The LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award is designed to recognize contributions by student dramaturgs to the conception, development and production of theater 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 audience, 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 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–-a letter of nomination from a faculty member is required.

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. Professional dramaturgs, members of LMDA who live in each region, will select the winner of that region’s LMDA/KCACTF Student Award in Dramaturgy.

What does the award entail?

The winner of the LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award will receive a $100 cash prize, and one year’s membership in LMDA paid for by KCACTF. The Region VI winner may receive an all-expense paid residency at the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Mid-April, including multi-day workshops with leading artists in both production and new play dramaturgy. From the eight regional winners, four will be selected to advance this year.

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.

Who is eligible?

Undergraduate and graduate students who work specifically as the dramaturg on a production or workshop, or who submit work created for a dramaturgy class. If the project is a workshop or production, the student must be credited as the dramaturg. A student who also writes, directs, designs, performs in, or otherwise collaborates on a project will be responsible for articulating the boundaries of the dramaturgical work and speaking on its behalf. The student need not be enrolled full time to submit work for this award. 

Projects must be completed (plays closed, workshops completed, projects turned in) by 4pm on February 9th to be eligible.

Projects completed after this date may be submitted for this award the following year. Students may attend the dramaturgy sessions just to learn; in other words, they do not have to have a project to share in order to take advantage of guest freelance dramaturg’s Heather Helinsky’s incredible expertise. 


Put together a title page, identifying the dramaturg, the project, and the school. Include your address, phone number, email address, and date of the project.

Include two statements written by the dramaturg, one delineating the project and its challenges, the other detailing the process from start to finish.

Enclose a letter of nomination from a faculty member. If you wish, you may include more letters of support from persons directly related to the project— collaborating artists or audience members for a workshop or production, or fellow students/teachers in a classroom project.

Include all materials that seem relevant, but not to exceed 100 pages. This may include emails between the director, the cast, the designers, etc., and the dramaturg; pictures of the display; information from websites created; questions asked during the process; and information gathered for individual packets. We are not interested in your reproducing all that you researched, but in your analysis and compilation of materials researched.

Entries for Region VI must received electronically by 4pm, February 14. Student dramaturgs must submit entries in a digital format to Mark Charney at mark.charney@ttu.edu.

Award Criteria

  • what is creative about the dramaturg’s approach and/or analysis?
  • 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?
  • in what way are the audience, artists or institution enriched by dramaturgical ideas and execution?
  • how are issues that might be raised by the terms of the collaboration or changing responsibilities dealt with and/or resolved?
  • how does this project inform, challenge or advance the field of dramaturgy, in general and/or within the student’s school?

You are welcome to attend just to learn, without a packet of material or for a refresher course in good dramaturgical practices.

Award Presentation
The LMDA/KCACTF Student Award in Dramaturgy will be presented on the closing night of each Regional Conference.

For more information contact:

Mark Charney – ITJA and Dramaturgy Coordinator
Texas Tech University – Texas
School of Theatre and Dance
864 356 2150