Dan Addison

Micah Watson (Col ’18) began writing plays when she was a little girl. That love of playwriting has become her career path, which is off to a promising start after the Ridley Scholar received a Kennedy Center National Undergraduate Playwriting Award—$1,000 and a theater residency placement this summer—for her play, Canaan.

Under the guidance of playwriting associate professor Doug Grissom, Watson says she submitted Canaan—a coming-of-age story about Louie, a teenager wrestling with political aspirations, generational divides and love in Washington, D.C., in 1968—10 minutes before the Kennedy Center deadline. A few weeks later, she learned that she’d won the award, which she formally accepted at the Kennedy Center in late April.

“The play deals with ambiguity—there’s no answer I’m trying to give, but instead telling stories about these very real people who are experiencing the events we read about in history books,” says Watson, a double-major in theater and African-American studies. “But we typically don’t see the people in the periphery. These characters come from the stories I’ve heard over and over, of people living during that time.”