The LMDA / KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award is designed to recognize contributions by student dramaturgs to the conception, development, and production of 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 spectator, 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 live theatrical event.
Also inherent in the guidelines is the belief that the dramaturg should participate fully and uniquely in the collaborative act of making theater and in promoting social discourse around the theatrical event. To validate the significance of the dramaturg’s contributions—and to raise awareness of dramaturgy in the academic field—the Kennedy Center requires a letter of nomination from a faculty member.
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 recipient of that region’s LMDA/KCACTF Student Award in Dramaturgy.
In recognition of the quality and wide variety of student dramaturgical approaches across the region, the KCACTF and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America (LMDA) have united to present the KCACTF/LMDA Regional Dramaturgy Award. Student dramaturgs present a sample of their work for evaluation by a professional guest dramaturg, who will select one outstanding individual for recognition, which includes a cash prize, a one-year membership to the LMDA, and an invitation to submit materials for the Kennedy Center’s national festival, where, if selected, they will have the opportunity for additional professional enrichment. The recipients of the National LMDA/KCACTF Fellowships receive residencies with the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, or the Kennedy Center/National New Play Network’s MFA Playwrights’ Workshop in the summer. In addition, recognition will be offered in the areas of
Regional fellowship recipients will receive membership in LMDA, 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 receive residencies with the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and/or the Kennedy Center/National New Play Network’s MFA Playwrights’ Workshop in the summer.
Undergraduate and graduate students who work specifically as the dramaturg on
You must have your materials
1. Distinctiveness: what is creative about the dramaturg's approach and/or analysis?
This is where you should highlight how many intersections of your research were made manifest in the live performance event. This could include directorial or design choices, actor preparation and execution, lobby materials, pre-show/post-show discussions and the like.
2. 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?
Expanding on elements of distinctiveness, reflect upon how your work was interdisciplinary. Consider how your ideas changed the course of the visual design of the show. Reflect upon how your outreach aided spectator engagement with the production, and the like.
3. Impact: in what ways are the audience, artists or institution enriched by dramaturgical ideas and execution?
Suggest ways in which your work on the production helped and enriched the creative team and also connected the live performance event to a larger, immediate community.
4. 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?
Discuss the various opportunities you had to interact with the creative team and/or the audience. Were you in rehearsals on a regular basis? Did you meet individually with actors or the director? Did you work on audience outreach activities such as post-show talkbacks? Essentially, what did you do between the first rehearsal and the close of the show?
5. Ethics: how are issues that might be raised by the terms of the collaboration or changing responsibilities dealt with and/or resolved?
Recount moments of tension within the creative-collaborative process and trace out how they were or were not resolved. Perhaps the director is your chair and you felt uncomfortable disagreeing. Maybe you worked with a close friend and issues of artistic interpretation complicated that relationship.
Ball State University
Assistant Professor of Directing and Shakespeare
Department of Theatre and Dance
Muncie, IN 47306