Oscar G. Brockett Golden Pen Award

Eligibility and Criteria

The recipient of the USITT Golden Pen Award is the author of an outstanding major publication in the field of design and production for the performing arts that appeared within the previous three-year period. The award is chosen by a poll of members of the Publications Committee. The award may be presented annually. The first Golden Pen Award was made in 1986.


  • Books are eligible for a three-year period from the date of publication.
  • Books can be nominated more than once provided they are still within the three year eligibility requirement.
  • Any book that is believed to meet the criteria can be nominated by any USITT member in good standing.  


The winning work will make a significant contribution to the field of performing arts
and will be an outstanding example of one or more of the following:

  • Scholarly research and critical thinking;
  • Inclusivity and Intersectionality;
  • Presentation of the work and methodology of exceptional practitioners for theatrical arts and/or crafts;
  • Description of the methods, skills and technology involved in creating works of theatre and/or crafts.


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Submission Process

  1. Nominations must include the Title, author, publisher, publication date, edition, and reason for nominating.
  2. If a book fails to win the award, it must be proposed again. No books are automatically carried forward from one year to the next.
  3. Non-members can recommend books, but the nominations must come from a USITT member.
  4. Nominations may be made on-line at the USITT website where pertinent details (book title, author, publication information, reason(s) for the nomination) can be submitted. The website directs each nomination to the Golden Pen sub-committee chair(s).
  5. Nominations close on July 1 each year. 
  6. Nominations are directed to the chair(s) of the Golden Pen sub-committee.
  7. The sub-committee will check the validity of each nomination and provide the Publications Committee as a whole with periodic reports on nominations.
  8. The chair(s) of the Golden Pen sub-committee may seek response from expert reviewers on nominated books in unfamiliar technical topics, if deemed appropriate, prior to making the recommendation(s) to the committee.
  9. The members of the Publications Committee review each book that is recommended by the Golden Pen sub-committee. Publications Committee members obtain their own copy of each recommended book.
  10. At the end of the review period, the secretary of the Publications Committee calls for a vote on September 15. Voting must be completed by October 1.
  11. After the vote has been tallied and a consensus on an award(s) determined, the Chair of the Publications committee forwards the title of the designated book to the USITT Awards Committee, who normally ratify the Publications Committee award recommendation, and in turn forwards it to the USITT Board of Directors.
  12. The USITT Board of Directors votes on the recommendation for the Golden Pen Award at its fall meeting (held in October or November) and will normally ratify the committee's award recommendation.

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