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VSA Playwright Discovery Competition

VSA Playwright Discovery Program Competition

Each year, young writers with and without disabilities, in U.S. grades 6-12 (or equivalents) or ages 11-18 for non-U.S. students, are asked to explore the disability experience through the art of script writing for stage or screen. Writers may craft scripts from their own experiences and observations, create fictional characters and settings, or choose to write metaphorically or abstractly about the disability experience.

Young writers with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a one-act script of any genre. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group of up to five students. The competition has three divisions: grades 6-7, grades 8-9, and grades 10-12 (or equivalents). A panel of theater professionals selects division winners.

One winning script is chosen in the Primary and Junior Divisions (grades 6-7 / ages 11-13 and 8-9 / ages 13-15 respectively). Winners in these divisions will receive $500 for arts programs at their schools.

Selected winners in the Senior Division (grades 10-12 / ages 15-18 ) are awarded a trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. where they participate in a multi-day intensive of pre-professional activities with distinguished theatre professionals.

Watch the 2014 VSA Playwright Discovery performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

VSA has free resources to guide educators and students through the playwriting process.

VSA Playwright Discovery Professional Development Intensive

In the Senior Division (grades 10-12 / ages 15-18 ), a select number of applicants are chosen as winners and brought to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for the VSA Playwright Discovery Professional Development Intensive, which includes pre-professional activities, such as playwriting workshops, roundtable discussions, and staged readings. Excerpts from a select number of Senior Division winners' scripts are chosen for a Millennium Stage performance performance on Sunday, September 6, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Visit the Millennium Stage page to watch the performance live online.

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2015 VSA Playwright Discovery Competition. Information about the 2016 program will be posted on this page in the fall of 2015. Questions about the VSA Playwright Discovery Competition can be sent to