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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 (

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

Will by Live by Micah Ariel Watson, University of Virginia
Grown-Ass Louis by Bruce Walsh, Indiana University
The Nice View by Cynthia Veal Holm, Lesley University
Occupy Hallmark by Cassie M. Seinuk, Lesley University
Pass the Lingonberries by Nick Carr, New York University
Tattoo You by Lisa Kenner Grissom, Lesley University
Starf*cker by Adam Pasen, Western Michigan University
Nancies by Adam Groff, Florida State University
Girls Play by Masha Obolensky, Boston University
Armed with Peanut Butter by Dana Lynn Formby, Ohio University
Without Parachutes by Erik Levitz, Johns Hopkins University
Mammals by Ryan Dowler, University of Texas-El Paso
By Design by David Eames Harlan, University of Idaho

The Freezing Phenomenon by Emily Hawe, New York University
Stairway to Heaven by Gregory Fletcher, Boston University
The Crossing by James Garcia, Arizona State University
Your Typical, Everyday, Lighthearted, Romantic Comedy by Valerie Johnson, University
of Northern Iowa
Life, Love and a 7-11 by Lindsay Joy, University of New Hampshire, Durham
The Individuality of Streetlamps by Anna K. Gorisch, Middle Tennessee State University,
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,
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