Submissions for the 2020 Bridge Award are now open!

The Bridge Award was established with the purpose of recognizing an emerging playwright of exceptional talent within the United States military. The award consists of a $10,000 prize and an AITAF produced reading of the winning work. The 2020 final selecting judge will be David Henry Hwang.

In addition to bringing world-class theater to the military, AITAF is committed to supporting and sharing the talents of those who serve. This award offers a deserving current military service member or veteran artist important connections with the theater community and access to developmental resources, helping to facilitate a deeper understanding and more active dialogue between military and civilian communities.

Submissions for the 2020 Bridge Award will be from December 1, 2019 until February 1, 2020. 


2020 Final Selecting Judge: David Henry Hwang

Tony Kushner
David Henry Hwang’s work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the most-produced living American opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards. He co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop icon Prince, and worked for four seasons as a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. Hwang serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts and as Chair of the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. His newest work, Soft Power, written with composer Jeanine Tesori, premiered in 2018 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre, where it won 6 Ovation Awards including Best New Production, and just completed a successful run at New York’s Public Theater.

The Bridge Award Team


David Henry Hwang

Submissions Coordinator/Reader Committee Chair
Anna O’Donoghue

Reading Committee
Heidi Armbruster
Jaclyn Backhaus
James Bartelle
J. Stephen Brantley
Jack Canfora
Nat Cassidy
Vichet Chum
Alice Eve Cohen
Gina Femia
Nick Gandiello
Asta Hostetter
Mike Inwood
Hunter Kaczorowski
Portia Krieger
Eric Lane
Mona Mansour
Caroline McGraw
Tira Palmquist
Barbara Samuels
Emily Schwend
Tom Story
Moritz Von Stuelpnagel
Daniel Talbott
Leah Nanako Winkler

AITAF encourages first time playwrights to submit!

View Playwriting Resources

The awarded playwright receives:

  • $10,000 prize.

  • An AITAF produced reading of the winning play, in NYC or on base (if the winning playwright is in active duty) with a professional director and cast.

  • A reception and feedback session following the reading.


  • Author must currently serve or have served in the United States military. All selected finalists will be required to provide proof of service.

  • All submissions must be full-length, completed plays.

  • Musicals, screenplays, or one-act plays are ineligible.

  • All submissions must be unpublished.

  • The submitted play may not have received a professional, reviewed production.

  • The submitted play may address any subject matter or theme; military settings or content are not given any extra consideration.

  • Each author may submit one play per year; multiple submissions are not allowed.

  • Once a play has been submitted, no further revisions or new drafts may be entered during that judging cycle. Each submitted play is eligible for one re-submission (with or without revision) in a subsequent judging cycle.

  • Plays with a producer, producing organization or theater attached are not eligible.