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Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The John Cauble Award For Short Play

The John Cauble Award For Short PlayThe Short Play Award is named in honor of Dr. John Cauble, Professor Emeritus of UCLA, who provided guidance and support for the establishment of the Michael Kanin Award Program. His continued participation in the recognition of student playwrights through the former “Playwriting Awards Development Committee” is a cornerstone within the Michael Kanin Awards Program.

This program seeks to bring recognition to the area of student-written short plays and to encourage young writers to develop the short play form in preparation for the playwriting profession.

The John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play recognizes one or more outstanding scripts each year for presentation at the national festival at the Kennedy Center. The playwright who is the recipient of the John Cauble Award will receive:

  • $1000 provided by the Kennedy Center.
  • 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. It will also honor the author with the awarding of a certificate presented at its offices in New York City. In the past, the award recipient has been cited at a Guild reception to honor all the playwrights of the previous year.

The play must comply with the guidelines for scripts entered in the KCACTF Michael Kanin Playwriting Program.

The John Cauble Short Play Award Winners

White or the Musk Ox Play by Jonathan Fitts, New York University

THE RWANDANS’ VISIT by Daniel Sauermilch, Middlebury College

Dust, by Rob Smith, Carnegie Mellon University

Hard Rain, by Steven Barkhimer, Boston University

18, by Hank Willenbrink, University of California-Santa Barbara

2006 (tie)
Lions, by Neil Knox, Sarah Lawrence College
The Man of Infinite Sadness, by Brian Tanen, New York Univeristy

No winner selected

Quid Pro Quo by Garrett Zuercher, Marquette University

No winner selected

, by Jonathan Payne, Santa Monica College

Game Legs
by Gregg Mozgala, Boston University

Supernova in Hamlet
by Kristina Leach, California State University-Fullerton

Earl, the Vampire
by Sean Michael Welch, University of Michigan, Flint
Un Tango en la Noche by Dan Hunter, Boston University

Guarding the Bridge
by Chuck Gorden, University of Oklahoma, Norman
Specks by Rob Shimko, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York

, Wade Sheeler, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Drop, Dano Madden, Boise State University, ID

Mrs. Coney
, Belinda Bremmer, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL
The Dream a the End of the World, Nathaniel Eaton, Boston University, MA

no winner selected

, Erik Ramsey, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Harriet, Kisha Kenyatta, Boston University, MA

The Manager
, Darrin Shaughnessy, California State University-Fullerton

no winner selected

no winner selected

no winner selected

, Brian Nissen, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia

When Esther Saw the Light
, Michael Sargent, University of California, Los Angeles
Waterworks, E.J. Safirstein, University of Washington, Seattle

Rules and Procedures

  1. Entries for the John Cauble Short Play Award may be fully produced participating or associate entries, or they may simply be scripts entered by students from schools that have other associate or participating entries.
  2. If entered as a Participating and/or Associate entry, one fee will cover a bill of up to three plays. (Speak with your Regional Playwriting Chair for possible exceptions to this rule.) Each play will be considered separately for individual awards. Participants in full productions will be eligible for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships (one departmental nomination per bill), and all other appropriate awards.
  3. All short plays (also called One-Act Plays) along with cover sheet should be sent to the regional NPP chair. The scripts are screened at the regional level, and up to six are invited for reading at the regional festival and designated regional finalists. The top two selected scripts at each region are designated national semi-finalists and forwarded to the Kennedy Center for national consideration for the Cauble Award.
  4. All short plays are eligible for all awards in the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program with the exception of the National Student Playwriting Award that is for full-length scripts. For that reason, all short plays should be sent to the KCACTF national office with appropriate cover sheet as well as to the regional NPP chair.
  5. The short play is defined as a play of one act without intermission that, within itself, does not constitute a full evening of theatre; the running time of a one-act play is under 60 minutes, and when typed in standard format (see our Standard Format page), a one-act play is approximately 15-45 (or so) pages in length.
  6. Because of length, a produced short play may be invited to appear with other short plays at the regional and national levels. For this reason all design elements must be carefully crafted to facilitate the minimal set-up and strike time established by your regional Playwriting Chair in consultation with the regional Executive Committee and Festival Hosts.
  7. It is the intention of the Short Play Program to honor emerging theatrical voices. Therefore, the regional and national selection process should value the text, supported by strong acting, directing, and production values. At the national festival, invited short plays will be read by professional actors from the Washington, D.C., area.