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The Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Competition 2019

The University of California San Diego’s Theatre and Dance Department seeks from all enrolled undergraduate students submissions of previously unproduced, unpublished scripts highlighting African American experience in contemporary or historical terms. Adaptations from books and other forms not allowed.

    Download the Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwrighting Competition 2019 flier >>

Scripts must be original, unpublished, unproduced and free of royalty and copyright restrictions. Plays
which have had staged readings are acceptable. Scripts must be 50 pages or longer, typed. Scripts must be 50 pages or longer, typed. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically USING COLLEGE EMAIL ADDRESS ONLY.  You must also include your contact information (name, college email, and address); play title, number of characters, institution affiliation, anticipated date of graduation, and a one page story summary.

Scripts will be accepted beginning January 1st, 2019.
Deadline for entry is Friday, April 12th, 2019.
The winner will be announced by April 26th, 2019.
The 2019 Wagner New Play Festival will take place May 7-18, 2019.

A $1000 honorarium will be awarded to the winning playwright. A staged reading of the winning script on campus Saturday morning, May 11th, 2019. Travel and housing cost to and from UC San Diego to be present for the performance.

Finalists and the eventual winner will be selected by a team comprised of the faculty and artists of UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance and invited judges from other professional theatres at the Gaffney Competition, now in its eleventh year. The decision of the team of adjudicators is final. The UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance reserves the right to select no winner.

Sparked by Paula Deen's perverse remarks of an Antebellum South themed wedding with “historically appropriate” staff, Stand and Wait follows a seasoned black actress Carla, and a naïve white actress Tracy, who make friends in an audition, only to be handed a script that caters to America's worst racial instincts. The event transcends to a plantation outside of space and time as Carla encounters ghosts of slaves and the legacy that’s been haunting her. The play is for 6 actors: 4 female, 2 male.

Eliana Pipes is a playwright, filmmaker and actor graduating from Columbia University with a B.A. in English and entering Boston University's MFA Playwriting Program. Recent work includes: Stiletto Envy (Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, The Fire this Time Festival) Isadora del Sol ( KCACTF John Cauble Award).
Check out an interview with Eliana Pipes by Marshall Institute >>


Download a PDF sample of Stand and Wait >>

Jurors for last year’s award were MFA playwrights Dave Harris and Vivian Barnes, and Allan Havis, professor of theatre at UC San Diego. The Theatre & Dance Department wishes to thank the work of the jurors, the Dean of Arts and Humanities, and also the Gaffney family for lending Dr. Floyd Gaffney’s name to this national event - recognizing Dr. Gaffney’s achievement in African American theatre.

    The History of the Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Competition >>


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