Kumu Kahua Theatre Announces Playwriting Contest Winners

The judges have come to a consensus on the prizewinners for THE 2017 KUMU KAHUA/UHM THEATRE DEPARTMENT PLAYWRITING CONTEST. The winner of the $600 Hawai'i Prize is Lee A. Tonouchi of Aiea, Hawai'i for his comedy, Old Futs. John Mazur of Kailua, Hawai'i is the winner of the $250 Resident Prize for his play Topsy-Turvy. No Pacific/Rim Prize was awarded this year.

Kumu Kahua Theatre is a non-profit theatre company which is affiliated with the University of Hawai'i at M?noa (UHM) Theatre Department. Since 1971 this theatre has presented original productions of special relevance to the people of Hawai'i.

Each year Kumu Kahua Theatre co-sponsors a playwriting contest with the UHM Theatre Department in its effort to bring new and exciting drama to the stage. Although Kumu Kahua Theatre has a strong commitment to producing the works of local playwrights they will also produce plays pertaining to Hawai'i that have been written by non-Hawai'i residents. Kumu Kahua Theatre recognizes that many playwrights who have moved to the mainland, for example, may have valuable insights to offer about their local experiences.

The playwriting contest is offered in three separate categories. One prize will be offered in each category. All plays must be original, not involve adaptation form any copyrighted source. They should not have received previous production in their current form. Any number of scripts may be submitted by an individual, but a different pen name must accompany each play. Plays previously submitted to the contest are not eligible.

For the Hawai'i Prize ($600), which is open to residents and non-residents of Hawai'i, the play must be set in Hawai'i or deal with some aspect of the Hawai'i experience. Some examples of appropriate topics might be: pre-colonial life in the islands; relation between indigenous and colonizer; the coming of whalers; missionaries and merchants; the history of ethnic immigration and adaptation to Hawai'i; the development of enter-ethnic relationships; labor history; the territorial era; militarization; the move toward statehood; tourism and development; contemporary immigration and diaspora; women's rights; the experiences of Hawai'i's people outside of Hawai'i. Restricted to full-length plays (minimum 50 pages of standard form).

For the Pacific/Rim Prize ($450), which is open to residents and non-residents of Hawai'i, the play must be set in or deal with the Pacific Islands, the Pacific Rim, or the Pacific/Asian American experience. Restricted to full-length plays (minimum 50 pages of standard form).

For the Resident Prize ($250), which is open to the residents of Hawai'i at the time of submission, the plays may be on any topic, and of any length.

To submit a play:

1) You may email your script to kumukahuatheatre@gmail.com or mail three copies. Plays should be formatted/typed on ordinary bond paper, double-spaced, and on one side of the paper only.

2) Prepare a front page for the manuscript which bears the play title, pen name, and the division in which the play is being entered. Do not place your name anywhere on the script.

3) In an ordinary envelope place a piece of paper with the following information clearly printed or typed (if you are emailing your script, this should be in the body of your email):

a) play title and pen name

b) playwright's real name

c) social security number

d) address and phone number

e) competition division

4) If you are sending via US Mail, seal the envelope and print or type the play title on the outside.

5) Place the playscript and the sealed envelope in a large envelope (or otherwise wrap them together) and mail to:

Kumu Kahua Playwriting Contest
Kumu Kahua Theatre
46 Merchant Street
Honolulu HI 96813

6) If you are emailing your script, put "2018 Playwriting Contest" in the subject line.

Submitted playscripts become part of Kumu Kahua Theatre/UHM Theatre Department Competition Plays, a collection of manuscripts housed and bound in the Hawaiian and Pacific collection of Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai'i. Kumu Kahua Theatre reserves first production rights for two years to all contest winners. All other rights are retained by the playwright. Three judges, whose decisions will be final, will be selected by Kumu Kahua Theatre to evaluate the plays. If, in the opinion of the judges, the plays submitted do not show sufficient merit, one or more prizes may be withheld. Results of the contest will be announced to the press.

The 2018 playwrighting contest will close on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii and by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Hawai'i Tourism Authority, the Hawai'i Community Foundation, The Atherton Foundation, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawaii, Trustee); Hawaiian Electric Company; The Star Advertiser and other Foundations, Businesses and Patrons.

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