The Young Scholars Competition

In honor of a pioneering black theater scholar and in the interest of encouraging research and scholarship in Black Theatre, BTN has sponsored The S. Randolph Edmonds Young Scholars Competition since 1988. The submitted papers are adjudicated by a panel of BTN's published scholars, and the award winning writers are invited to present their work at the annual conference.

The Judy Dearing Design Competition

The Black Theatre Network established this award in 1996 in honored of pioneering costume designer Judy Dearing to encourage African American students focused on elements of theatrical design. The awards are presented every other year with the other major awards.


2017 CALL FOR PAPERS S. Randolph Edmonds Young Scholars Competition

The Black Theatre Network is currently seeking papers from students at the Undergraduate and Graduate level that are concerned with an aspect of Black Theatre. Entrants do not need to be members of the Black Theatre Network to submit. 

In recognition of Black Theatre scholar and educator, S. Randolph Edmonds, The Black Theatre Network instituted the S. Randolph Edmonds Young Scholars Competition in 1988. This competition seeks to encourage research and scholarship in Black Theatre. The competition supports the overall mission of BTN, to expose the beauty and complexity of the inherited theatre work of our African American ancestors, as well as, preserve and develop Black Theatre’s unique art form. 


• Papers must be typed, double-spaced, and in MLA format with a bibliography page. If applicable, also include endnotes that demonstrate awareness of formal methods of documentation.

• Papers should be between 10 - 20 pages in length. This does NOT include endnotes and bibliography pages (If a submission longer than 10 pages is selected as a winning entry, the author will need to condense the paper to a focused 10 pages for presentation purposes).

• Please include 1) cover letter stating the entrant’s name, university affiliation, class rank, current and permanent address (if not the same), telephone number, email address and a one paragraph biography, 2) a 250-word abstract, and 3) a headshot. The biography and headshot will be used to feature the winners on the BTN webpage. 

• There may only be ONE submission per student. Students should submit their own work; a professor cannot submit on the student’s behalf

• Students cannot send for the conference planner’s consideration a proposal that represents the same paper that they have entered (or will enter) into this contest.


•Winners will be announced by May 15th, 2017 and will be invited to deliver their papers at the 2017Black Theatre Network Conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to be held July 28-31, 2017. 

• A first-place prize of $250.00 and second-place prize of $100.00 will be awarded in both Divisions I (Undergraduate) and II (Graduate) PLUS one night stay in the conference hotel for your attendance at the Young Scholars awards ceremony;

• Winners will participate in a special reception in their honor at the conference; 

• Winners will be announced on the BTN website; and 

• Winners will receive a free one-year membership in the Black Theatre Network and a complimentary conference registration should you choose to attend the entire conference. 


Papers must be received no later than May 1, 2017 & should be sent via e-mail to: Dr. Marta Effinger-Crichlow at

 Please feel free to also contact this year’s conference planner, Andre Harrington, at with questions or for more information.