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The Kennedy Center

Winners of the VSA Playwright Discovery Award Program

2012 VSA Playwright Discovery Award Biography

Catherine E. A. Caffera

headshot of Catherine E. A. Caffera, 2012 winner To the Beat of a Funeral March by Catherine Caffera, from Fairport, NY
Catherine E. A. Caffera, 17, is a senior at Fairport High School in suburban Rochester, New York. She studies voice and acting at the Eastman School of Music's community music school and is a graduate of the Geva Theatre Center Conservatory's acting academy. Catherine has performed with a number of community theater groups and in school productions. Catherine is an avid writer-including two adventure novels-and plans to continue studying acting and writing in college

Christian Mincks

headshot of Christian Mincks, 2012 winner Dominoes by Christian Mincks, from Colonial Heights, VA
Christian Mincks, 17, recently graduated from Appomattox Regional Governor's School in Petersburg, Virginia. He was a captain on his school's skETCh Improv Comedy Team and won his school's Jean Valjean award for commitment to acting. Christian also received a theater scholarship from the Fort Lee Playhouse. Writing is his passion and his life goal is to make movies with his brother John. Christian will begin at Virginia Commonwealth University this fall as an English major.

Samantha Brown

headshot of Samantha Brown, 2012 winner Mr. Pan & Neverland by Samantha Brown, from Brooklyn, NY
Samantha Brown, 16, is a junior in the Screened Theater Program at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New York. She is passionate about many aspects of theater, including acting, directing, and writing. In June 2012 Samantha directed Another Man Gone which had a performance on Broadway, and she recently won the National Youth Arts Award for her role as Tracy Turnblad in her school's production of Hairspray. She plans to pursue a BFA in Acting, in addition to continuing her writing.

Bradley Hildebrandt

headshot of Bradley Hildebrandt, 2012 winner Life is Jazz by Bradley Hildebrandt, from Elkhorn, NE
Bradley Hildebrandt, 17, is a senior at Elkhorn South High School in Elkhorn, Nebraska. He is involved in his school's drama, speech, and choir programs. Recently Bradley won the Nebraska Young Artist Award in Acting, and was named the Outstanding Performer in Vocal Solo in his district's music contest. Offstage, he loves to bike in the hilly country of Nebraska and read good plays. Passionate about theater and a great lover of performing, Bradley aspires to go to college for acting.