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The Kennedy Center

Winners of the VSA Playwright Discovery Award Program

2004 VSA Playwright Discovery Award Biography

Paul Baumbusch

Headshot of Paul Baumbusch, Playwright Discovery Award recipient

VSA arts is pleased to announce the winner of the 20th Annual 2004 Young Playwright Discovery Award: Paul Baumbusch. Paul's play "The Changeling," which explores the complexity of a family's response to their son who has autism, was chosen to receive the award and will be produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Theater Lab on October 4, 2004.

An 18 year-old student from McLean, Virginia, Paul is a 2004 graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, where he studied creative writing. His writing credits and awards include the 2004 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key Award for Excellence for his dramatic script, “Palindrome;” the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Award in Writing (2003); finalist in the 2002 Young Playwrights Festival National Playwriting Competition; and winner of Best One Act Play for his play, “Creation,” at McLean High School (2003).

Paul's theatrical experience spans his secondary school years, including acting and singing roles at Ford's Theatre, Adventure Theater, The Washington National Opera, Opera International, McLean High School, and the Alden Theater. While attending McLean High School, Paul was honored by the National Capital Area Critics and Awards Program with two “Cappie” awards for Best Cameo Actor (2002) and Best Comic Actor (2003). Paul Baumbusch will attend Northwestern University this fall as an English major.

The VSA arts Playwright Discovery Award program challenges middle and high school students of all abilities to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of playwriting. Finalist scripts are selected by a distinguished panel of award-winning theater artists for professional production at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Award recipients receive scholarship awards and a trip to Washington, D.C. to view the production. For more information, please click on Playwright Discovery Award.

2004 entries were reviewed by a distinguished Artists Selection Committee comprised of:

  • Jack Hofsiss, Tony Award-winning director of The Elephant Man
  • Fred Zollo, Tony Award-winning producer of Private Lives and film producer of Mississippi Burning and Quiz Show
  • John Belluso, professional playwright; director of the Other Voices Project at the Mark Taper Forum, former recipient of the VSA arts Playwright Discovery Award for his play, Gretty Good Time