National Playwriting Program

National Playwriting Program Overview

The National Playwriting Program’s Mission Statement

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Playwriting Program is dedicated to supporting student playwrights in the development of their original work for the stage, with dramaturgical and performance opportunities that emphasize respect of the written word and for the playwright’s contribution to the theatrical process.

Call for New Plays!

The National Playwriting Program of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival offers a number of awards for plays submitted in the 10-minute, one-act and full length category.

New For This Year

Region VIII has added a maximum 4-minute original monologue category. While monologues may be comedic, they are not intended to be “stand-up routines,” but rather true dramatic monologues with beginning, middle, and end. Only students are eligible.

Monologue submissions may be sent directly to Robin Russin, Region VIII NPP Chair at: rrussin@ucr.edu

We are offering The Planet Earth Award for a 10-minute play that addresses sustainability and our responsibility to the planet. For additional information on this and other awards, CLICK HERE.

Regional and National Festival invitations

Region VIII sponsors both a 10-minute and a one act-play competition at our regional festival (all one-acts are defined as “John Cauble” plays and are considered for the “John Cauble Award”). Six 10-minute plays and three one-act plays are selected through an exchange process with another region of the country. All plays are read “blind” (without the author’s name or school affiliation) to avoid bias in the selection process. The six 10-minute plays and three one-acts selected will be presented as staged readings at the regional festival.
A 10-Minute play is ten pages or less not including title page. All student written 10-Minute play submissions are considered for the Gary Garrison 10-Minute Play Award. Six of the submitted plays will be invited to the regional festival and presented in a concert reading. Two of the six plays will be sent forward to the national office for consideration at the national level.
A one-act play is longer that 10 pages and runs less than one hour.

A group of qualified respondents will select 2 of the 10-minute plays and 2 of the one-acts as national semi-finalists. Those plays will be considered for invitation to the national festival in Washington DC. in the spring. The plays will be judged as written work, not based on the presentations at festival.

The National Playwriting Program’s Mandate

  1. To offer progressive mentorship of student playwrights that honors the integrity of individual voice, and is aimed at nurturing students into professional playwrights.
  2. To strive to create links with individual artists and institutions in the professional sphere and to provide opportunities for the production of student work.
  3. To advocate for theatrical text and to preserve the integrity of the playwright’s intent within all stages of the collaborative process.
  4. To engage and support faculty members who are developing new work in their theatre programs.

The Playwright’s Bill of Rights: We cannot cut or change lines, alter the structure of the play, or essential stage directions without permission. Playwrights, agents and theatrical publishing companies are approachable and willing to work with us to obtain that permission. We should start that negotiation well before rehearsals begin.

AWARD DESCRIPTIONS AND GUIDELINES

Region VIII of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival National Playwriting Program sponsors a series of 10-Minute, one-act, and full length plays each year.

At our regional festival we invite the top six 10-minute plays and the top 3 one-acts submitted throughout the year to be presented at our regional festival. Two of the six ten minute plays and two of the three one-acts will be selected as National Semi-Finalists and forwarded for consideration by the National Festival. If chosen those playwrights will be invited to attend the National Festival in Washington DC, traditionally in April.

There are a series of awards that a play can be considered for. Each award has slightly different requirements in terms of eligibility and deadlines for submission. Most are for student written work though some awards are open to faculty and working playwrights.

Student Written Work Requires That:

A student playwright must be enrolled at a university or college within Region VIII. An undergraduate student must carry a minimum of 6 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours); a graduate student must carry 3 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours. Undergraduate, graduate, and continuing part-time student playwrights must be matriculating, degree-seeking students. Students pursuing degrees online are also eligible provided they meet these same enrollment guidelines. For descriptions on each award, eligibility and submission deadlines,

Faculty Playwrights

Faculty who have presented work as an associate or participating entry through KCACTF are eligible for: the David Mark Cohen Award, The Rosa Parks Award, the KCACTF Musical Theater Award, and the Hip Hop Theater Creator Award.  For descriptions on each award, eligibility and submission deadlines, download and/or read this file: NPP Award Descriptions and Guidelines

Working Playwrights

Working Playwrights are eligible ONLY for the David Mark Cohen Award and the Hip Hop Theater Creator Award.

For descriptions on each award, eligibility and submission deadlines, CLICK HERE.

Submissions Guidelines

Plays are accepted in the following categories.

10-Minute Plays:  A play 10-pages or fewer in length (12 point font)

One-Act Plays:  A play more than 10 pages in length with a running time less than one hour.

Full-Length Plays: a play more than one hour in length.

HOW TO SUBMIT

NPP Region 8 is now using Submittable.com.

Clicking the link below will take you to our private submission page.  You will be asked to set up a username and password.  (There is no charge for this.)  All scripts must be submitted blind: No Author or School Affiliation on document.  Scripts are accepted in .pdf, .doc and .docx format only.  When you are ready click the link below to set up your username and password.  Then scroll to select your play category and submit.

https://kcactf-region8.submittable.com/submit

Questions about submissions should be directed to the regional NPP Chair

Robin Russin
Region VIII National Playwriting Program Chair
University of California, Riverside
rrussin@ucr.edu

Submission Deadlines:

10-Minute Plays: November 1st

Additional 10-Minute Play Awards

Planet Earth Award: November1st

Hip Hop Theater Creator Award: November1st

Region VIII Original Monologue Award: November1st

One-Act Plays: November 1st

Additional One-Act Play Awards

Planet Earth Award: November1st

The Darrell Ayers Theater for Young Audiences Award: November1st

Hip Hop Theater Creator Award: November1st

Rosa Parks Playwriting Award: November1st

Full Length Plays: December 1st

Additional Full Length Awards

Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting: December 1st

The Darrell Ayers Theater for Young Audiences Award: December 1st

Lorraine Hansberry Award: December 1st

Jean Kennedy Smith Award: December 1st

Paula Vogel Award: December 1st

Latinidad Award: December 1st

Paul Stephen Lim Asian- American Playwriting Award: December 1st

National Undergraduate Playwriting Award: December 1st (MUST BE STUDENT WRITTEN AND HAVE (AT MINIMUM) RECEIVED A WORKSHOP OR READING)

Blanche and Irving Laurie Musical Theater Award:  December 1st (MUST BE STUDENT WRITTEN AND HAVE (AT MINIMUM) RECEIVED A WORKSHOP OR READING)

Rosa Parks Playwriting Award: December 1st (MAY BE STUDENT OR FACULTY WRITTEN)

Hip Hop Theater Creator Award: December 1st (MAY BE STUDENT, FACULTY OR WORKING PLAYWRIGHT WRITTEN)

David Mark Cohen Award: November1st (REQUIRE THAT THE WORK HAD A FULL PRODUCTION AND WAS ENTERED AS AND ASSOCIATE OR PARTICIPATING ENTRY IN KCACTF)

Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting award: December 1st (REQUIRE THAT THE WORK HAD A FULL PRODUCTION AND WAS ENTERED AS AND ASSOCIATE OR PARTICIPATING ENTRY IN KCACTF)

Eligibility

To be eligible for the participation in the regional festival and/or any of the awards, a playwright must be a student at a university or college within Region VIII. Additionally, an undergraduate student must carry a minimum of 6 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours); a graduate student must carry 3 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours). Undergraduate, graduate, and continuing part-time student playwrights must be matriculating, degree-seeking students. Students pursuing degrees on-line are also eligible provided they meet these same enrollment guidelines.

A student that meets these eligibility requirements and that attends a school that has entered at least one Associate and Participating Production, may enter 2 ten-minute plays, 2 one-act plays, and 2 full-length plays for the festival and/or Michael Kanin awards.

Download and/or read this file: NPP Award Descriptions and Guidelines

 

Faculty members at a school with an Associate or Participating entry may submit a full length play for The Musical Theater Award, The David Mark Cohen Award and Rosa Parks Award, download and/or read this file: NPP Award Descriptions and Guidelines

Professional Playwrights who have produced their work at a KCACTF affiliated school can submit their work for the David Mark Cohen Award, download and/or read this file: NPP Award Descriptions and Guidelines

You may still submit your play if you are a student from a school without an Associate or Participating entry in the current year’s festival. However, a $10.00 “script handling” fee is required.

Submit your play as described above, then, make out a check to:

ACTF Management, LTD., Region VIII

and mail to:

Gil Gonzalez

KCACTF Region VIII Chair

Whittier College

13406 Philadelphia Street

Whittier, CA 90608