The Follies raises funds for a unique arts fund, The Gene Whiteman Follies Scholarship. The Whiteman Scholarship goes to deserving students in the greater Cedar Rapids area who intend to pursue a career in the performing arts. This includes music or theatre major/minors, as well as related areas such as costume, set and lighting design, stage management, stage craft, arts education, etc.
The scholarship is named for beloved Cedar Rapids performer and educator Dr. Gene Whiteman. Gene was a teacher and administrator in Iowa for decades. He was the first principal of Taft Junior High (now Taft Middle School), when it opened in 1965, and mentored dozens of students who later went into education themselves.
As an actor and singer, he performed in countless Theatre Cedar Rapids productions, and 25 Follies. Gene performed his final Follies in 2016 at age 90.
It is our hope that Gene’s legacy as a performer and educator will continue to benefit and inspire artists in perpetuity.
While named for Gene, the Whiteman Scholarship is designed to be a living memorial for any member of the Follies Family. Donations, memorials, or endowments in any amount are accepted in the name of anyone who has performed or worked for The Follies through the years. A list of memorial contributions are listed in each year’s playbill.
> Fill out the application form available on this site beginning October 1.
> The application package must include a performance sample or portfolio of the student’s work.
> Submissions due December 8.
> The applications will be evaluated on quality of application and portfolio by the Follies Board of Directors.
> Applicants who receive a scholarship will also be eligible for an internship or spotlight performance at The Follies if applicable.