skip navigation | text only | accessibility | site map
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The KCACTF Musical Theatre Award

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival brings the Musical Theatre Award to faculty and college and university students. The composer, lyricist, librettist, and producing institution of the award-recipient musical will receive the following:

  • $500 for music
  • $500 for lyrics
  • $500 for book
  • O'Neill Music Theatre Conference Fellowship. The creative team will have the opportunity to be in residence at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, as official observers. During a two-week fellowship at the Conference (Late June into early July), the team will have the opportunity to write, participate in master classes, observe new music theatre works by noted artists in development and to have professional development seminars with the Conference artistic staff. The Fellowship provides travel, room, board, and tuition for the residency.
  • The Dramatists Guild Award provides the creative team with active membership in the Guild.

Rules and Regulations

  1. The musical must be entered in the KCACTF Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program.
  2. The musical must be original and copyrighted.
  3. The writing team (composer, lyricist, librettist) may be faculty and/or students; the students must fulfill the eligibility requirements as set forth in rule 5 for the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program.
  4. The play must be produced by a college or university or, at minimum, publicly presented in a "rehearsed" or "staged reading" format following a significant development process. The play must comply with the guidelines for scripts entered in the KCACTF Michael Kanin Playwriting Program.
  5. A panel of artists from the field, selected by KCACTF, will make the final determination as to the award recipients. All collaborators agree to send the following entry materials by December 1:
    • A completed manuscript of the book, lyrics, and the score of the music;
    • A professional-quality recording of the score either in CD, via web-link , or MP3 recordings (or variants.)
    • A professional-quality recording of the score.

For other questions, refer to Rules and Procedures for the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program.

Previous Award Recipients

Single Wide Music & lyrics by Jordan Kamalu, Book and additional lyrics by George Nelson, Brigham Young University.
The Single Girl's Guide Book by Gordon Greenberg, Music & Lyrics by Tommy Newman, produced by Troy University.
The Dark I Know Music by John Watts, book & lyrics by Alex Eisen, SUNY New Paltz.
The Circus in Winter Music & lyrics by Ben Clark, book by Beth Turcott and the students of the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, Ball State University
Listen To Me by Timothy Guillot, Catholic University of America
Salamander Leviathan Book by Krista Knight, University of California-San Diego
Sleepy Hollow Music by Tom Edward Clark, Book and Lyrics by Jim Christian, Weber State University
Standardized Testing - The Musical!!!, Music and Lyrics by Sam Willmott, New York University
Dani Girl Book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond, music by Michael Kooman, Carnegie-Mellon University
Hopeless Spinning, Margaret Iha and Michael Gallant, Illinois State University
To Memphis (with the intention of returning), book, music and lyrics by Peter Lerman, Columbia University
Good Morning Athens! A Rock Musical , book, music and lyrics by Sean Keogh, University of Wyoming
Straight Man, Music and Lyrics by Gabriel Kahane, Book by Thomas Beatty, Brown University
Emma book, music and lyrics by Stephen Karam, Brown University
The Picture of Dorian Gray - A New Musical PlayBook, Music and Lyrics by James Skousen, Crofton Hills College, Yucaipa
HomesteadBook, Music and Lyrics by Timothy J. Nevits, Wright State University, Dayton
All That He Was, Larry Johnson and Cindy O'Connor, California State University, Fullerton
High Calibre, Pat Daugherty, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston
Bottoms Up: Musicommedia, Ensemble-written, University of California, Los Angeles
Texassity, Jennifer Buck, Libba Carver, H. Mark Cullimore, Rob Holley, Kaye McDougall, and Paula Rabb, Angelo State University, San Angelo
Executive Calibre, Sean Dillon and Bruce Engelfried, University of LaVerne
Gynt, Sam Rossi and Flash Allen, University of Southern Maine
Steakhouse, H. Mark, Cullimore, Angelo State University
Bruinhaha, company-written, University of California, Los Angeles
Georgie Down and the Lord of the Lightbooth, Tony D. Mueller and Jack Gallup, Mankato State University
The Peach Blossom Fan, James Harris (book and lyrics) and Rodney Thomaston (music), University of Alabama