Through our own awards and our participation in industry awards, we are proud to recognize the work of artists everywhere.

Samuel French Awards

We recognize some of the theatre community's most respected artists, activists and rising stars each year at the Samuel French Awards. Read coverage on this year's honorees and check out our Samuel French Awards series on Breaking Character Magazine.

2018 Honorees

Award for Sustained Excellence in American Theatre
The Secret Garden (writing team Lucy Simon & Marsha Norman)

This award is bestowed upon a Samuel French playwright, composer or lyricist whose body of work has been successfully produced across the nation, at both amateur and professional levels.

Award for Impact & Activism in the Theatre Community
Doug Wright

This award is given to an individual who has significantly impacted the theatre community through activism in the past year.

The Next Step Award
Antoinette Nwandu

This award celebrates and supports playwrights, composers or lyricists toward the next step of their career. The award recognizes artists who have demonstrated strong energy and talent in their career thus far, and offers support for a current or shelved project.

See below for a list of our past honorees, and learn more on Breaking Character Magazine.

2017 Honorees

Award for Sustained Excellence in American Theatre
Ken Ludwig

Award for Impact & Activism in the Theatre Community
Dominique Morisseau

The Next Step Award
Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen

2016 Honorees

Award for Sustained Excellence in American Theatre
Sarah Ruhl

Award for Impact & Activism in the Theatre Community
Keith Josef Adkins and The New Black Fest

The Next Step Award
Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond

Kennedy Center ACTF New Play Awards

The National Student Playwriting Award, initiated in 1974, is part of the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program. The purpose of this award is to encourage college students to write for the stage by providing the opportunity for them to collaborate with actors, directors, and others through all stages of production, including rehearsals and performances. The playwright and/or institution chosen for the National Student Playwriting Award may receive the following:

Production of the play at the Kennedy Center as part of the KCACTF national festival, with all expenses paid for the production and the playwright.The Kennedy Center will award the playwright a cash prize of $2500. Dramatists Guild Award. The Dramatists Guild Award provides the playwright with Active membership in the Guild.

Professional Development Fellowship. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will provide the award recipient with an all-expenses paid professional development opportunity.

The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Award. ATHE will present an award of $100 to each theater department producing an original student-written, full-length play at each of the eight KCACTF Regional Festivals. Additionally, ATHE will present a cash award of up to $1000 to the theater department of the school producing the National Student Playwriting Award recipient in a public ceremony during the KCACTF National Festival.

The option to publish and license the play with Samuel French, Inc.

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition solicits plays from the leading MFA/graduate programs in the United States and then conducts a rigorous selection process to find four finalists and one winning play. The winner receives a full production in Atlanta during the Alliance Theatre's season and is offered the option to be published and licensed by Samuel French.

Past Winners
In Love and Warcraft 
by Madhuri Shekar
The C.A. Lyons Project by Tsehaye Gesalyn Hebert
Bike America by Mike Lew
 by David Robinson
Election Day by Josh Tobiessen
Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The by Meg Miroshnik
In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar
Sick by Zayd Dohrn

The Ted Schmitt Award

Given by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle(LADCC), the Ted Schmitt Award honors an outstanding world premiere of a new play in the Los Angeles area. By working with the LADCC to publish and license the Ted Schmitt award winner, it is our hopes to expand our presence in the growing Los Angeles-area theatre community.

Past Winners
by Qui Nguyen
Everything You Touch by Sheila Callaghan
A Mexican Trilogy by Evelina Fernandez 
Extraordinary Chambers
by David Wiener
Yellow by Del Shores
The Happy Ones by Julie Marie Myatt
Song of Extinction by EM Lewis
The Quality of Life by Jane Anderson
Water & Power by Richard Montoya
The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife by Del Shores
The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed
The Job by Shem Bitterman
Avenue A by David Steen

The L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting

The Williamstown Theatre Festival administers the L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting on behalf of the Anna L. Weissberger Foundation. The award honors noted theatrical attorney and avid theatre supporter L. Arnold Weissberger who passed away in 1981, and is designed to recognize excellence in playwriting. The recipient of the award will receive a $10,000 grant, and the winning script will receive a reading produced by the Williamstown Theatre Festival during the following Festival Season, as well as publication by Samuel French, Inc.

Past Winners
Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by Jiehae Park
Paradise Blue by Dominique Morisseau
Five Mile Lake by Rachel Bonds
The Body of an American by Dan O'Brien
Truth and Reconciliation by Etan Frankel
Motherhouse by Victor Lodato
Jump/Cut by Neena Beber

The Princess Grace Award

National in scope, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships. One individual playwright is awarded a fellowship, which includes a seven year residency at New Dramatists and an opportunity for their winning play to be licensed and published by Samuel French, Inc.

Past Winners
by Jiehae Park
so go the ghosts of méxico, part 1 by Matthew Paul Olmos
Holly Down in Heaven by Kara Lee Corthron
Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatma
The Zero Hour by Madeline George
Cherry Smoke by James McManus
White Buffalo by Don Zolidis
Anon and What They Have by Kate Robin