- The Mission of the National Playwriting Program
- What Happens at the Regional Festival
- Script Submission and Selection
- Awards and Submission Deadlines
The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s National Playwriting Program (NPP) seeks to identify student playwrights whose work is promising, dynamic, and above all, creative. NPP’s central mission is to develop young playwrights and their work at Region 2’s Festival. Playwrights who are chosen to receive a concert reading of their work will receive valuable feedback that can be used to further develop and refine their work. This program is executed through the support of the NPP’s team of professional writers, directors, and dramaturgs, who bring their expertise to festival every year. Region 2‘s NPP goals for Festival are:
- To help the student playwright harness his/her creative vision and see the potential in his/her own work, which is presented before an informed and supportive audience;
- To provide a forum for the student playwright to receive guidance and sensitive, thought-provoking feedback from talented professionals in the field that will help the playwright further sculpt the work;
- To teach the student playwright to practice the process and etiquette of new play development.
NPP exists for your growth and development as a playwright, as a dramatist, and so that you can have your voice heard. Take advantage of the many opportunities NPP offers to both undergraduate and graduate playwrights. Remember that writing with more frequency and variety betters your chances of developing your voice and making an impact on the theatre. To that end, we invite you to join us in our passion: the development of new plays.
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.
We look forward to meeting you at the festival!
Form teams for readings playwrights have the opportunity to hear their plays in a concert reading before a knowledgeable audience. There are award opportunities, but playwrights get many valuable experiences from the reading process such as a clearer understanding of the work, a chance to hear industry professional respond to the new plays, and an opportunity to engage in a development process the brings together the playwrights, actors, dramaturgs, and directors during the festival.
The concert reading is one where actors will still have “scripts in hand”. Actors may have entrances and exits. This virtual presentation is the culmination of a week long focus on the text. The dramaturg, actors, and directors are all there to help the playwright actually hear what is on the page. Because of that, we keep things stripped down and focused so we can focus in on the words of the plays. Those scripts selected for the 10-minute and One-Act categories will be given a concert reading during the week. NPP follows the Actors’ Equity Staged Reading Guidelines, which are the same rules followed by the KCACTF National Festival in Washington, DC, each spring.
Casting for your play is done during the first full day at festival. Directors and playwrights will spend time looking at self-tapes that match their performer needs. A majority of the videos will be collected through Submittable before the festival. Those who have not submitted an audition tape before the festival will have a chance to create a self-tape on the day of the Festival Check-in and Registration. NPP will be contacts playwrights about any specific casting needs before the festival.
Rehearsals are built into the NPP festival schedule. If rehearsals outside of the pre-planned times are needed (as a replacement, not additional time) you will be able to work that out between all those involved in the readings (cast, playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs).
Awards are based on the text itself, not on the readings that take place at Festival. No award is decided after the scripts receive the public concert reading. Two respondents and a professional reader (from outside of the region and unaffiliated with any Region 2 schools) will select the award winners. All winners are announced at Festival’s closing ceremonies.
Monologue Slam has become a staple of the Region 2 NPP program. During the festival, there will be an event where students can share a 2 minute monologue based on a theme that will be released before festival. There will also be a workshop to help students with monologue writing. You do not need to have a monologue written before the festival. We actually encourage you to write the monologue at the festival. Come have fun and hear the work of students from all across the region.
You will meet and work with faculty and students from around the region. You will have your play responded to by professionals from across the country. You will receive beneficial feedback that you may use to develop and refine your work, and hundreds of people will celebrate your play.
Region 2 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is pleased to sponsor a series of playwriting awards and readings for new 10-minute, one-act plays, and full-length plays.
Regional Festival 53: Every year, Region 2 invites 10-minute, one-act and full-length plays to be performed in concert readings at its Regional Festival, to be held virtually for the 2020 edition. Two 10-minute and two one-act plays will then be selected as National semi-finalists to be considered for an invitation to the virtual National Festival in April. To be considered for the David Mark Cohen and National Student Playwriting Awards, the plays must be Participating Entries, which means that they must be produced in association with your college or university.
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
Full-Length Plays: A play more than one hour in length.
HOW TO SUBMIT
Submissions to NPP Region 2 must be sent to Submittable.com.
Click the link below to reach our private submission page. You must set up a Submittable account to submit your script for consideration. (This is a free service) All scripts must be submitted blind: No Author name or School Affiliation may be on the document. Scripts will only be accepted in .pdf, .doc and .docx format. When your script is ready for submission, click the link below to set up your username and password. Then scroll to select your play category and submit.
Questions about submissions may be directed to the regional NPP Chair
TJ Young, Chair
National Playwriting Program
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
SELECTION PROCESS FOR 10-Minute and One-Act Plays
All scripts are read by at least three readers from outside Region 2, who read all scripts blind; that is, without knowing the playwright’s name, university, or other contact information. The readers rank the plays, and send the results to the Regional Chair, who extends invitations to the selected Playwrights around December 10th. Playwrights who are selected are given director contact information by December 23rd.
To be eligible for participation in the regional festival and/or any of the awards, a playwright must be a student at a university or college within Region 2. 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,
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.
See Awards and Submissions Deadlines tab for more information about award categories.
Faculty members at a school with an Associate or Participating entry may submit a
A playwright who has graduated is still eligible to submit his/her work during the 12 months after the date of graduation or if his/her plays
10-Minute and one-act play scripts for Festival consideration may be submitted to Region 2 by November 1, 2022. For submission guidelines refer to KCACTF’s national website at www.kcactf.org and click on Kanin Playwriting.
Full-length play scripts may be submitted to Region 2 by December 1, 2022.
Region 2 Submission Deadlines:
10-Minute Plays: November 1
One-Act Plays: November 1
Full-length Plays: December 1
ADDITIONAL PLAYWRITING AWARDS:
Regional Deadline November 1, National Deadline December 1
10-Minute Play Awards:
Hip Hop Theater Creator Award
Planet Earth Award
One-Act Play Awards:
Full-Length Play Awards
Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting
The Darrell Ayers Theater for Young Audiences Award
Lorraine Hansberry Award
Jean Kennedy Smith Award
Paula Vogel Award
The KCACTF Latinidad Playwriting Award
Paul Stephen Lim Asian- American Playwriting Award
National Undergraduate Playwriting Award (MUST BE STUDENT WRITTEN AND HAVE [AT MINIMUM] RECEIVED A WORKSHOP OR READING)
Blanche and Irving Laurie Musical Theater Award (MUST BE STUDENT WRITTEN AND HAVE [AT MINIMUM] RECEIVED A WORKSHOP OR READING)
Rosa Parks Playwriting Award (MAY BE STUDENT OR FACULTY WRITTEN)
Hip Hop Theater Creator Award (MAY BE STUDENT, FACULTY OR WORKING PLAYWRIGHT WRITTEN)
David Mark Cohen Award: November 1st (REQUIRE THAT THE WORK HAD A FULL PRODUCTION AND WAS ENTERED AS AN ASSOCIATE OR PARTICIPATING ENTRY IN KCACTF)
Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting award: November 1st (REQUIRE THAT THE WORK HAD A FULL PRODUCTION AND WAS ENTERED AS AN ASSOCIATE OR PARTICIPATING ENTRY IN KCACTF)
National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Award: Each region will nominate a play of any length representing the best-written, best-crafted script with the strongest writer’s “voice.” The award recipient will be selected by a reading panel named by the National Partners of the American Theatre. The award recipient will receive a professional development residency to be determined in consultation with the National Partners.
NEW THIS YEAR!
PLAYWRIGHT MENTORSHIP LOTTERY
At this year’s Festival, Region 2 will offer the opportunity for a one-on-one mentorship session for playwrights:
- Properly submits at least one play to Region 2.
- Are not selected as a participant in the Gary Garrison 10-Minute play
- Attends the regional festival in January to meet with her/his mentor.
You will be notified via email if you are selected for this mentorship program. Please note that you must be present at the festival in-person to receive the mentorship.
National Playwriting Program Chair, Region 2
Carnegie Mellon University
National Playwriting Program Co-Vice Chair
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
National Playwriting Program Vice-Chair