A Mainstay of Duke Players, Valerie Muensterman Wins Beinecke Arts Scholarship

Indiana native plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting

Valerie Muensterman Duke University junior Valerie Muensterman has been named one of 18 Beinecke Scholars for 2019.

The Beinecke Scholarship supports students of exceptional promise as they attend the graduate school of their choice. Beinecke recipients receive $4,000 in their senior year of undergraduate studies and $30,000 during graduate school. A student must apply as a junior, demonstrate financial need, and plan to study arts, humanities or social sciences.

Muensterman is from Evansville, Indiana, and studies English with minors in creative writing and theater studies.  She plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting with the support of the Beinecke Scholarship.

A member of the selective University Scholars program, which fully funds her education at Duke, Muensterman has been involved in theater and playwriting since her first semester. As a first-year student, she was chosen by the UK Fulbright Summer Institute to spend three weeks at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, a Lord Rothermere scholarship from Duke allowed her to attend Duke in Oxford where she studied British Victorian Literature.

Last summer, she completed an intensive course in playwriting at the National Theater Institute located at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

At Duke, Muensterman has been involved in the Duke Players as a director, actor, playwriting liaison and executive producer.  She has also served as the director and creator of Duke Playhouse Shorts, a night of short play staged readings written, directed and produced entirely by students. 

“Valerie’s one of the most impressive young writers I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet,” said Neal Bell, professor of the practice of theater studies.  “She’s become a force for new theater at Duke, and an inspiration to her fellow students in the Duke Players organization, who’ve produced their best season in a number of years.”

The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 to honor Edwin, Frederick and Walter Beinecke with the goal to encourage student to pursue graduate studies in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

To learn more about the Beinecke scholarship visit http://fdnweb.org/beinecke.