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 :
- Percentage of students who demonstrate measurable improvements in literacy by the conclusion of the program:
- Number of audience members who attend our free, professional performances of student-written work:
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- Number of student-written plays professionally produced each year:
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
- Theater Program for Low Income Kids Rewrites Script on Possibilities
Thu Oct 6 2016, Headlines for the Hopeful
Headlines for the Hopeful featured several standout students and alumni in a story about the impact of our work.
- Theater Brings Literacy to Life for Kids
Thu Jul 28 2016, GOOD
GOOD featured YPT in the "Alphabet of Literacy" series, which explored the intersection of performance and literacy across the US.
- 'From Script to Production: My Journey with YPT' by Marisa Poe
Fri May 13 2016, DC Metro Theater Arts
Marisa Poe, a middle school student, describes her experience as a produced playwright in YPT's 2016 New Play Festival.
- My Experience with Young Playwrights' Festival and My Play 'Room' by Jarid Shields
Fri May 13 2016, DC Metro Theater Arts
Jarid Shields, a high school student, describes her experience as a featured playwright in YPT's 2016 New Play Festival.
- To Do Today: Girls Write Out!, Ex-Cult, and Braids
Mon Oct 19 2015, Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper featured YPT's Women's Voices Theatre Festival production "Girls Write Out!" in To Do Tonight.
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