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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

Isadora Del Sol by Eliana Pipes, Columbia University
In a Darkroom, the Lord Knows by Caitlin Turnage, Texas State University
Fledgling by Colleen McCandless, California State University, Long Beach
Norma's Rest by Jordan Morille, Texas State University
War Profits by Brian J. Polak, University of Southern California
The Lighthouse by Michael Parsons, Boston University
White or the Musk Ox Play by Jonathan Fitts, New York University
The Rwandans' Visit by Daniel Sauermilch, Middlebury College
Cassius Sargent's Chicken Bones by Asher Wyndham, Arizona State University
Hard Rain by Steven Barkhimer, Boston University
Dust by Rob Smith, Carnegie Mellon University
18 by Hank Willenbrink, University of California-Santa Barbara
Lions by Neil Knox, Sarah Lawrence College
The Man of Infinite Sadness by Brian Tanen, New York Univeristy
Quid Pro Quo by Garrett Zuercher, Marquette University
SLAVERY 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
Vortex by Wade Sheeler, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Drop by Dano Madden, Boise State University
Mrs. Coney by Belinda Bremmer, Roosevelt University
The Dream a the End of the World by Nathaniel Eaton, Boston University
Acetylene by Erik Ramsey, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Harriet by Kisha Kenyatta, Boston University
The Manager by Darrin Shaughnessy, California State University-Fullerton
Oscar by Brian Nissen, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
When Esther Saw the Light by Michael Sargent, University of California, Los Angeles
Waterworks by E.J. Safirstein, University of Washington