YPT empowers students creatively to tell stories about their lived experiences, highlight the impact of oppression on their lives, and speak their hopes for the future. Three-quarters of participants are homeless or in foster care, qualify for TANF or SNAP, and show significant gaps in test scores; all have been affected by pandemic-related learning slide. YPT powerfully weaves the art of playwriting into language arts curricula, enhancing literacy and inviting creative expression and communication; a summer program serves 3rd-5th graders at the highest risk for learning loss. Ensemble-based creative writing and performance opportunities for older youth tap their creativity, and a group of committed alumni writes a full-length play that YPT presents in productions featuring local professional artists. Students Advocating for the Eradication of Racism (SAFER) creates and shares original arts activism pieces exploring what it means to build safe spaces for DC youth.

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 Community Members

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


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Young Playwrights' Theater is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $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 Spur Local

Each year 150+ community advocates review applicants on the basis of governance, equity, and impact. Each featured nonprofit has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. Spur Local charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $57 million for nonprofits across the Greater Washington region.

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

If you like Young Playwrights' Theater you might also like

This organization collaborates with