Arcade Academy

Learn comedy, have some funny.

Arcade Diversity Scholarship

in honor of Terrence W. Black

We believe that the best comedy reflects the diverse world in which it is presented, and we are dedicated to making our stages representative of our community. The Arcade Diversity Scholarship, in honor of Terrence W. Black through the generous support of his son, provides an opportunity for underrepresented voices in Pittsburgh to learn, practice, and perform comedy on the Arcade stage.

Scholarship recipients will receive a full education in improv comedy, which includes five 8-week sessions of classes, culminating in placement on a regularly-performing Arcade Student Team. Throughout the student’s time in classes, they will learn lessons that build confidence in public speaking, collaboration, and creative expression — all while being immersed in Arcade’s community of performing artists. The goal is to train a new generation of comedic artists that will work and play in Pittsburgh as part of Arcade Comedy Theater’s premier comedy institution.

The application process: 

  1. Complete the application form by December 1, 2019
  2. All applications are reviewed by our committee
  3. Candidates selected for an in-person interview will be notified by December 6
  4. Interviews with committee members will occur at Arcade Comedy Theater on December 10 between 6:30pm and 9:30pm, in 30 minute slots (times will be assigned)
  5. Scholarship recipient(s) will be announced on December 15 and begin taking classes starting session 1, January 2020.

Who is this scholarship for?

Applicants for the Arcade Diversity Scholarship may include people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with mixed physical ability, the neurodivergent community, and other underrepresented groups that may not have access to invest in a comedy education. You must be 18 years or older to enroll in Arcade Academy classes.

We’re here to help:

If you need assistance filling out the application, or have any questions about the scholarship, our facilities, or Arcade Comedy Theater, please contact us!

For questions about the scholarship and our education programs, contact Robin Hitchcock, Academy Manager:

For questions related to the application or our inclusion at Arcade, contact Connor McCanlus, DEAI Coordinator:

Learn more about Arcade’s improv classes here.

The application for the January 2020 scholarship closed at 11:59pm on December 1. Please check back here for future scholarships, or you can email Academy Manager Robin Hitchcock or DEAI Coordinator Connor McCanlus. You can also stay in the loop for opportunities (and other shows, classes, and happenings) by signing up for our newsletter here.

Important Dates:

  • Dec 1, 2019: Application deadline
  • Dec 15, 2019: Recipients announced
  • Jan 2020: Classes start
  • May 2020: Spring scholarships open

“My father was not an artist, but he took pride in supporting the arts; while my mother devoted her retirement to creating art, he devoted his retirement to being a patron of the arts. I honor his legacy by supporting emerging comedic artists. The importance of cultivating diverse voices is unambiguous in my professional work in tech. Diverse perspectives lead to better outcomes. An inclusive environment requires intent, commitment, and investment; with my hope channeled to enable each through this scholarship.”

— Tom Black, Arcade donor

Our Scholarship Committee

  • Abby Fudor, Managing Artistic Director
  • Connor McCanlus, volunteer DEAI Coordinator
  • Robin Hitchcock, Academy Manager
  • In addition to the above Arcade personnel, the application review committee and interview committee includes a group of dedicated volunteers who are artists, educators, and leaders in their fields that reflect the communities to which this scholarship is directed

Mission Statement on Inclusion

Arcade Comedy Theater believes that the best comedy reflects the diverse world in which it is presented. We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment to all artists, staff, and audience members who come through our doors. Arcade will take an active role to ensure equitable practices and remedy when there are disparities in our values. We understand that inclusion is a journey, and that while we work to do good today, we must also work to do better tomorrow.

If you have any questions about our mission of inclusion, please contact our DEAI Coordinator.