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The Kennedy Center

VSA Playwright Discovery Program Competition

Young writers with disabilities and collaborative groups that include students with disabilities, in the U.S. grades 6-12 (or equivalents) or ages 11-18 for non-U.S. students, are invited to explore the disability experience through the art of writing for performance—in the form of plays, screenplays, or music theater. Writers are encouraged to craft short (10 minute) works from their own experiences and observations in the style of realism, through the creation of fictional characters and settings, or writing metaphorically or abstractly about the disability experience.

Young writers with disabilities are encouraged to submit a 'ten-minute script' of any genre. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group of up to five students. The competition has three divisions: grades 6-7, grades 8-9, and grades 10-12 (or equivalents). A panel of theater professionals selects division winners.

One winning piece is chosen in the Primary and Junior Divisions (grades 6-7 / ages 11-13 and 8-9 / ages 13-15 respectively). Winners in these divisions will be featured in press releases and on the Kennedy Center website.

Selected winners in the Senior Division (grades 10-12 / ages 15-18) will receive exclusive access to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C. Winners will have the opportunity to work with industry professionals in workshop and further development of their own script, as well as participating in workshops, networking opportunities, and the festival's award ceremony alongside the nation's premier collegiate playwrights and theatre artists.

Applications and scripts for the 2019 Playwright Discovery program are now being accepted.

2019 Playwright Discovery Application Deadline: Wednesday January 23, 2019.

Apply Here - Individual

Apply Here - Ensembles

Learn more about the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Watch the 2016 VSA Playwright Discovery Showcase at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

VSA has free resources to guide educators and students through the writing process.

Questions about the VSA Playwright Discovery Competition can be sent to vsainfo@kennedy-center.org.