Young writers with disabilities and collaborative groups that include students with disabilities, in 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: plays, screenplays, spoken word poetry (for single performer or a group), or music theater. Writers are encouraged to craft short works from their own experiences and observations, create fictional characters and settings, or choose to write 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 script is chosen in the Primary and Junior Divisions (grades 6-7 / ages 11-13 and 8-9 / ages 13-15 respectively). Winners will be featured in the press 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., and the opportunity to participate in staged readings and workshops alongside the nation’s premier collegiate playwrights as well as participate in the festival’s award ceremony.
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 play writing process.