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.

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).

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.

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2017 Sherwood Award Finalists

Jenny Foldenauer, Pablo Santiago, and Keith Skretch were selected as finalists for the 2017 Sherwood Award for their exceptional contributions to the Los Angeles theatre landscape, their enthusiasm in pushing formal and aesthetic boundaries, an d their demonstrated dedication to improving their respective artistic fields. On January 17, 2017, Pablo Santiago was named the winner of the 2017 Sherwood Award.

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.

Jenny Foldenauer

Jenny Foldenauer. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging.

Jenny Foldenauer is an L.A.-based costume designer and recipient of the 2014 Ovation, LADCC and Stage Raw awards for Best Costume Design for Theatre @ Boston Court and Rattlestick Playwrights’ Everything You Touch. Jenny applies a variety of influences to her design work, especially considering how found objects and alternative materials can elevate design. She is currently experimenting by incorporating fiber optics and LED lighting into costumes. She holds an MFA in Theatre Design & Production from California Institute of the Arts and a BS in Design from University of California, Davis.

Keith Skretch

Keith Skretch. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging.

Keith Skretch is a video designer that combines practices in video art, installation, interaction design, animation and live performance to craft compelling relationships between image, body and space. As a theatrical video designer he’s worked with artists including Mallory Catlett, Big Dance Theater, Palissimo, Phantom Limb Company, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Grand Lady Dance House, Son of Semele Ensemble, John Gould Rubin, Jay Scheib, Daniel Fish, Travis Preston and Zoe Aja Moore. His multichannel installations have been presented in New York and Los Angeles, and his experimental short “Waves of Grain” screened internationally and went viral online. Skretch has been a repeat collaborator of WNYC’s Radiolab and worked as a visual designer for The Hettema Group. He’s received a Bessie and a Henry Hewes Design Award for his stage work, and he holds degrees from the University of Chicago and CalArts.

The winner will be announced at the LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center.

Meet Past Recipients

Animator, designer, and multimedia artist Miwa Matreyek is the 2016 Sherwood Award winner. Previous recipients include director Sean Cawelti, lighting designer Christopher Kuhl, and costume designer Ann Closs-Farley.

Explore More

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

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.

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. Our 2017 Sherwood Fellowship is currently accepting applications through our Internship Program. For more information, please read the description

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 Coordinator 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.