DiOversity Scholarship

Celebrating Our 2019 DiOversity Scholars!

The DiOversity Scholarship is a scholarship offered to POC, LGBTQIA, and disabled individuals in order to complete the iO improv program.  

In September, we welcomed 18 performers into the theater after the last round of scholarship auditions. 

Six performers were given full rides through the program: Adisa Williams, Bianca Anderson, Diego Salinas, Renee Hansel,  Sa’shel Del, and Seynique Smythe. 
Another ten were chosen for a 4-month intensive covering Levels 1-3, taught by iO’s Creative Director, Kevin Knickerbocker: Alex Fernandez, Hope Lee, Jason Tolliver, Kimberly Iheme, Kristen Aviles, Owais Ahmed, PJ Walker, Portia Berry, Valentina Espinosa, and Warren Stokes. 
And two performers, because of their experience level, were selected for iO’s The Pool, starting early next year: Hoja Lopez and Vinny Thomas.

Next Auditions: The next auditions for the DiOversity Scholarship will be held in early March 2020. 

Below are some FAQs about the program – and if you’d like to sign up for an info mailing list, please click here

And please reach out to us here with any questions about the program.
Thank you!

The DiOversity Scholarship Committee

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General Overview:
The DiOversity Scholarship is a scholarship offered to people of color, members of the LGBTQIA community, and disabled individuals in order to complete the iO improv program for free. It’s also possible that certain additional scholarships could be given out offering a discount on the training program, or a specific class for free — it all depends on the interest, turnout, and financial situation of the theater.
The scholarship is one of many ways that iO is trying to ensure that more marginalized voices and performers from communities underrepresented at our theater, and in society at large, have a chance to get on iO’s stage and put great comedy out into the world.

How Does it Work?
The first step to the DiOversity Scholarship is a short written application, which will then be followed by an improv-based audition. I don’t want this to scare anyone off! The auditions take place in a very supportive environment and are run by a number of wonderful performers at iO. No improv skill is required to audition – only a willingness to play and have fun and support your teammates!

Is the Scholarship Available to Those Already In Classes?
This is possible, but will be decided on a case-by-case basis. If you are already enrolled in the program but are having financial difficulty, please contact me with more information and I will reach out when I know what the process will be.

The Summer Intensive:
We’ve gotten many questions about whether the DiOversity Scholarship can apply to the Summer Intensive Program that iO hosts each year. Unfortunately, it does not apply — the scholarship only applies to iO’s year-long Training Center. The reasoning for this is that the scholarship is designed not only to give the opportunity of the entire training program, but also to give scholars opportunities outside of the classroom during their time in classes, through social events, shows, mentorships with existing iO performers, and more. For this reason, all scholarship recipients must be able to go through the whole program.