2021 Kumu Kahua Playwriting Contest In Conjunction with Hawaii Manoa
The winner of the $600 Hawai‘i Prize is Eric Stack of Keaʻau, Hawai‘i for his play, Mendokusai.
The winner of the $450 Pacific Rim Prize is Rex McGregor of Auckland, New Zealand for his play Pacific Caper.
There is no 2021 winner of the $250 Resident Prize.
Each year Kumu Kahua Theatre co-sponsors this playwriting contest with the UHM Department of Theatre and Dance in its effort to nurture local playwrights.
Kumu Kahua Theatre is now accepting entries for the 2022 Playwriting Contest. 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.
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; hence the Pacific/rim Prize.
Kumu Kahua Theatre is a non-profit theatre company which was started by a group of UHM graduate theatre studies students in 1971, and later branched-off on their own and became incorporated as a nonprofit 501c3 in 1990. Though the theatre and Department of Theatre and Dance remain cooperative and supportive of each other, this play contest is their one remaining official affiliation.
To submit a play:
1) You may email your script to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 “2022 Playwriting Contest” in the subject line.
Submitted playscripts become part of Kumu Kahua Theatre/UHM Department of Theatre and Dance 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, are selected by Kumu Kahua Theatre to evaluate the plays. The judgesʻ identity remains confidential, and all scripts are submitted to them anonymously. 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 2022 playwrighting contest will close on Monday, January 3, 2022.
Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by the Island Insurance Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawaii, Trustee); The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai`i, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The John R Halligan Charitable Fund, Charter Communications, ABC Stores, the Gloria Kosasa Gainsley Fund, Hawai`i Public Radio, The Kim Coco Fund for Justice of the Iwamoto Family Foundation, Edric Sakamoto, John Mazur and other foundations, businesses, and loyal patrons.