Meet the Dr. Kenny Scholarship Fund 2022 Recipients!

Last week was Dr. Kenny’s birthday. 

And in honor of his life and the work he did to encourage young people, we celebrated by awarding two scholarships to two theatermakers. 

I continue to be blown away by the number of applicants we receive for these two scholarship opportunities. Picking finalists was harder than producing a Broadway show, nevermind selecting two winners!

But I did. And I am pleased to introduce you to them . . .

Both of the theatermakers will receive $1,000 towards the pursuit of their theatrical goals.

What they’ve agreed to do:

  • Ask questions along the way so we can help
  • Keep us updated along their journey to success
  • Honor my Dad’s name
  • Kick some theatrical butt

Please meet the 2022 recipients of the Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund Scholarship! Congrats to the both. I know my dad is smiling HUGE today!


William Tanner Mobley
Student of the Arts

School: University of Texas at Arlington
Major: BFA Acting
Year: Junior

What makes him special as a theatermaker:
“[William] creates a positive impact on the lives of his peers by being a leader in the field of performance and academic rigor. He is adept as an actor, videographer, editor, performer, and demonstrates an unyielding dedication and fervor to a career path in the arts. 

He holds himself to a high standard that challenges his ideals and understanding of the craft. He continues to work during summers and breaks to further hone his abilities with a targeted emphasis on furthering his development and understanding of the arts to pave the way for him and his colleagues. As an elite individual I believe that he exhibits the appropriate mix of moral fortitude, creativity, intelligence, aptitude, and attitude to be a remarkable recipient of this opportunity.” – Darius Booker

What are William’s long-term career goals/aspirations:
Preparing to graduate in Fall 2024, Williams’ long-term goal is to entertain people. “I want to spread joy in my work, moving people to do the same. I want to ignite dreams within people. Money isn’t everything, but I would love to make a comfortable amount by doing what I love most and that is making impacts on people’s lives with my performances. I also have this big dream of mine that one day, I can walk into a random movie theatre to buy a ticket to see a movie that I am in and just enjoy it like everyone else in the building.”

What William has to say:
“I hope by the end of my life, I can be confident in saying that I have given everything that I have within me to the things that I love, impacting even just one person with my gifts and inspiring others to do the same.”


Jenn Susi
Freelance Director

About Jenn:
Jenn Susi is a freelance director who is also a youth theater educator. She resides in the same community she was brought up in – the Bronx. And she stays because of the community. 

What makes her special as a theatermaker:
Through her work, she wants to create more visibility and outreach within her community. As a leader in the community and in the industry, she believes it’s important that the stories she tells are thoughtful, safe, relevant, and elevating for both audiences and artists. “In order to continue in this vein, it is my continued goal to have growth in artistic leaders and audiences having eyes on this work to promote and magnify this storytelling.” 

What are Jenn’s long-term career goals/aspirations:
“My long-term goal and aspiration is to become a name that is associated with directing, leading, and being attached to work that facilitates safety, humanity, and stories that give voice to the voiceless and give agency back to those whose stories haven’t been told or have been silenced. The more time and energy I can continue dedicating to this mission and work, the more community I will build within this work for all to see that there is an advocate for artists and for these untold, transformative stories.”

What Jenn has to say:
I have found the following to be salient needs in both life and art:
feeling seen,
feeling safe,
feeling of community.
As a director, it is my unwavering mission to ensure these tenets are the architecture for how we approach our theatre making. With this framework in mind, we can tell stories for
the truth we need,
the truth that educates,
the truth that heals.
This is our power as artists and storytellers. Let’s use it.”


If you’d like to help with my Dad’s mission and support emerging theatermakers, please click here, or email me. 

And if you are a TheaterMaker looking to hear about next year’s scholarship, make sure you follow me on Instagram here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.