2023 LMDA Dramaturgy Program – Guidelines & Submission Form

LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award

The LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award is designed to recognize student dramaturgs who show promise as participants in the diverse landscape of professional dramaturgy. Because dramaturgical work is so often intangible, the application process aims to create space for students to demonstrate how they have tuned their contributions to the needs of a college- or university-sponsored workshop, production, or dramaturgy course. The philosophical foundation of this program rests in the belief that the most effective professional dramaturgs develop an ever-evolving sensibility rather than a rigid set of practices. Such dramaturgs embrace the importance of self-reflection and learning in ways that allow them to tailor their creative work to the needs of each play, production team, and/or audience.

This initiative 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).

Program Participation Eligibility

All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate, as long as they have completed one of the following at a college or university during the calendar year prior to the Regional Festival:

  • Work as a credited dramaturg on a full production or new-play workshop
  • A class assignment with an explicitly dramaturgical focus

How to Participate

  • Join the national conversation in LMDA/KCACTF-sponsored online workshops with professional dramaturgs.
  • Fill out this application form.
  • Attend your Region’s Festival, where you will display, present, and receive feedback about your work. (Check your Regional website for guidelines related to displaying and presenting your work.)

Application Form Details

  • On the application, you will:
  • Provide contact and eligibility details.
  • Send a Reference Form to a faculty member or other professional collaborator who has agreed to speak about your work on the project.
  • Write short reflective statements (150-250 words) addressing three of the following questions:
    1. How did you approach the work of researching and analyzing the play?
    2. What moments of joy did you experience during this process?
    3. How did you adjust your goals in response to project needs?
    4. How did you overcome challenges that arose during the process?
    5. How did you navigate the relationship between your individual work and that of the rehearsals and/or design conferences?
  • Select, organize, and upload the materials that best represent your process and/or dramaturgical sensibility. These items may include emails, pictures of your display, screenshots of webpages, presentations, content shared with project participants or instructor, and/or videos.)
    • Please Note: Although we have set a limit of 100 pages for these uploaded documents, we encourage you to focus on the quality and not quantity of the materials you select.
  • Write an introduction to the materials you have uploaded, briefly explaining why you created them for this project (150-250 words).
  • Write a brief statement (150-250 words) answering one of the following questions:
    • Takeaways:How has this project helped you understand how to improve your dramaturgical work? What aspects of your work will you bring into your next project?
    • Uniqueness:Where are you in this work? If someone else had dramaturged this production, how would it have been different?
    • Impact: How did your individual participation affect the whole? (To address this aspect of your work, we encourage you to invite statements from collaborators who can speak to your intangible contributions.)
    • Dramaturgical Vision: How does this project fit into your overall creative work and plans for the future?
  • Confirm your intent to attend your Regional Festival, where you will display, present, and receive feedback about your work.
    • If applicable, briefly tell us about an aspect of your work that you haven’t yet explained in your previous answers.

Feedback Process

At each Regional Festival, students will participate in conversations with professional dramaturgs, members of LMDA who live in each region, and other qualified Respondents about the following elements of their work:

Creativity: What is unique or innovative about your approach to the work? Where is your dramaturgical sensibility visible?

Collaboration: How did the perspectives of your collaborators affect the choices you made throughout the process?

Contextualization: How did the play itself guide your research and analysis?

Self-Awareness: How does your ability to self-reflect help position you for continued dramaturgical work?



Dramaturgy at the National Festival

After the completion of the Regional Festivals, a panel will be convened to select and invite the strongest student projects for professional development at the National Festival at the Kennedy Center.

The recipients of the National LMDA/KCACTF Fellowships will receive a one-year membership in ATHE and LMDA. Students will also be considered for additional learning opportunities, such as fellowships at the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, The New Harmony Project, The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and the Kennedy Center/National New Play Network MFA Playwrights’ Workshop.