It isn't news that low-income, urban youth are especially at risk for disengagement from school. Ethnically diverse and chronically underserved (98% qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program), they need the cognitive, social, and personal skills that arts education is uniquely suited to offer but that today's stripped-down school budgets just don't provide. Young Playwrights' Theater steps into the breach. Its in-school playwriting residency integrates artist-taught workshops into the DCPS curriculum. The program reaches students with multiple learning styles, using the art of playwriting to enhance student literacy, creative expression, and communication. It culminates in a New Play Festival of professional, fully-staged performances that honor outstanding student work by performing it in public. The after-school program develops students' creative expression and collaboration by exploring theater as an ensemble; and a new, on-site workshop provides expanded opportunities for more advanced and committed students to take playwriting to the next level. Finding – and sharing – your voice can be a world-changing experience. You can be part of the transformation.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-City of Alexandria; Adams Morgan; Anacostia; Benning Ridge; Brookland; Capitol Hill; Columbia Heights; Dupont Park; Georgetown; Kingman Park; Lincoln Heights; Marshall Heights; Mount Pleasant; Petworth; Southwest Waterfront

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Veterans/Military Families; Low- to Moderate-Income

Schools They Work In: Amidon Bowen Elementary School; Ballou STAY; Bancroft Elementary School; Bunker Hill Elementary School; Chelsea School; DC International School; Eastern High School; Eliot-Hine Middle School; Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School; H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program; John Adams Elementary School; Kramer Middle School; Lab School; Maya Angelou Academy; Mundo Verde Public Charter School; Orr Elementary School; Savoy Elementary School; SEED Public Charter School; Tubman Elementary School; Claremont Immersion School; Plummer Elementary School; Powell Elementary School; Wakefield High School; Watkins Elementary School


  • Number of students served annually :   1,500
  • Percentage of students who demonstrate measurable improvements in literacy by the conclusion of the program:   70%
  • Number of audience members who attend our free, professional performances of student-written work:   1,000
  • Number of local schools served:   26
  • Number of student-written plays professionally produced each year:   25

Awards & Recognition

Finalist for Mayor's Arts Awards: Oustanding Contribution to Arts Education - 2014, 2015 and 2016
Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management - 2014
Theatre Communications Group A-ha Grant Award - 2013
Finalist for Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management - 2012 and 2013
Hands On Greater DC Cares Community Impact Award - 2012
National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award - 2010
Hands On Greater DC Cares Essence of Leadership Award - 2011
Meyer Foundation Exponent Award for David Snider – 2009
Catalogue for Philanthropy nonprofit – 2009 - 2010
Helen Hayes Nomination, Chasing George Washington - 2009
DCCAH UPSTART capacity building award – 2007, 2011 and 2012
Catalogue for Philanthropy nonprofit – 2005 - 2006
Mayor’s Arts Award for Arts Education – 2005
La Promesa de un Futuro Brillante Award - 2000

Press

Budget (FY2012)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Young Playwrights' Theater is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

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