Low-income students need the cognitive, social, and personal skills that arts education is uniquely suited to offer, but that today's school budgets just don't provide. Working with students ages 8-18, its In-School Playwriting Program integrates artist-taught workshops into the DCPS curriculum, using playwriting to enhance literacy, creative expression, and communication. Each participant writes a play and sees it performed by professional actors in the classroom or at the New Play Festival. Students can further hone their skills through after-school and summer programs, and a social justice workshop series brings together youth, artists, and activists to respond to urgent concerns like police brutality, racism, and xenophobia through "rapid response" playwriting. Strategically targeting the areas of greatest child poverty in DC, and creating continuums of programming that serve the same kids in elementary, middle, and high school, YPT helps the most at-risk kids find – and share – their voices.

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 (FY2016)

  • $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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