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Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting

The Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting will be offered for the outstanding student-written full-length comic play. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of memorable characters, Samuel Clemens - the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist also known as Mark Twain - was a fearless observer of society, who outraged many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly.

  • 1st Place Cash Award of $2,500.
  • Professional Development Fellowship. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional
  • 2nd Place Award of $1,500.
  • Dramatists Guild Award. The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwrights with Active membership in the Guild.
  • Grants of $750 and $500 will be made to the producing organizations of the first and second place prize recipients, respectively.

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 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.

The Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award Winners

2011
The Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers by Louisa Hill, University of Iowa
Runner-up - Vanishing Act by R.N. Healey, Carnegie-Mellon University
2010
THE BOOK OF ADAM by Matthew Fotis, University of Missouri
Runner-up - WHALES by Bob Bartlett, Catholic University of America
2009
Metropolis Has No Superman by G. William Zorn, Western Michigan University
2008
Miranda is Morning - Stephen Spotswood, Catholic University of America
Tennis at Nablus by Ismail Khalidi, New York University
2007
Well Plotted - Stephen Lewis, Catholic University of America
2nd Place - Burying Barbie by Christopher Dimond, Carnegie-Mellon University
2006
Reel, Paul Shouldberg, Indiana University
2nd Place - In The Sawtooths, Dano Madden, Rutgers University
2005
The Last Black Play, Nathan Louis Jackson, Ebony Theatre Company of Kansas State University
2004
Cow-Tipping and Other Signs of Stress by Gregory Fletcher, Playwrights' Theatre of Boston University
2003
Good Morning Athens! A Rock Musical , book, music and lyrics by Sean Keogh, University of Wyoming
2002
Training Wisteria, by Molly Smith Metzler, Playwrights'Theatre of Boston University
2001 (Co-recipients)
The Movie Game, by Adam Hummel, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Rainy Day People, by Todd McCollough, University of Wyoming
2000
These Two Couples Went to Italy.... by Paul Rusconi, University of Texas at Austin
2nd Place - Lenny Hackman's Liver by Matthew Dryden Roland, Boston University
1999
An Irish Play, Dan O'Brien of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Mr. O'Brien received a cash award of $2500.00 and a fellowship to attend the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival in San Francisco. Brown University received a $750.00 grant for producing the play

Sid and Elsie, Benari Poulten of Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts

Mr. Poulten received a cash award of $1500.00. Brandeis University received a grant of $500.00 for producing the play