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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award

Named for the former Vice President of Kennedy Center Education and longtime supporter of emerging playwrights, the Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award recognizes the outstanding student-written play or musical for young people at any level between kindergarten and 12th grades.

  • A $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to the playwright.
  • The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwright with Active membership in the Guild.
  • The Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices Fellowship. The award recipient receives a fellowship to attend the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices development laboratory in even numbered years and a professional development opportunity to be mutually determined in odd-numbered years. The Fellowship covers travel, living expenses, per diem, and related Festival costs. This important professional development opportunity enables the playwright to further refine his/her writing skills and to observe professionals at work on their craft.
  • 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

Lost Girl by Kimberly Belflower, University of Texas at Austin
2nd Place - La Llorona by Cecelia Raker, University of Texas at Austin
El Coqui Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom by Matthew David Barbot, Columbia University
2nd Place - Her Own Devices by Lindsay Adams, Catholic University of America
Ready Steady Yeti Go by David Jacobi, University of California - San Diego
2nd Place - The Mage Knights of Eternal Light by Amanda Zeitler, Catholic University
of America
Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven by Reina Hardy, University of Texas at Austin
And Then Came Tango by Emily Freeman, University of Texas at Austin
The Transition of Doodle Pequeño by Gabriel Jason Dean, University of Texas at Austin
Runner up - Susan and the Scissor Woman by Shayanna Jacobs, Arizona State University
Ash Tree by Georgina Hernandez Escobar, University of New Mexico
Fly/Lyf by Anne Negri, Arizona State University
Winter Fruit by Allison Menzimer, University of California-Santa Barbara
Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back by Jason Tremblay, University of Texas at Austin
Ashes, Ashes by Eve Tulbert, University of Texas at Austin
The Monster Hunters by Joshua Mikel, Florida State University
I Sea by Lou Clark, University of New Mexico
Harry the Magnificent by Dusty McGowan, University of New Mexico