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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play

This 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.

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 recipient of the award will receive:

  • $500 provided by the Kennedy Center.
  • The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional development opportunity.
  • The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwright with Active membership in the Guild.

Rules and Procedures

Please check your regional website for submission deadlines for your region

  1. Entries for the John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play 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 Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting
  5. Award and the David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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, DC area.

Previous Award Recipients

2017
In a Darkroom, the Lord Knows by Caitlin Turnage, Texas State University
2016
Fledgling by Colleen McCandless, California State University, Long Beach
2015
Norma's Rest by Jordan Morille, Texas State University
2014
War Profits by Brian J. Polak, University of Southern California
2013
The Lighthouse by Michael Parsons, Boston University
2012
White or the Musk Ox Play by Jonathan Fitts, New York University
2011
The Rwandans' Visit by Daniel Sauermilch, Middlebury College
2010
Cassius Sargent's Chicken Bones by Asher Wyndham, Arizona State University
2009
Hard Rain, by Steven Barkhimer, Boston University
2008
Dust, by Rob Smith, Carnegie Mellon University
2007
18, by Hank Willenbrink, University of California-Santa Barbara
2006
Lions, by Neil Knox, Sarah Lawrence College
The Man of Infinite Sadness, by Brian Tanen, New York Univeristy
2004
Quid Pro Quo by Garrett Zuercher, Marquette University
2002
SLAVERY, by Jonathan Payne, Santa Monica College
2001
Game Legs by Gregg Mozgala, Boston University
2000
Supernova in Hamlet by Kristina Leach, California State University-Fullerton
1999
Earl, the Vampire by Sean Michael Welch, University of Michigan, Flint
Un Tango en la Noche by Dan Hunter, Boston University
1998
Guarding the Bridge by Chuck Gorden, University of Oklahoma, Norman
Specks by Rob Shimko, Hartwick College, Oneonta
1997
Vortex, Wade Sheeler, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Drop, Dano Madden, Boise State University
1996
Mrs. Coney, Belinda Bremmer, Roosevelt University
The Dream a the End of the World, Nathaniel Eaton, Boston University
1994
Acetylene, Erik Ramsey, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Harriet, Kisha Kenyatta, Boston University
1993
The Manager, Darrin Shaughnessy, California State University-Fullerton
1989
Oscar, Brian Nissen, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
1988
When Esther Saw the Light, Michael Sargent, University of California, Los Angeles
Waterworks, E.J. Safirstein, University of Washington
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