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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award

The LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award is designed to recognize contributions by student dramaturgs to the conception, development and production of theater within their colleges and universities, or to educational projects in dramaturgy. The philosophical foundation of this award – like that of dramaturgy itself – rests in the belief that art benefits from examination on the parts of both artist and audience, and that creative inspiration accompanied by analysis and reflection is most likely to lead to productions and projects that fulfill the spiritual, social and personal potential of the theatrical event.

This award is the result of a unique collaboration between Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), the professional association of dramaturgs and literary managers working in North America, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), a national program dedicated to improving the quality of college and university theater in the United States. Additional support is provided by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). Professional dramaturgs, members of LMDA who live in each region, will select the winner of that region's LMDA/KCACTF Student Award in Dramaturgy.

Who is eligible?

Undergraduate and graduate students who work specifically as the dramaturg on a production or workshop, or who submit work created for a dramaturgy class. If the project is a workshop or production, the student must be credited as the dramaturg. A student who also writes, directs, designs, performs in, or otherwise collaborates on a project will be responsible for articulating the boundaries of the dramaturgical work and speaking on its behalf. The student need not be enrolled full-time to submit work for this award, but we do encourage dramaturgs to attend the regional festival to represent their works.

How to apply

Put together a title page, identifying the dramaturg, the project, and the school. Include your address, phone number, email address, and date of the project.

Include two statements written by the dramaturg, one describing the breadth and scope of the project and its challenges, the other detailing the process from start to finish.

Enclose a letter of nomination from a faculty member. If you wish, you may include more letters of support from persons directly related to the project–collaborating artists or audience members for a workshop or production, or fellow students/teachers in a classroom project. But we only require one.

Include all materials that seem relevant, but not to exceed 100 pages. This may include emails between the director, the cast, the designers, etc and the dramaturg; pictures of the display; information from websites created; questions asked during the process; and information gathered for individual packets. We are not interested in your Xeroxing all that you researched, but in your analysis and compilation of materials researched.

Submit two copies of the entire application packet in the mail or electronically as a PDF file to the Regional Director of Dramaturgy in your particular region (check the websites for dates and particular regional requirements. Do understand that the national festival will require a PDF version of your packet.

Award Criteria

Distinctiveness: what is creative about the dramaturg's approach and/or analysis?

Contextualization: how is the production or project enhanced by dramaturgical analysis or research; alternatively, how is the academic project in dramaturgy imaginatively projected into a larger social, political, academic or artistic setting?

Impact: in what ways are the audience, artists or institution enriched by dramaturgical ideas and execution.

Process: how much and in what ways is the dramaturg involved with the entire process. How did he or she contribute to the process outside of initial research and putting together packets?

Ethics: how are issues that might be raised by the terms of the collaboration or changing responsibilities dealt with and/or resolved?

Fellowship Opportunities

Regional fellowship recipients will receive membership in LMDA.

Each of the eight regional award-recipients will submit their project for review by a National Selection Panel, convened by the Kennedy Center, who will choose the most promising four student dramaturgs to receive an all-expense paid residency at the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Mid-April, and multi-day workshops with leading artists in both production and new play dramaturgy.

The recipients of the National LMDA/KCACTF Fellowships will recieve a one-year membership in ATHE, a one-year membership in LMDA, and will be considered for a residency at the O'Neill Playwrights' Conference, The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, and the Kennedy Center's MFA Playwrights' Workshop, in association with the National New Play Network.

For questions regarding the LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award, contact Mark Charney (Institute for Theater Journalism Advocacy and Dramaturgy Coordinator) at

Previous Award Recipients

Gemma F. DeLeon, University of Oregon
Lauren Chapman, James Madison University
Bryan Howard, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Teundras Oaks, Georgia Southern University
Colin Hart, Ball State University
Rachel Bauer, University of Missouri-Columbia
Laura Millar, Sonoma State University
Cara Beth Heath, College of Charleston
Kyle Bradford, University of Oklahoma
Celine Delcayre, Sonoma State University
Austin Bolay, Georgia Southern University
Tierra Bonser, Emerson University
Wendy Gourley, Utah Valley University
Susanne Parker, Clemson University
Margot Manburg, Sonoma State University
Jessica Baxter, Emerson College
Anne G. Morgan, Emerson College
Andy Pierce, University of Missouri
Jessica Dart, University of Iowa
Andrew Lowy, West Chester University
John Baker, University of Iowa
Stephen Blahut & Michael Durkin, West Chester University