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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The Gary Garrison National Ten-Minute Play Award

Each region establishes submission criteria for its regional ten-minute play festival. Selected playwrights work with a director, dramaturg, and actors to develop a staged reading of the play, followed by a response session with guest respondents during the regional festival. All colleges and universities with at least one Participating or Associate Entry in KCACTF may enter the Ten-Minute Play Festival at no additional charge. Submissions from schools with no entries in Festival should consult regional websites for entry information.

Please check your regional website for submission deadlines for your region.

After each festival, the NPP Regional Chair will notify the National Office of the top two ten-minute plays in that region and/or submit revised drafts of those plays to the KCACTF Artistic Director Gregg Henry (ghenry@kennedy-center.org).

A judging panel will read the sixteen regional nominees (national semi-finalists) and pick the award-recipient play and three additional national finalists to invite to the national festival in April (four playwrights in total).

At the national festival, those four plays will be presented as concert readings at the Kennedy Center with casts made up of professional actors from the Washington, DC area.

  • A first place cash award of $500 will be given to a playwright selected from the sixteen national semi-finalists designated by the regions.
  • All national finalists of the Ten-Minute Play Award will be provided with active membership in the Dramatists Guild of America.

For more information on entering a ten-minute play, contact your NPP Regional Chair.

Previous Award Recipients

2016
The Nice View by Cynthia Veal Holm, Lesley University
2015
Occupy Hallmark by Cassie M. Seinuk, Lesley University
2014
Pass the Lingonberries by Nick Carr, New York University
2013
Tattoo You by Lisa Kenner Grissom, Lesley University
2012
Starf*cker by Adam Pasen, Western Michigan University
2011
Nancies by Adam Groff, Florida State University
2010
Girls Play by Masha Obolensky, Boston University
2009
Armed with Peanut Butter by Dana Lynn Formby, Ohio University
2008
Without Parachutes by Erik Levitz, Johns Hopkins University
2007
Mammals, by Ryan Dowler, University of Texas-El Paso
2006
By Design, David Eames Harlan, University of Idaho
2005
The Freezing Phenomenon , by Emily Hawe, New York University
2004
Stairway to Heaven , by Gregory Fletcher, Boston University
2003
The Crossing, by James Garcia, Arizona State University
2002
Your Typical, Everyday, Lighthearted, Romantic Comedy by Valerie Johnson, University of Northern Iowa
2001
Life, Love and a 7-11, by Lindsay Joy, University of New Hampshire, Durham
2000
The Individuality of Streetlamps by Anna K. Gorisch, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro
1999
National Finalists
  • Region One: Edna by Joanna Nadler, Brandeis University
  • Region Two: Language Lessons by Julia Cho, New York University
  • Region Three: Comfortable Breakfasts by Joseph Barnett, Miami University, Oxford
  • Region Four: Love with Dick and Jane by Joe Waechter, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Region Five: Party Favors by Jeffrey Carrillo, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Region Six: A Little Crazy by Michael Johnson, Tarrant County Junior College, NE Campus, Fort Worth
  • Region Seven: Why Don't We Fish by Tamara Shores, Boise State University
  • Region Eight: 45 by John Aceves, Humboldt State University, Arcadia
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