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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting

This award is offered to the outstanding student-written play that play that explores issues of gender, diversity, and sexual orientation.

One of KCACTF's most distinguished alumna, Paula Vogel is a new inductee to the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Her play, How I Learned to Drive, received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lortel Prize, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play, as well as winning her second OBIE. It has been produced all over the world. Other plays include Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq, The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot'N'Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, and The Oldest Profession. In 2004-5 she was the playwright in residence at The Signature Theatre in New York which produced three of her works. A Civil War Christmas was produced at The Long Wharf Theatre in November 2008, directed by Tina Landau, and has been produced all over the country. She is currently playwright in residence at the Yale Repertory Theatre, as well as an artistic associate at Long Wharf Theare.  Work in progress includes a commission for Yale Repertory (based on The God of Vengeance), a work in collaboration with director Rebecca Taichman, and a new play, Jitterbugging and the War Effort. Theatre Communications Group has published three books of her work, The Mammary Plays, The Baltimore Waltz and Other Plays and The Long Christmas Ride Home. A Civil War Christmas was published in Fall 2011. Most recent awards include the 2010 William Inge Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award (past recipients include Arthur Miller, Horton Foote, Edward Albee, and August Wilson). She was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center. In 2009 she was awarded the Stephen and Christine Schwarzman Legacy Award for Excellence in Theatre for lifetime achievement and excellence in teaching. She is most honored to have two awards to emerging playwrights named after her: the Paula Vogel Award, created by the American College Theatre Festival in 2003, and the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting is given annually by the Vineyard Theatre, since 2007: its first recipient was Yale School of Drama alum Terrell McCraney. Ms. Vogel won the 2004 Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the OBIE for Best Play in 1992, the Rhode Island Pell Award in the Arts, the Hull-Warriner Award, The Laura Pels Award, the Pew Charitable Trust Senior Award, a Guggenheim, an AT&T New Plays Award, the Fund for New American Plays, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the McKnight Fellowship, the Bunting Fellowship, and the Governor's Award for the Arts. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was recently awarded a Thirtini, a most coveted award, from 13P in New York. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, as well as Yaddo. Paula Vogel is the Eugene O'Neill Professor (adjunct) of Playwriting and former Chair of the Playwriting Department at the Yale School of Drama.

  • First Place is a cash prize of $1000.
  • The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional development opportunity.
  • Second Place is a cash prize of $500 to the playwright.
  • The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwright with Active membership in the Guild.

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 play 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.

Previous Award Recipients

Strange Men by Will Snider, University of California - San Diego
Runner-up Chatterbox by Rebecca Sanchez, University of New Mexico
Second Skin by Kristin Idaszak, University of California - San Diego
The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane by Jen Silverman, The Julliard School
Runner-up The Liar Paradox by Kristen Idaszal, University of California - San Diego
Kill Floor by Abe Koogler, University of Texas at Austin
Runner-up Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker, University of Texas at Austin
Bacha Bazi (Boy Play) by Gabriel Jason Dean, University of Texas at Austin
PO SUI MU LAM (Broken Prayer) by Robbi D’Alessandro, Leslie University
Runner-up SEMANTICS by Diana Grisanti, University of Texas at Austin
Ching Chong Chinaman by Lauren Yee, University of California, San Diego
May the Devil be Kinder by Alexander Davidson, NYU
Deception Pass: An American Story by Kamarie Chapman, University of New Mexico
No One But You by Paul David Young, The New School
Good Worker -Isaac Holter, the Theatre School of DePaul University
2nd place - The Devil's Teacup by Nathan Warren Lane, Playwrights' Theatre of Boston University
The Aaronsville Woman by Stephen Spotswood, Catholic University of America
2nd place - Notes on the Land of Earthquake and Fire by Jason Schaefer, New York University
Social Darwinism by Angela Gant, Texas Tech University
Jasper Lake by John Kuntz of the Playwrights' Theatre of Boston University
Yemaya's Belly by Quiara Alegría Hudes, Brown University
Edible Shoes by Jonathan Yukich, Indiana University, produced by Wichita State University