Center Theatre Group’s $10,000 Richard E. Sherwood Award for emerging theatre artists is given annually to nurture innovative and adventurous Los Angeles area-based theatre artists of promise.

Meet Past Recipients

The Sherwood Award cultivates emerging artists and invites them to engage in a professional relationship with Center Theatre Group. Sherwood winners demonstrate leadership qualities, push existing boundaries, and are dedicated to improving the future of their respective artistic fields (which have included direction, design, puppetry, and playwriting, among others).

Animator, designer, and multimedia artist Miwa Matreyek is the 2016 Sherwood Award winner. Previous recipients include director Ameenah Kaplan, playwright Keith Josef Adkins, and costume designer Ann Closs-Farley. The winner is announced at the LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards ceremony.

If we are to have a dynamic theatre expressing the world of the 21st century, we must recognize and nourish the explorative artist, particularly in the struggle of the early years of a career.

Dee Sherwood, wife of the late Richard E. Sherwood

The Sherwood Award was established in 1996 by the Sherwood family in memory of Richard E. Sherwood, a patron of the arts who was passionately committed to theatre and had a special appreciation for the energy and talent of emerging artists. A former president of LACMA, he was president and then chairman of the Center Theatre Group Board of Directors from 1980 until his passing in 1993.

For more information, please contact

Sherwood Award requirements:

Applicants must be:

  • An individual artist (no groups or teams)
  • A resident of Los Angeles for at least two years
  • An artist who has developed/collaborated on at least two fully-produced projects in Los Angeles
  • Emerging in their field (which does not reflect the age of the artists, but where they are in the trajectory of their careers)

Sherwood Award priorities:

Competitive candidates will demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Innovative—introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking
  • Pushing boundaries—extending frontiers, experimenting, challenging the theatrical norm, finding new forms of artistic expression
  • Exceptional talent—the ability to capture the attention of the audience through pure skill and craft, a natural ability or aptitude in the selected field, translating passion and dedication into works of art, etc.
  • Effective communication—theatre artists who can passionately and effectively communicate their point of view and distinct artistic voice.

About the Sherwood Award Application Process

There are three phases in the Sherwood Award application process.

Phase One (June – July): Applications are reviewed by the Sherwood Artistic Program Coordinators and the Sherwood Fellow. Candidates’ submitted application, professional history, and one work sample will be reviewed.

Phase Two (July – August): Approximately 8 semi-finalists will be selected. Each may be asked to submit up to two additional work samples for review. Semi-finalists will be reviewed by an external panel of professionals, who will make recommendations to the Sherwood Artistic Program Coordinators and the Sherwood Fellow. These applicants will then interview with the Sherwood Artistic Program Coordinators and Fellow. Three finalists will then be selected.

Phase Three (September 2016 – Winter 2017): The three finalists will interview with the Sherwood Award Panel comprised of Dee Sherwood, the Sherwood Coordinators and Fellow, and additional Center Theatre Group artistic staff. By this point, all members of the Panel will have reviewed the candidates’ work. Finalists will be announced in early October, and the Sherwood Award recipient will be announced at the Ovation Awards.

Sherwood Fellowship

To aid the Sherwood Artistic Programs Coordinator in the Sherwood Award recipient search, a professional fellowship, with stipend, is offered to an emerging and aspiring arts professional. (2016 position already filled. 2017 position will be announced early 2017.)

The Sherwood Fellowship is offered to emerging and aspiring arts professionals. It is offered annually as a professional fellowship for the duration of seven months. Fellows are paid a stipend of $2,000.

The Sherwood Fellow supports the Sherwood Artistic Program Coordinators and Center Theatre Group's Artistic Development Program in the administration of the Sherwood Award. In preparation for assisting in the coordination of the Sherwood Award process, the fellow receives a mentorship in contemporary theatre and gains exposure to contemporary work being presented in Los Angeles.

To request more information about the Sherwood Fellowship, please e-mail

Our application for the 2017 Sherwood Award is now closed. Applications for the 2018 Sherwood Award will be available spring of 2017.