Brown University to pay tuition for future actors, directors

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University is providing scholarships to cover the tuition for master’s degree students studying acting and directing.

The Ivy League university in Rhode Island announced the change Friday.

It says it wants to ease student debt and diversify the pool of actors and directors in training, to encourage innovation in the arts and ultimately redefine whose stories are told on stage.

The university will begin providing the funds in the 2018-2019 academic year for students in the Brown/Trinity Rep master of fine arts programs in acting and directing. The university projects about 12 students will benefit.

Patricia Ybarra chairs Brown’s theatre arts and performance studies department. She says even successful artists often can’t repay debt, which deters students from low-income and middle-income families from applying to MFA programs.