Sherwood Award Frequently Asked Questions

Expandable element How do I submit a letter of recommendation and when is it due?

In Submittable, the online submission platform for Sherwood Award applications, there is a box in which you will enter the email address of your reference. Your reference will receive an email with a link to upload a reference letter ONLY AFTER your application is completely submitted—it is impossible to send this request while you are still working on your application. The deadline for submitting a letter of recommendation is June 6 at 11:59pm, so we strongly encourage you to contact your recommender ahead of time and to submit your application with enough time for them to upload their letter.

Once your recommender submits a referral, you will receive a confirmation email. You can re-send a recommendation request any time after submitting your application by logging into your account.

Expandable element What exactly is an “emerging” artist?

There is no single determining factor used when deciding who is “emerging.” The term is used to define the trajectory of your career as an artist, not your age or even how long you have been working in the theatre. Artists of all ages and experiences can be considered emerging if they are just now in the process of gaining recognition in the field, even if they have had some early success. If you consider yourself an early-career, emerging artist, you are encouraged to apply.

Expandable element What is Center Theatre Group looking for? What is the “artistic taste” of the Sherwood panel?

The Sherwood Panel is made up of Center Theatre Group's Artistic Staff and key members of the Education and Community Partnerships and Development teams. Each person has a different opinion, but we all share the core mission of the Sherwood Award, which is to discover a talented, emerging, Los Angeles theatre-based artist. We are looking for an authentic voice—someone who is able to articulate their vision and their passion. Don’t worry about fitting our taste—be true to yourself and your vision.

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.
Expandable element Develop a relationship with Center Theatre Group? Does that mean you’re going to hire me?

There is no guarantee of employment, commission, or any future partnership with Center Theatre Group for the Sherwood Award winner. The relationship we are looking to establish is individually defined, but the Sherwood Award winner will be expected to participate in various events as a Center Theatre Group representative. Many of our Sherwood Award winners have gone on to work with us in various capacities, but there is no promise of employment within the parameters of the Sherwood Award.

Expandable element If I live in Los Angeles County, but not Los Angeles, can I still apply?

Yes. Residents of Los Angeles County will be considered as long as they have produced a work in Los Angeles proper and/or directly surrounding areas (Santa Monica, Hollywood, West Hollywood, etc). We are looking for an artist who has lived and worked in Los Angeles for at least two years.

Expandable element What if I live in Los Angeles, but haven’t been produced in Los Angeles yet?

We are looking for someone who has had at least two works produced in Los Angeles—or has designed or directed two works in Los Angeles. If you have not yet been produced in Los Angeles, we encourage you to wait to apply until after that happens.

Expandable element If I’m going to be out of the state/country for all/most of the application process, can I still apply?

Yes. If you make it to the semi-finals/finals, we will deal with communication on an individual basis.

Expandable element Why do you want to know about my influences?

Knowing where your point-of-view originates helps us frame your application and get to know you better as a person and an artist. Tell us what you’ve learned and how you’ve made it your own. We are looking for someone who can articulate their vision in a way that excites other people.

Expandable element What kind of influences are you looking for?

Be honest—let us know the people and ideas that inspire you most, whether it’s a great director or theatre artist, or somebody from a completely different field.

Expandable element When you ask us to reference a concrete example of our work, do you want us to reference our work sample?

We only ask that you are specific with the example that you choose to reference. You can talk about a different project than the one featured in your work sample, but tell us the things about it that we won’t see on your resume.

Expandable element When you ask where I see myself in 5-10 years, do you mean artistically, professionally, or personally?

Focus on artistic growth, but if other areas of your life enhance your overall vision, please include them.

Expandable element Is my resume included in my ten page work sample?

Your resume is separate from your work sample.

Expandable element Do my 10 pages include the title page and character descriptions?

No, if you are submitting 10 pages from a play, you can submit 10 pages of dialogue and one title page/character breakdown.

Expandable element Can I submit writing and film for my work sample?

Yes. If you choose to submit both writing and film samples, please divide the length requirements between the two samples. For example, five pages of writing and two-and-a-half minutes of film.

Expandable element If I'm submitting a selection from a play, should I send the first ten pages or middle pages without context?

Again, use your judgment, but assume that we will know good writing even without context.

Expandable element If I’m submitting a video, what format should I send?

Video in the following formats will be accepted: MP4, AVI, 3GP, WEBM, MKV, MOV, MPG, FLG, WMV, and M4V.

Expandable element Should my video be a sizzle reel or an excerpt from a piece?

We are happy with either, but we do like get a sense of the narrative if you are applying as the writer/creator of the work.

Expandable element What about my resume? Should I only include experience that reflects the title I’m applying as?

No—your resume is the place to showcase everything you’ve done and every title you’ve held—this is the place to tell us your whole story.

Expandable element Can I provide a link to existing examples of my work on my website as my sample(s)?

No, you should carefully craft your sample(s) so that we are seeing your best work. If you link us to your website there is no guarantee that we will see the materials that you want us to see.

Expandable element How many samples of my work should I submit? Is one enough?

It is your choice, but please note that we are looking for artists that are both emerging and consistent. While you may believe that one work represents your vision clearly, consider providing a larger pool of information for us to review.

Expandable element What if I still have questions?

Please email us at and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have.