Young Playwrights' Theater inspires young
people to realize the power of their own voices.

 New Play Festival

The New Play Festival is an annual celebration of bold new voices.

Each year Young Playwrights’ Theater honors plays from a diverse group of YPT students in a production that celebrates the playwright’s craft.

Professional actors, dramaturges and directors collaborate with student writers to create an evening of dynamic theater. 

YPT is proud to honor the bold, gritty and bright new voices of young writers.

Objective:  The New Play Festival celebrates and honors the work of our young playwrights.
The 2016 New Play Festival

YPT's 2016 New Play Festival will be unlike any other we have held before!

Most years, the Festival takes place over two or three nights at GALA Hispanic Theatre in Columbia Heights. This year, however, we're doing something different.

As YPT's Dream Impact Map takes us into more and more communities outside of Ward 1, we have begun looking for ways to make our performances more accessible to our playwrights and their families.

That is why the 2016 New Play Festival will take place over three weeks, at three different venues across DC!

All performances FREE and open to the public



The New Play Festival - Night Three
Monday, April 25, 2016, at 7pm

Logan Fringe Arts Space
Elementary/Middle School Plays
Tickets available at the door!




The New Play Festival - Night One was an enormous success! Professional actors brought six elementary school voices to life in front of over 200 community members at GALA Hispanic Theater. Thank you to all who made this an unforgettable night for everyone!

CLICK HERE for photos from the performance!




Night Two of the 2016 New Play Festival packed the Anacostia Playhouse for four fun, exciting and insightful high school plays! Thank you to all who joined us to support these talented young playwrights, and to the professional artists who realized their visions beautifully. 

Stay tuned for photos!



2016 New Play Festival Featured Playwrights and Plays


April 11 - GALA Hispanic Theatre



The Kitty is on a quest for yummy fish, and won’t stop until its grumbling tummy is sated. The selfish crocodile Mr. Rawr, however, will do whatever he can to keep the Kitty out of his pond! Feline brains take on reptile brawns in Mr. Rawr and the Kitty, a play told entirely through animal sounds!

Branaya Reese Brown is a student at Watkins Elementary School.




Arrowstone from Stoneland is sent to the mysterious Woodland to track down his nemesis, Killerstone. With the help of brand-new superpowers and a talking flower named Rose, Arrowstone sets out to defeat Killerstone before he destroys Woodland. Find out who prevails in Wesley Hoy's Arrowstone in Woodland!

Wesley Hoy is a student at Bancroft Elementary School.



Molly Wonder Melon lives in Darkville, and has always wondered what it is like to experience light. When she finds out about Light Village, she and her friend Siera set out on a quest to find light and bring it back to Darkville! Will they succeed, or will their enemy Jules keep them from ever coming home again? To Light Village We Go!

Martina Mendoza is a student at Tubman Elementary School.




God and the Archangel Gabriel are having a quarrel: God wants more people to get into Heaven, but Gabriel wants to stop his cunning plan! When Gabriel steals one of God’s potions and flees to Earth, will he reveal the truth of God’s plan? Find out in the fun and exciting God and Gabriel!

Talayia Richardson is a student at Wheatley Education Campus.




Maddie’s grandfather is sick, and the medicine to heal him hasn’t been invented yet. Good thing she and her boyfriend Jason just finished their time machine! Can they jump forward in time to save her grandfather, or will love-struck Timothy throw a wrench in their plans and get them all stuck in the time of the dinos? Dive into The Time Trap and find out!


Maddie Salunga is a student at Watkins Elementary School.



Aarionna Thomas’s The Two Parents tells the touching story of Kahniya, whose mother and father are considering getting divorced. Through honest, open conversations between Kahniya and her mom, Michelle, The Two Parents offers a rarely-seen perspective on divorce through the eyes of a child caught in the middle.

Aarionna Thomas is a student at Orr Elementary School.



April 18 - Anacostia Playhouse

Darren is a high school geek with a dark secret: he has super powers! In the care of his uncle, Darren moves from place to place, constantly changing his identity to protect himself—but from what? Follow Darren as he learns the truth about his past, faces off against bullies and starts over at a new School!

Rachael Brock is a student at Anacostia High School.




Ron has a big assignment due, but soon finds out he has an even bigger problem: his homework keeps coming to life! Is he hallucinating or did it really happen? Why can he remember doing his homework, but then arrive at school and find every question blank? Who’s in charge here: Ron or his homework? Find out in Ron vs. the Living Homework!

Ronald Coe III is a student at Chelsea School.



Nomin Ganmend's Twins tells the extraordinary tale of Carmen and Jorge, a couple who desperately want a child but can’t have one. When Carmen finds an abandoned baby in the park, she faces a difficult choice: return the baby to her ne’er-do-well parents, or keep her and raise her as her own. The drama unfolds in Twins!

Nomin Ganmend is a student at Wakefield High School.



Thomas Garfield is a twenty-something recluse who struggles with crippling social anxiety. He almost never leaves his apartment or speaks to anyone besides his mother and his therapist, Jennifer. When a kindly neighbor takes an interest in Thomas, can her compassion help coax him out of his room? Tour through the mind of someone with social anxiety disorder in the beautifully rendered and evocative play, (Room).

Jarid Shields is a student at Eastern High School.




April 25 - Logan Fringe Arts Space


Bob hates Halloween. All he wants to do is spend the holiday alone, without being bothered or scared. Little does he know that his friend Dave has other plans: plans to throw a Halloween party at Bob’s house! Ghosts, Ketchup Monsters and random partygoers abound in the hilarious tale of Bob’s Halloween!

Kreshaun Brooks is a student at Moten Elementary School.




Maya is a mortal girl rescued by Artemis and delivered to Mount Olympus. Her life’s dream is to eat an Apple of Immortality and become immortal like the nymphs and gods who tease her, but the mortal King Mathias has the same dream. Will Maya and her cat Everblade reach Hera’s Tree of Immortality before Mathias (aka StealthSword) and his evil dog, Fang? Immortality awaits in A Mortal in an Immortal Land!

Alice Hockstader is a student at The Lab School of Washington.



Sierra and her friend Melissa just started their own youth dance studio, and learned some startling news: new studios have to compete with other studios to see what they’re made of! Just their luck, they’re competing against their frenemy Chanel and her ballet academy. Can the upstart company get their act together in time to show their moves? Find out in Sierra Morris's Show Your Moves!

Sierra Morris is a student at Moten Elementary School.




Kate Glader of the Los Angeles Sparks is the best player in the WNBA. Despite that, she only makes $72,000 a year, while NBA stars like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade make millions. Tired of unequal pay for equal work, Kate challenges her money-grubbing manager, Chris, to a one-on-one game for a fair wage. Take to the court for gender equality in The Basketball Duel!

Marisa Poe is a student at Maret School.




Triniti and Andrea used to be best friends, until Triniti made it big as a fashion designer and Andrea became her lowly assistant. Now, Triniti wants to design a dress for Michelle Obama, but Andrea is set on undermining her and taking her business. Who will prevail? Find out in Living the Dream!

Nafisa Weeks is a student at Eliot-Hine Middle School.




"It's My Life, in My Own Words I Guess..." - The Helen Villegas Documentary
By iCD Productions

In the spring of 2014, documentary filmmakers at Corcoran College of Art + Design produced a short film on one of our 2014 New Play Festival Featured Playwrights, Helen Villegas. 

Helen, a student at Bell Multicultural High School, had written a stirring play called It's My Life, in My Own Words I Guess... that our company performed on Night Three of the New Play Festival. The film premiered shortly thereafter!

We are incredibly proud of Helen and excited to share her work in this way. Without further ado, we present "It's My Life, in My Own Words I Guess..." - the documentary of Helen Villegas!



Special thanks to Benjamin Katz and the iCD Productions team for creating this beautiful film.

Past New Play Festivals

To see photos, video and information on past New Play Festivals, follow the links below.



New Play Festival 2015






 New Play Festival 2014





New Play Festival 2013







New Play Festival 2012





New Play Festival 2011







New Play Festival 2010







New Play Festival 2009







New Play Festival 2008






New Play Festival 2007





To view production history prior to 2007, click here.