The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television had a strong showing at the 2019 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Two graduate students and one alumnus from the theater department were recognized as top playwrights during the festival, which celebrates and honors university and college theater students and their work.

Kyle McCloskey, a first-year graduate student, received the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, which is given to a student who explores issues of gender, diversity and sexual orientation in their play. McCloskey’s “Where the Lovelight Gleams” tells the story about three queer inmates and includes commentary on the criminal justice system, the effects of global warming and the controversial California inmate firefighter program, known as the Conservation Camp Program.

Cary Simowitz, also a graduate student in the theater department, received the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, which recognizes a playwright who has emphasized social justice and civil rights in their work. Simowitz’s play, “Djarum Vanilla,” focuses on the relationship between two characters living in St. Louis, Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown and discusses racism, police brutality and violence.

Sean McCord, theater alumnus who graduated in 1982, was awarded the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Award for his play “Moving,” which tells the story of several couples as they move in an out of a single apartment in Los Angeles.

Read the story on the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television website.