Attention must be paid, playwrights. And then you’ll be paid with this new prize.

Move over Pulitzer, there’s a new award in town, with just as fancy of a name.


Jean Kennedy Smith and Columbia University (the administrators of the aforementioned “Puli”) announced a brand new theater award last week in honor of the late great Senator from my home state, Mr. Ted Kennedy.

The annual Prize, appropriately called the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History (or EMK for short), will be awarded to a new play or musical that . . .

. . . enlists theater’s power to explore the past of the United States, to participate meaningfully in the great issues of our day through the public conversation, grounded in historical understanding, that is essential to the functioning of a democracy.

The winner will receive $100k (!) of Fat Stacks (the “Puli” only gives you $10k) . . . and Columbia will build a “study-guide” website to accompany the show.

Pretty sweet, huh?  Ms. Smith has had a long history of supporting the arts, but I had no idea Monsieur Ted was such a theater fan.  But maybe he’s the history part, and she’s the art part, and together they . . . oh, well, who cares how it came to be, let’s just be thankful that there are people like Jean and the late Ted to support plays and musicals that serve a purpose.  They spell theater . . . TheARTer.

Ok, enough of that stuff . . . how do all you playwrights enter to win that Cheddar?

Click here for all the info.  Oh, and if you run into Tony Kushner or the Dean of my Alma Mater, Mary Schmidt Campbell, anywhere . . . make sure you’re nice . . . they’re on the board.

Good luck!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.