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


In-School Playwriting Program

The In-School Playwriting Program integrates the art of playwriting into the classroom in order to enhance student literacy, creative expression and communication.

Students explore playwriting, revision and performance with professional playwrights, actors, directors and teaching artists in the classroom.

Students learn the importance of language structure, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary choice as a means of clearly communicating their own thoughts, choices and imaginations to the world around them.

During a carefully crafted series of standards-based, in-class workshops, students explore the mechanics of language, drama and self-expression, culminating in the creation of their own original play.



Integrated Into the Classroom




YPT’s curriculum is standards-based, aligning with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. We have also developed models for integration in History and Social Studies classes, where students learn about Jamestown and the Constitution through an interactive semester of playwriting.







Actor Visits


Professional actors visit the classroom during the In-School Playwriting Program.  Hearing their work read aloud gives students a strong motivation to continue working and revising their plays.







Proven Track Record

Each year YPT has further developed and refined its process and several schools now rely on YPT to provide its holistic learning process as a means of enhancing student literacy, communication, and creativity in the classroom.
By emphasizing reading, writing, and revision, the In-School Playwriting Program improves literacy in the following target areas:
  • Increased ability to write expressively
  • Increased ability to revise and edit writing
  • Development of strong listening and speaking skills
  • Improvement of vocabulary, grammar, and spelling
  • Increased comprehension of text
In 2012, only 45.6 percent of high school students in DC Public Schools (DCPS) scored at the proficient level in reading on standardized tests. In response, Young Playwrights’ Theater crafted a new playwriting curriculum that addresses and integrates the Common Core State Standards.
Expanding its long-term partnership with Bell Multicultural High School to work with the entire 10th grade and faculty on this new curriculum, YPT’s model exemplifies the philosophy emphasized in these new standards and inherent in YPT’s work: learning an interactive writing process in the classroom as a means of creative self-expression is central to successful student learning. 

To view our 2010 assessment results for elementary schools, click here.

To view our 2010 assessment results for high schools, click here.

Culmination and Celebration


The In-School Playwriting Program culminates in the annual New Play Festival.
Many plays are also given staged readings at New Writers Now!.
Many of our student plays are published in the New Play Festival book or in our first widely available book, Write to Dream.               


To Apply

For more information on how to bring the In-School Playwriting Program to your school, contact Laurie Ascoli at 202-387-9173 or



In-School Playwriting Program 2011-2012 Photo Album
The slideshow below features pictures from YPT’s recent In-School programs. 

Click on the image to view details for any photo. You can also view all of our photo albums on our main photo page.

Photos by Liza Harbison.

Kennedy Center VSA Playwright Discovery Program

As part of the VSA Playwright Discovery Program, YPT provides playwriting programming at Anacostia High School, Chelsea School, The Lab School of Washington and Swanson Middle School. The VSA Playwright Discovery program gives students with and without disabilities, in middle school or high school, grades 6-12, the skills to create original scripts that address the disability experience via the theater or media arts.