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

Young Playwrights' in Progress

Young Playwrights in Progress


Young Playwrights in Progress is an opportunity for young and/or early-career DC-area playwrights to engage in a script-development and workshop reading process of original, not-yet-produced, one-act or full-length plays with Young Playwrights' Theater.

With the help of a reading committee of theater practitioners, YPT will select two playwrights to engage in the 2020-21 Young Playwrights in Progress program.


Young Playwrights must:

  • Be no younger than 14 years old by September 5, 2020, and no older than 24 years old by May 4, 2021
  • Reside in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia
  • Have access to technology to meet virtually through video conferencing

Early Career Playwrights must:

  • Have no more than two fully-produced original plays (staged, workshop readings or performances in academic settings are ok)
  • Reside in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia
  • Have access to technology to meet virtually through video conferencing
  • Not be currently engaged in a similar process with another theatre company for the same script

Participation Schedule

June 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST: Deadline for playwright submissions

August 7, 2020: Playwrights notified

August 2020 (Date and time TBD): A virtual meeting with YPT to discuss the playwright’s goals for their script

September 5 or 7, 2020: A staged reading in the Kennedy Center’s 2020 Page-to-Stage New Play Festival. The playwright will attend a three-hour rehearsal of their reading (date and time TBD based on actor availability).

September 2020 - May 2021: Monthly script advising meetings with YPT Artistic Director Farah Lawal Harris. These 90-minute meetings involve extensive feedback on new writing, as well as support in script elements (i.e. plot, character development, dramatic structure, etc.); they may take place via video-conferencing or in-person if circumstances allow. Writing and reading assignments to be given at the end of each script advising meeting to be completed by the next session.

Monday, February 1, or Tuesday, February 2, 2021, and Monday, May 3, or Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at 7 pm: Public staged readings, followed by feedback sessions with audience members. If circumstances don’t allow for these readings to take place in-person at YPT's studio (6925 Willow Street, NW, Suite LL-230, Washington, DC 20012), they will be hosted on a live, online platform.

Script Guidelines

Submitted scripts must:

  • Be a complete draft with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Unfinished scripts will not be accepted.
  • Include a title page with the playwright’s name (all other contact information should be omitted)
  • Follow a consistent writing format and have numbered pages and stage directions. YPT encourages playwrights to use the Dramatist Guild’s Modern Stageplay Format 
  • Be straight plays. No musicals or screenplays will be accepted.
  • Be in either PDF or Microsoft Word format
  • Be appropriate to be viewed by a high-school-aged audience

Submitted scripts must not:

  • Have had a full production (i.e. actors off-book, design elements, multiple performances, etc.)
  • Require more than 5 actors to be performed
  • Be adaptations of copyrighted work (i.e. existing TV shows or movies)
  • Be more than 75 minutes long
  • Include explicit sexual content or graphic violence

How to Apply

In addition to the program application, playwrights may submit one script for consideration by TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST. YPT strongly encourages playwrights from systematically and historically oppressed communities (i.e. Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+, disabled, etc.) to submit. Playwrights will receive a small stipend for their participation.

Please apply by clicking below and submitting the electronic application form. A pdf version of the application can be found here and emailed to YPT Production Assistant Keta Newborn at You may also contact Keta Newborn for more information or questions.