Vaclav Havel Foundation Playwriting Competition

Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) was a playwright, political dissident, and the former president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. He became well-known as a dramatist in the 1960s when his plays, The Garden Party and The Memorandum were performed on the world's stages. In the 1970s, he was one of the authors of Charter 77 – a manifesto calling for the Czechoslovak government to adhere to the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Agreement.  In 1989, he became the leader of the two-month long "Velvet Revolution," which culminated in his ascension to the Presidency of the re-established democratic Czechoslovakia.

In honor of Vaclav Havel and the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation together with the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague seeks undergraduate play submissions based on a theme drawn from a play by Vaclav Havel. The winner receives a two-week trip to Prague which includes a residency and staged reading of their play at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.


The contest is open to undergraduate students of Drama, Dramatic Writing and Slavic studies who submit an original mini-drama, a one-act play, that has not been published and will not be published before the announcement of the contest results. The contest is anonymous.  Undergraduate students of other fields are welcome to apply as well.


The award consists of a two-week residency in Prague with classes offered by the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU); visits to Prague theatres; a round-trip air ticket to Prague and accommodation. The schedule at DAMU will be prepared individually according to the winner’s study focus and interests. Date: November 2020 (around November 17th, the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution).

DAMU is a modern, university-level school of the performing arts. It offers artistic personalities who have a broad cultural perspective and intense desire for profound learning the opportunity to integrate theatrical knowledge and skill with artistic experiment. DAMU is a highly selective school, providing professional education in all branches of theatre creation: acting, directing, dramaturgy, scenography, theory and criticism, theatre management, authorial creation, and drama in education in the fields of regular and alternative theatre, performance studies and puppetry.


Plays should be sent in PDF format without the author’s name on the script to The subject line should be “The Memorandum”. Authors should submit a separate sheet with all contact information.


The deadline for submission is May 15, 2020.  Winners will be announced in June 2020.


Class Year

  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior


  • Arts
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Health
  • Humanities
  • International Affairs
  • Public Affairs/Government
  • Social Sciences
  • STEM
  • Multiple


  • English


  • Other

Program Type

  • Professional
  • Undergraduate


  • Europe

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