PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Three students enrolled in Brown master of fine arts programs captured prestigious national awards for outstanding playwriting and acting at the 2021 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, held virtually throughout the spring.
Each year, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., invites 18,000 students from colleges and universities across the U.S. to participate in workshops and stage productions, recognizing some of the finest festival talent with awards. Through the center’s National Playwriting Program, students who write for the stage have a chance to win all-expenses-paid professional development opportunities, monetary support or active memberships in the Dramatists Guild of America.
Nkenna Akunna, a Brown MFA student in playwriting, received two awards for “Good Fit,” a dark, absurdist play that comments on the limits and liberties assigned to people of different identities. She won a $1,000 first-place Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, which recognizes outstanding one-act plays about social justice or civil rights written by students and faculty, and a $500 second-place Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, which honors outstanding plays that speak to the African American experience.
Seayoung Yim, also Brown MFA student in playwriting, won a $500 second-place Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award, which is given to exceptional plays written by students of Asian heritage. The award was for her play “Jar of Fat,” which explores Korean American identity and “fatphobia” in what she calls a “fantastical fairytale world.”