Hip Hop Theater Creator Award

To contribute to the Kennedy Center celebration ONE MIC: HIP HOP CULTURE WORLDWIDE, KCACTF will present the Hip Hop Theater Creator Awards as part of this year's Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program.

The awards celebrate new theatrical works that engage hip-hop as an ever-evolving attitude of contemporary resistance and self-definition; creating events for the theatre that tell contemporary stories through the use of one or more of the four original elements of hip-hop culture: B-Girl/B-Boying, graffiti, MC-ing, DJ-ing, and potentially utilizing spoken word, beat-boxing and dance. These awards will recognize single Creator/playwrights/authors, author/performers or collaborative teams.

Danny Hoch, founder of the New York Hip-Hop Theater Festival says "Hip-hop theatre must fit into the realm of theatrical performance, and it must be by, about and for the hip-hop generation, participants in hip-hop culture, or both."

"Hip Hop Theater addresses ethnicity, class, culture, gender, sexuality and generation- it is a theatre of issues that confronts not just young people but the whole world." Daniel Banks, from Say Word!:Voices from Hip Hop Theater, University of Michigan Press

One Creator/Author or team will receive an award of $1000, a residency at the KCACTF National Festival, and a professional development residency to be mutually determined.

A second place award of $500 will be presented.

The selection panel will consist of members of the KCACTF National Playwriting Program and contributing artists of the Kennedy Center ONE MIC Festival. Selection will be based on the reading, review and consideration of the full package of materials sent to the Kennedy Center for consideration.


     •     Author/Creator will be a student [undergraduate or graduate], currently enrolled in a college or university in the US.

     •     If a collaboration, at least 50% of the team will be current students.

     •     The work's length can be from ten-minutes to a full-length work

     •     Works currently in development will be eligible for award consideration.

Materials to be received for consideration:

     •     Creator(s) name(s) and creative responsibility on the project

     •     Contact information (cell number and email address) for each

     •     College or University affiliation of the author/creator and collaborative teammates (if applicable)

     •     A logline or synopsis of the project (roughly 100 words)

     •     A brief letter detailing the development, performance and/or production history of the work

     •     A manuscript of the text/script of the project in PDF format

Additionally, if applicable:

     •     a score for the project in PDF format

     •     any available recording of the project or score either in CD, via web-link , or MP3 recordings (or variants.)

     •     any available video of the project via Youtube or Vimeo (or variants)

Entry deadline

December 1

For questions regarding the Hip Hop Theater Creator Award, contact Gregg Henry (KCACTF Artistic Director) at ghenry@kennedy-center.org

Previous Winners:

2016  My Block by Federico C. Bartolo,III, Los Medanos College

     Second place A Live Mixtape by Tahirih Moeller, California State University - Long Beach

2015  Blood at the Root

Rules and Guidelines