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 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 (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

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 $37 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

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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