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; Columbia Heights; Capitol Hill; Dupont Park; Georgetown; Ivy City/Trinidad; Kingman Park; Mount Pleasant; Mount Vernon Square; Petworth; Sheridan; Woodley Park

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

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Students; Low- to Moderate-Income

Schools They Work In: Anacostia High School; Cardozo Education Campus; Eastern High School; Chelsea School; Maya Angelou Academy; Wakefield High School; Eliot-Hine Middle School; Kramer Middle School; Lab School; Bancroft Elementary School; Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School; Moten Elementary School; Orr Elementary School; Savoy Elementary School; Tubman Elementary School; Wheatley Education Campus; Claremont Immersion School; Maret School; Plummer Elementary School; Powell Elementary School; Watkins Elementary School; Walker-Jones Education Campus

  • Number of students served annually :   2,000
  • 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 and 2015
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


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

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue selected us as one of its featured charities! Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $30 million for charities across Greater Washington.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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