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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Undergraduate Theatre Scholar Awards

KCACTF is pleased to announce a new awards program for undergraduate theatre scholars attending KCACTF participating institutions. In order to further student activity in the discipline of scholarship, this program will encourage and reward research and scholarly writing among undergraduates throughout the nation. Research Papers on all areas of the art and craft of Theatre, the outcome of class assignments or students' own research interests, will be reviewed by KCACTF appointed readers for cash awards, KCACTF National Festival residencies and professional development opportunities.

Submission Criteria

The manuscript should be a scholarly paper of 10-20 pages [plus endnotes and references] on any area in the art, craft and/or history of theatre, or a cross-disciplinary topic with the art of theatre featuring as a key area of investigation.


The submitting student must be a bona fide, matriculated undergraduate student, at least half-time enrollment, at an institution that has participated in KCACTF in 2017 or 2018. The submitted manuscript should have been written no earlier than September 2018.

At this time, co-authored manuscripts will not be considered for the awards.

To Submit

  1. All submissions will be in PDF format. 
  2. Each manuscript will be submitted with a blind title page:
    • Title of Paper
    • Date
    • The statement: "This is a copyrighted work submitted for review purposes only"
  3. The manuscript will have no author identification within the body of the paper [headers, footers, at pagination points, etc.]
  4. A full title page consisting of
    • Title
    • Name of the author
    • Date
    • Copyright notice ["copyright 2018 name of author"]
    • E-mail address
    • Must be submitted as a second, separate PDF document in the same e-mail as the blinded manuscript.
  5. to
  6. by December 23, 2018

Award Selection Criteria

The manuscripts will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Originality of the topic or approach
  • Scholarly rigor
  • Use of primary resources
  • Organization
  • Style
  • Syntax
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation

A selection panel of eight readers, one from each KCACTF region, made up of faculty and emeritus faculty, will be appointed by each KCACTF Regional Chair. No faculty member with a student in the submission pool will be appointed to the selection panel. The KCACTF Artistic Director will appoint a team of finalist readers in consultation with the KCACTF National Committee, should the total number of submissions warrant.

The award recipients will be announced on or around March 1, 2019.

For questions about the KCACTF Undergraduate Theatre Scholar Award, contact Gregg Henry (KCACTF Artistic Director) at

Previous Award Recipients

"No One Can Say I Didn't Try": A Study of the musical Anyone Can Whistle as a work of Social Satire and a Foundation for the Latter Works of Stephen Sondheim. . Rick Chason, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Bravery for The New World: Criticism of Spanish Conquest and the Native American Voice in The Plays of Lope de Vega and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz . Catherine Coffey, Hillsdale College.
William Shakespeare’s Classical Inspiration: The Greco-Roman Heritage in Elizabethan Theatre. Lee Larson, Wake Forest University.
Runner-up - La Tempesta: A Mirror to Life and the Theatre. Elaine Pazaski, Westmont College.
Joseph SuB Oppenheimer As An Eroticized Figure: Re-evaluating Veit Harlan's Jud SuB. Zsuzska Beswick, Barnard College.
Runner-up - Get Thee to a Carnival: The Improved Shakespeare Company and Contemporary Carnivalesque. Joseph Bushur, Miami University of Ohio.
The Myth of Resistance: An Analysis of Anouilh's Antigone. Katherine Norman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Runner-up - The Christ-Haunted West: Acts of Grace in the Works of Martin McDonagh. Tyler Crumrine, Grove City College.
Confronting Fear and Optimist Scholarship: Theatrical Performance in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Morgan Childs, Barnard College.
Runner-up - Purity that Shines Through: The Intersection of the Spiritual and the Carnal in the Theatrical and Post-Theatrical Work of Jerzy Grotowski. Laura Oseland, Barnard College.