Service members past and present have until March 1 to submit an unpublished play to Arts in the Armed Forces, a group co-founded by Marine-turned-actor Adam Driver, for a chance at a $10,000 prize.
The Bridge Award will mark the group’s 10th anniversary. Since its founding, AITAF has staged free plays and monologue performances featuring Driver and other well-known actors at military installations worldwide.
AITAF also will stage a professional reading of the winning play. The award will be presented in November at the group’s annual Broadway show; this year’s cast included Laurence Fishburne and Mark Ruffalo.
Submissions must be made through a link on the group’s website. Full rules and details also are available there, but here are some basics for aspiring writers:
- Current and former members of all military components are eligible, including students at service academies.
- No co-authored pieces will be accepted, and no screenplays, compilations of short plays or other works outside of completed plays will be considered.
- Finalists will receive word of their selection in mid- to late April, and will be asked to provide proof of service.
- Plays do not have to be about the military.
- Troops whose service may prevent them from attending a reading of their winning play in New York City may be eligible to host the reading at their duty station, pending command approval.
A selection committee will submit finalists to Suzan-Lori Parks, whose Topdog/Underdog earned the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Parks won’t speak publicly on her judging criteria, an AITAF official said, but the group’s website says the contest seeks “plays that are truthful, well-crafted, and use the power of language to explore the human condition.”
Driver will reprise his role as Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which premieres Friday. He spoke with Military Times in 2014 about the origins of AITAF as rumors swirled of his casting in “The Force Awakens.”
Playwrights with further contest questions can get help direct from AITAF here.
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.