Props, Carpentry, Costumes, Lighting, Sound, Projections)
Application

The 2022 Fresnel Award application is now closed. Please check back in Spring 2023 for more information on the 2023 Fresnel Award application cycle. 

If you have any questions, please contact the PAC Shop staff.

Past Recipients

2022 – Anna Collins

The Annual Senior Spotlight Awards

History

During Penn’s first hybrid semester in the spring of 2021, the Senior Spotlight Awards originated to celebrate a graduating class who weathered difficult transitions in their academic and extracurricular life, yet continued to find joy and connection through virtual, socially distanced, and outdoor re-imaginings of their performing arts communities. While the challenges in student life continue to shift year by year, Senior Spotlights remain a powerful way for students to shine light on their graduating peers who have been mentors and inspirations throughout their creative journey.

Program

The Senior Spotlight Award serves to amplify the voices of the student performing arts community. All nominees are recognized at an end-of-year Awards Ceremony and receive a small token to celebrate their achievements.

Nomination

Nomination requirements include a photograph and a short message.

The 2022 Senior Spotlight Award nomination process is now closed. Please check back in Spring 2023 for more information on the 2023 Senior Spotlight Award nomination cycle. 

If you have any questions, please contact Platt House staff.

For more information about the Senior Spotlight Award, please contact the Director of Platt House at 215-898-2312 or platthouse@pobox.upenn.edu.

Past Recipients

Class of 2022

Nikole Bonillas Félix, C’22
Charlotte Cecarelli, C’22, GNU’23
Anyka Chan, ENG’22
Hannah Chan, W’22
Shivani Chatterjee, C’22
Bob Chow
Jaden Cloobeck, C’22
Anna Collins, C’22
Jadel Contreras, C’22
Jessica Conway, C’22
Marina Dauer, C’22
Jacob Denenberg, C’22
Natalie Doppelt, C’22
Siani Ellis, C’22Sabrina Elson, C’22
Jazmín Estevez-Rosas, C’22
Peter Fera, C’22
Luca Fontes, C’22
Erin Hayes, C’22, G’22
Zhexuan Huang
Christina Kim, ENG’22
Chris Kwok, C’22
Eloise L’Her, C’22, G’22
Qinlin Li, C’22
Kewen Ashley Lin, C’22
Cole Marshall, C’22
Ryan McLaughlin, C’22
Morgan McLees, ENG’22
Rowana Miller, C’22
Daryn Naiburg-Smith, C’22
Dixon O’Banion, C’22
Damola Ogunlade, C’22
Angie Pajares, C’22
Yifei Pei, C’22
 Jenna Pollack, C’22
Yuhong Mary Qin, EE’22, W’22
Selinda Qiu, C’22
Srinidhi Ramakrishna, C’22
Divya Ramamurthy, W’22
Ashley Robinson, C’22
Sophie Roling, C’22
Ashley Robinson, C’22
Sophie Roling, C’22
Zoe Roman, C’22
Adam Rose, C’22
Simran Sawhney, W’22
Analyn Sil, C’22
Sara Kate Silva, C’22
Kristen Smith, C’22
Simon Stephanos, C’22
Rachel Swym, C’22
Zhiyao Tang, EE’22, GEE’23
Bre Trainor, N’22, GNU’24
Homer Wang, GEN’22, W’22
Hansheng Hanson Wang
Yihan Wang, W’22
Yingfan Christina Wang, C’22, LPS’22
Amanda Watson, N’22, GR’25
Yuwen Wong, C’22
Madison Woods, C’22
Wenyi Xu, C’22
Kevin Zhao, ENG’22
Yixin Zhao
Read the 2022 Senior Spotlight Nominations

Class of 2021

John Anderson, W’21
Whitney Barrett, C’21
Leah Baxter, C’21
Connor Beard, C’21
Reagan, Bracknell, C’21
Sabrina de Brito, C’21
Tia Denby, ENG’21
Jacob Dubner, C’21
Alec Escobar, C’21
Lucy Fang, C’21, G’21
David Fernandez, C’21
Adam First, C’21
Kelly Flynn, C’21
Joelle Gross, C’21
Liam Hosey, ENG’21
Kassidy Houston, C’21
Manya Johnston-Ramirez, C’21
Landry Krebs, C’21
Dana Lane, C’21
Hannah Lottenberg, C’21
Evan McClelland, C’21, GR’22
Madeleine McGrath, C’21, G’23
Nina McManus, W’21
Jake Milner, W’21
James Noonan, C’21
Shalom Obiago, C’21
Zoe Osborne, C’21
Kelsey Padilla, C’21
Hannah Paquet, C’21
Lauren Payton, C’21
Rachel Perlstein, C’21
Henry Platt, C’21
Sarah Schwarz, C’21
Carrie Shade, C’21
Ayaka Shimada, C’21
Janvi Shukla, C’21
Aditya Singh, W’21
Declan Stecher, C’21
Olvin Villatoro, W’21
Tias Volker, C’21
Bernie Wang, C21, ENG21
Lizzie Youshaei, W’21
Mic Zammuto, C’21
Michelle Zhou, C’21


Nominate for the Senior Spotlight Award