Building her own Stage

With help from the Wilmot College Scholarship

My name is Zoe Rose Kriegler-Wenk and I am a 2015 recipient of the Ronald P. Wilmot College Scholarship, an award housed at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. The scholarship has helped me afford tuition at Smith College, where I am currently a sophomore. College has been an enriching experience, and I would love to share some highlights with the community in order to express my gratitude for the support that I’ve received.

At Smith, first-year students are housed with 50-100 of their bright and impressive peers, who they have the option to live with for all four years. In my experience, this fosters a close-knit community. The house I live in participates in everything from weekly house council meetings to teatime every Friday in the living room. This year, I was elected the Head of New Students. My job is to welcome all the freshman and transfer students to our house, and to make sure their transition to college is as smooth as possible throughout the year. 

I am a Theatre major with an emphasis on Playwriting, and an English minor. I am also studying German and plan to go abroad to Hamburg in the spring of 2017. This year, I feel as though I have really found my niche. Some of my favorite courses have included Playwriting, African-American Female Playwrights, and German Fairytales. The Theatre major is much more interdisciplinary than many people realize. My classes include literary and critical analysis of plays, performance-based classes, history of the theatre, and technical aspects of theatre production and design, as well as directorial and playwriting classes. Next semester, I look forward to taking Theatre for Social Change in conjunction with an education class, both of which include applied work at nearby schools.

In addition to course work, I am involved in a number of clubs and activities on campus. I am the Assistant Artistic Director of the Student Theatre Committee, charged with organizing, producing and scheduling student-run performances. This semester we produced a staged reading of a student’s original work, facilitated a new student theatre lab, and produced an experimental theatre piece that I co-devised and co-directed, centered on the theme of protest in America. This coming semester, I look forward to assistant stage managing a main stage show, designing and running sound for a graduate student's thesis project, facilitating a 24-hour theatre lab, auditioning for departmental shows, and producing a staged reading of an original play that I wrote this past summer. In addition to theatre, I am involved in a club called Music and Memory that is working to use music to combat memory loss in patients at a local nursing home.

During this time of transition, my Jewish life has provided an anchor for me. I would like to express my gratitude once again to the generous donors who help send students like me to college. All of these experiences were made possible thanks to the support I received from the Ronald P. Wilmot Scholarship committee, the Federation, and the larger Jewish community.

Zoe, second from right, with members of Smith's Student Theatre Committee

The Federation provides scholarships for students to attend undergraduate or graduate programs at accredited, nonprofit colleges or universities. Applications for the 2016-17 school year will open February 1 and close April 17. 

Categories: Community


January 13, 2016


Zoe Rose Kriegler-Wenk