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

The Sherwood Award nurtures emerging artists and invites them to engage in a professional relationship with Center Theatre Group. Sherwood Award recipients demonstrate leadership qualities, push existing boundaries, and are dedicated to improving the future of their respective artistic fields. Applications are opened each spring. Artists are not limited by title, role, or genre, but they must have a relationship to contemporary performance rooted in theatre.

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.

Submissions for the 2018 Sherwood Award application have closed. We are currently reviewing applications. The awardee and the two finalists will be notified in early October.

For more information or any questions about the Sherwood Award, 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 Coordinator, the Sherwood Fellow, and one external reviewer. Applicant’s submitted application, professional history and one work sample will be reviewed.
Phase Two (July – August)
Approximately eight 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 Coordinator and the Sherwood Fellow. These applicants will then interview with the Sherwood Artistic Program Coordinator and Fellow. Three finalists will then be selected.
Phase Three (September – November)
The three finalists will interview with the Sherwood Award Panel comprised of Dee Sherwood, the Sherwood Coordinator 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 in early November.

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

2017 Sherwood Award Recipient

On January 17, 2017 Center Theatre Group selected lighting designer Pablo Santiago as the 2017 Sherwood Award recipient for his exceptional contribution to the Los Angeles theatre landscape and his work as an innovative and adventurous artist. Learn more about other past recipients.

Pablo Santiago

Pablo Santiago. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging.

Pablo Santiago is a lighting designer originally from Chiapas, México. Pablo found a home in Los Angeles while he worked in the film industry for 15 years before obtaining an MFA in Lighting Design from UCLA and transitioning into live stage design. Pablo integrates color theory into his designs and surprises collaborators with innovative plots. Pablo is particularly interested in projects that highlight social justice issues and experiment with time onstage. Pablo lights theater, opera, dance, and gallery work. His design in Premeditation was nominated for an Ovation Award in 2014 and he won a Stage Raw Award for Brother’s Size in 2015. Upcoming projects include the opera Breaking the Waves at the Perelman Theater for OperaPhila and Skirball Center in NYC, Destiny of Desire at South Coast Rep and Goodman Theatre in Chicago and Zoot Suit at the Mark Taper Forum.

Sherwood Fellowship

2017 Sherwood Fellow Diana Sanchez

To aid the Sherwood Artistic Programs Coordinator and Center Theatre Group's Artistic Development Program in the administration and coordination of the award process, a professional fellowship is offered to an emerging and aspiring arts professional. In addition to a stipend, the fellow receives a mentorship in contemporary theatre and gains exposure to contemporary work being presented in Los Angeles.

Our 2017 Sherwood Fellow is Diana Sanchez. A recent graduate of the University of California Berkeley, where she received her Bachelor’s degrees in Art and Art History, Diana is delighted to be part of the 2017 Sherwood Award team. She is a Getty Multicultural Internship Program alumna and has continually worked most recently with the Troubadour Theater Company in their productions of Haunted House Party, Little Drummer Bowie, and currently with Roman Holidays at the Getty Villa.

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