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The Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Competition

The Dr. Floyd Gaffney National Playwriting Competition on the African American Experience at UC San Diego, now in its eleventh year, awards $1000 to a winning undergraduate author along with travel and lodging to participate in a staged reading of their play. Read a History of the Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Competition >>

Submissions for the 2018 Competition:

All scripts must be submitted starting January 1st, 2018 by email to playwritingcompetition@ucsd.edu.

Learn more on the Playwriting Contest page >>

The 2017 WINNER:

The winner of this year's Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Competition at UC San Diego is Yale University's a.k. payne with her play ain’t no dead thing.

About the Play:
On the morning of May 31, 1921, Edwina kills the chicken that led Noa on her amazing 300 mile journey from Chicago to Tulsa after her son was found at the bottom of Lake Michigan in 1905. Later that night, a gun goes off leading to the massacre that destroyed one of the the economic beacons of Black America. Two pairs of forbidden lovers try to imagine a world where they can breathe.

About the Playwright:
a.k. payne is a rising junior at Yale University double majoring in English and African-American Studies. Her people are rooted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a two-time winner of the Yale Playwrights Festival, a 2016 YoungArts Winner in Playwriting, and a 2016 semifinalist for Quicksilver Theater Company’s Playwrights of Color Summit and the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. She owes all to God, her parents and her many mentors.
Check out an interview with a.k. payne by Marshall Institute >>

There will be a staged reading of this year's 2017 Gaffney Playwriting Competition winner, a.k. payne's ain't no dead thing this Saturday, June 3rd in the Shank Theatre at 2:00 pm. The reading is free and open to the public,


Short Rib
by Alcindor Leadon
Short Rib follows the Ramseys, an affluent Black family stunned by an unidentifiable illness that has befallen eldest son Seth, a former journalist. Destitute, Seth moves into the apartment of his two brothers: Able, a videogame engineer, and Kane, a model flirting with a writing career. The three bachelors fall into a rut, until their mother plans a surprise birthday party that shatters the family’s inner world.
(The play is for 7 actors - 6 male, 1 female)
Yale University

Take Me Home
by Xander Browne
Bear and Red, running away from home and on the streets of rural town New Hampshire find their way to McDonalds. At the drive-thru window, things go badly and the manager pulls a gun on the children. The consequences escalate tragically.
(The play is for 9 actors - 5 male, 4 female)
Columbia University

Check out an interview with Xander Browne by Marshall Institute >>

Waiting For Superman
by Drewcella Oya Mae Davis
Four brothers wait at a bus stop. The youngest brother Kendrick reveres their father - known as Superman – but they’ve never met him. The brothers also wait for Kendrick to die. Kendrick has been infected with a disease that was planted by white people and only infects blacks in segregated neighborhoods.
(the play is for 5 actors - 4 male, 1 female)
Augsburg College

Check out an interview with Drewcella Oya Mae Davis by Marshall Institute >>

Read the press release of this year's results >>

The History of the Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Competition >>


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