Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting

This award is offered to the outstanding student-written play that celebrates diversity and encourages tolerance while exploring issues of disempowered voices not traditionally considered mainstream.

One of KCACTF's most distinguished alumna, Paula Vogel won the 1977 National Student Playwriting Award for her play Meg while a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  Her play How I Learned to Drive received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and has been produced around the world. Ms. Vogel's plays have been performed at theatres such as the Roundabout Theatre Company, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, the Union Square Theatre and Circle Repertory in New York, Arena Stage, the American Repertory Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, the Goodman, the Magic Theatre, Center Stage and Alley Theatre as well as throughout Canada, England, Brazil and Spain. The Baltimore Waltz won the Obie for Best Play in 1992 and her anthology, The Baltimore Waltz and Other Plays, has been published by TCG. Other plays include The Mineola Twins, Hot and Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, and The Oldest Profession. Other awards include the AT&T New Plays Award, the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the Kennedy Center’s Legacy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre and Education, the Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the McKnight Fellowship. She is an Alumna of New Dramatists, and a recent inductee of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. She is currently head of the playwriting program at Yale University.

  • First Place is a cash prize of $2500.
  • Professional Development Fellowship. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional development opportunity.
  • Second Place is a cash prize of $1,000 to the playwright.

Dramatists Guild Award. The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwright with Active membership in the Guild.

The play must be produced by a college or university or publicly presented in a “rehearsed” or “staged reading” format following a significant development process. The play must comply with the guidelines for scripts entered in the KCACTF Michael Kanin Playwriting Program.

For other questions, refer to "Rules and Procedures for the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program" above.

Award Winners

Bacha Bazi (Boy Play) by Gabriel Jason Dean, University of Texas at Austin
PO SUI MU LAM (Broken Prayer) by Robbi D’Alessandro, Leslie University
Runner-up SEMANTICS by Diana Grisanti, University of Texas at Austin
2009 Co-recipients
Ching Chong Chinaman by Lauren Yee, University of California, San Diego
May the Devil be Kinder by Alexander Davidson, NYU
2008 (Co-winners)
Deception Pass: An American Story -Kamarie Chapman, University of New Mexico
No One But You - Paul David Young, The New School
Good Worker -Isaac Holter, the Theatre School of DePaul University
2nd place - The Devil's Teacup - Nathan Warren Lane, Playwrights' Theatre of Boston University
The Aaronsville Woman, Stephen Spotswood, Catholic University of America
2nd place - Notes on the Land of Earthquake and Fire Jason Schaefer, New York University
Social Darwinism, Angela Gant, Texas Tech University
Jasper Lake, John Kuntz of the Playwrights' Theatre of Boston University
Yemaya's Belly, by Quiara Alegría Hudes, Brown University
Edible Shoes, by Jonathan Yukich, Indiana University, produced by Wichita State University