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

Our Mission

Young Playwrights’ Theater inspires young people to realize the power of their own voices. 
By teaching students to express themselves through the art of playwriting, YPT develops students’ language skills, and empowers them with the creativity, confidence and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. YPT honors its students by involving them in a high-quality artistic process where they feel simultaneously respected and challenged and by engaging professional theater artists in producing student plays for the community.

Vision Statement

Young Playwrights’ Theater seeks to create social justice by providing all young people with the opportunity to realize the power and value of their own voices. 

A nationally recognized leader in arts education, YPT proves the benefit of the arts in the classroom by demonstrating the direct and positive impact of an active, arts-integrated process on student learning, and strives to close the academic achievement gap by increasing equitable access to arts education for all students. By offering the opportunity for creative self-expression, YPT encourages students to take ownership of their education, their choices and their futures. YPT shares student-written work with local, national and international audiences to provide a window into young people’s lives and promote respect for young artists. By experiencing their work brought to life for their communities, students realize their ability to affect the world around them.


YPT's Guiding Principles and Beliefs

  • Each student has a story worth telling. We believe the stories that our students have to tell are valuable and provide communities with a powerful perspective about the youth experience. The YPT process invites students to share their ideas, dreams and beliefs through the playwright’s craft.
  • The arts are critical to excellence in education. We believe that theater and the art of playwriting are powerful tools in developing creativity and self-expression and in fostering learning across disciplines.  

  • The process is more important than the product. We involve students in an ongoing creative process that enhances their learning and literacy while providing them with appropriate building blocks to construct a play. While we strive for artistic excellence, we believe the effect of the YPT process is ultimately more important than the work produced. 
  • We strive for high standards from all who participate in our programs. The YPT process honors and respects the value of the work of its professional artists, students and partners. YPT expects the same self-discipline and respect from students as it does from the professionals involved in the process.
  • We meet students where they are. By reaching out to students through organized in-school, after-school and summer programs at neighborhood schools and community centers, YPT provides students of diverse backgrounds with a supportive environment where they can exchange ideas and express themselves freely. 

  • We value collaborations and partnerships to leverage resources to accomplish our purpose. YPT fosters partnerships and forges strategic alliances that both advance and are consistent with our mission and brand. We hold ourselves accountable to optimally use our resources to fulfill our commitment to the community.

  • We work to build a culture driven by inspiration, creativity and joy, and supported by collaboration and teamwork. The YPT office is a safe and comfortable space where all staff, students and artists are deeply valued and respected.

  • We are committed to providing staff with the space, freedom and time to innovate and dream, and with opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.

  • We each own and celebrate the success of our company. We believe in focused, outcome-driven work, and we strive to develop a staff that is deeply connected to our mission and accountable for the success of our students, our community and our mission.

  • We know that YPT is a company powered by people. We therefore work to balance sustainable organizational and programmatic growth with thoughtful consideration for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of our staff, weighing all new opportunities and carefully considering their impact.

Comparative Advantage

YPT is the only professional theater in Washington, DC dedicated entirely to arts education. Deeply engaged with local schools, YPT:

  • Fully integrates into existing curricula, using its innovative approach to learning to help classroom teachers teach the required standards. 
  • Helps students learn the importance of writing, revision and grammar as a way to communicate what is important to them -- their ideas, dreams and beliefs -- to the world around them.
  • Employs accomplished teachers, who are also seasoned artists, to teach students the craft of theater and playwriting. 
  • Seeks to have long-term impact on student growth by working with a limited number of students each year and tracking their progress after their completion of the program.
  • Shares only its students’ original works through professional productions and tours that include the area’s finest actors, directors and designers.
YPT is sought after as a partner and has an established network in the arts and arts education communities. The quality of YPT’s work attracts attention and support from local, national and international companies and funders.

Policies and Practices

YPT’s Company Policies

YPT’s Writing Process.

Want to get involved with YPT? Click here to learn more!