Gassner Award

About The Gassner Award

The John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award Competition fosters new playwrights and scripts through this important competition established by Molly Gassner, wife of theatre historian John Gassner. The Award was created in 1967 to honor the late John Gassner (1903-1967) for his lifetime dedication to all aspects of professional and academic theatre.

Two cash prizes will be awarded: First Prize of $1000, and Second Prize of $500. The judges may withhold prizes if in their opinion no play merits the award. Only full-length scripits are accepted.

Download the application form.

2014 Gassner Award Winner

Michael Kimball for his play Duck and Cover

1962. America's postwar innocence teeters on the brink of a massive culture change: racial integration, feminism, school prayer, Vietnam, Bob Dylan and The Beatles, the birth control pill, such is the world surrounding Duck and Cover.

Twelve-year-old Stevie Whitebottom wants a pair of sneakers. Claire, his housewife mother, would like to get her drivers license. But Hugh, the loving, yet regimented patriarch, sees sneakers and women drivers as the first steps to anarchy. Just your average American household, until Claire's brother Bunny, a trumpeter recently returned from the jazz clubs of Paris, needs a place to stay.

James McLindon

Michael Kimball is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He is the recipient of the 2014 John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award (New England Theatre Conference) for his play Duck and Cover, which was also named BEST PLAY in the Northern Writes Festival (Bangor, Maine) and BEST PLAY in the 2014 Dezart Performs Festival of New Plays (Palm Springs,CA). His play Ghosts of Ocean House was nominated for the 2007 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, and his novel Undone received the Fresh Talent Award in the U.K. and was a London Times' bestseller in 1996. Michael has sold original screenplays and adaptations to movie companies and written episodes for the TV series Monsters.

Learn more about Michael Kimball through his Facebook page and his University of Southern Maine faculty page.