The John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play award is named in honor of Dr. John Cauble, Professor Emeritus of UCLA, who provided guidance and support for the establishment of the Michael Kanin Award Program. His continued participation in the recognition of student playwrights through the former “Playwriting Awards Development Committee” is a cornerstone within the Michael Kanin Awards Program.

This program seeks to bring recognition to the area of student-written short plays and to encourage young writers to develop the short play form in preparation for the playwriting profession.

The John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play recognizes one or more outstanding scripts each year for presentation at the national festival at the Kennedy Center. The recipient of the award will receive:

$500 provided by the Kennedy Center.

Professional Development Fellowship.  The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional development opportunity. 

Dramatists Guild Award.  The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwright with Active membership in the Guild.



The play must comply with the guidelines for scripts entered in the KCACTF Michael Kanin Playwriting Program.

Rules and Procedures for entries in the John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play Program

1.   Entries for the John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play may be fully produced participating or associate entries, or they may simply be scripts entered by students from schools that have other associate or participating entries.

2.   If entered as a Participating and/or Associate entry, one fee will cover a bill of up to three plays. (Speak with your Regional Playwriting Chair for possible exceptions to this rule.)  Each play will be considered separately for individual awards.  Participants in full productions will be eligible for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships (one departmental nomination per bill), and all other appropriate awards.

3.   All short plays (also called One-Act Plays) along with cover sheet should be sent to the regional NPP chair.  The scripts are screened at the regional level, and up to six are invited for reading at the regional festival and designated regional finalists.  The top two selected scripts at each region are designated national semi-finalists and forwarded to the Kennedy Center for national consideration for the Cauble Award.

4. All short plays are eligible for all awards in the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program with the exception of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award and the David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award.

5.  The short play is defined as a play of one act without intermission that, within itself, does not constitute a full evening of theatre; the running time of a one-act play is under 60 minutes, and when typed in standard format (see our Standard Format page), a one-act play is approximately 15-45 (or so) pages in length.

6.   Because of length, a produced short play may be invited to appear with other short plays at the regional and national levels.  For this reason all design elements must be carefully crafted to facilitate the minimal set-up and strike time established by your regional Playwriting Chair in consultation with the regional Executive Committee and Festival Hosts.

7.   It is the intention of the Short Play Program to honor emerging theatrical voices.  Therefore, the regional and national selection process should value the text, supported by strong acting, directing, and production values.  At the national festival, invited short plays will be read by professional actors from the Washington, D.C., area.

Rules and Guidelines