- 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!
Festival 53 is an opportunity for playwrights to hear their plays in an online 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 professional playwrights talk and develop the new plays, and a shared sense of community that develops among the playwrights, actors, dramaturgs, and directors over the five intensive days of virtual development.
The online reading is one where actors will still have “scripts in hand”. Actors may have one entrance 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. That is the beauty of the the online platform. We can focus in and use it to really hear the plays. All NPP scripts will be given a virtual reading at the end of 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 virtually. Directors and playwrights will spend time looking at self-tapes that match their performer needs. That is how you will cast your plays.
Rehearsals are built into the NPP festival schedule. We understand that this year might be different since we are not sharing the same physical space. If rehearsals outside of the pre-planned times are needed (as a replacement, not additional time) we will schedule that out. You will be given a dedicated Zoom link for your rehearsals.
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.
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 Co-Chairs
Bob Bartlett, Chair
National Playwriting Program
Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
TJ Young, Vice-Chair
National Playwriting Program
Point Park 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 between October 1-November 1, 2020. 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 between October 1-December 1, 2020.
Region 2 Submission Deadlines:
10-Minute Plays: November 1st
One-Act Plays: November 1st
Full-length Plays: December 1st
ADDITIONAL PLAYWRITING AWARDS:
Regional Deadline November 1st, National Deadline December 1st
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: ORIGINAL SCENES NEEDED!
A NEW submission opportunity for this year, NPP is collaborating with the Irene Ryans Scholarship Auditions. For the first time ever, Irene Ryan Auditions will include readings from scenes (maybe written by you!)! We are seeking original scenes that meet the following criteria:
- 2 Minutes in Length
- Realistic/Naturalistic (no verse)
- Two humans
- One location
- High stakes with clear beginning, middle, and end.
- Clear intentions
- At least one major shift/discovery
- Written with one character leading the action
- Gender Neutral casting is required
- Deadline for your scene is December 18, 2020.
- You are allowed 2 scene entries per person.
Writers of the selected scenes will receive a $100 cash prize for each scene chosen.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!
Monologue Slam! INSIDE NOT SILENT: Submit no more than two 60-90 second character-driven monologues that respond to our summer of reckoning. What makes your character(s) want to finally put words to their struggle and break their silence as they face pressures surrounding racial or sexual identity, gender inequality, accessibility concerns, and feelings of marginalization?
Monologue Slam Submission
Chair: National Playwriting Program
Bowie State University
Vice Chair: National Playwriting Program
Point Park University