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Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The Paul Stephen Lim Asian-American Playwriting Award

Supported by the University of Kansas Endowment Association, this award is given to the outstanding full-length or one-act play on any subject written by an Asian-American student, in honor of Paul Stephen Lim's outstanding career as teacher, playwright and passionate advocate for new voices in the American Theatre.

  • 1st Place Cash Award of $2,500 for a full-length play or $1,000 for a one-act play.
  • Professional Development Fellowship. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional development opportunity.
  • 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.

Born of Chinese parents in the Philippines, Paul Stephen Lim was already a successful advertising copywriter and newspaper journalist when he emigrated to the United States at the age of 24 to further his education and to pursue a career in writing. Conpersonas, his first play, won the KCACTF National Student Playwriting Award in 1976, initiating a life-long relationship with KCACTF. Lim started teaching playwriting at the University of Kansas in 1989. He founded English Alternative Theatre the same year to nurture and produce the plays of his students. He was awarded the Kennedy Center medallion in 1996 for his work with student playwrights, was the Region 5 National Playwriting Program Chair 2000-2003, and served on the National Selection Team in 2004. To date, 30 plays by his students at the University of Kansas have been seen at various regional and national festivals of KCACTF.

The inaugural recipient of the Paul Stephen Lim Asian American Playwriting Award is Edgar Mendoza, Carnegie Mellon University, for his play Blue Note Run.

The Paul Stephen Lim Asian-American Playwriting Award-winners

Among the Dead by Hansol Jung, Yale School of Drama
Runner-up - hide/seek by Michael Yichao Wang, California Institute of the Arts
in a word by Lauren Yee, University of California, San Diago