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Phone: 503 249 5800
PO Box 13420
Portland
Oregon 97213
USA
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Target demographics: We work with high-school-aged youth 'at the edge:' students in alternative living and learning communities who, for various reasons, have been unable to thrive in mainstream school settings. This ranges from high school students attending night classes, to Native American youth living in tribal communities, to young pregnant and parenting women receiving support in a secure facility. We bring our workshops to them, coaching their own inner artist to create something fantastic, and to turn everything going on in their own minds into works of art.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Each year, we reach approximately 100+/- youth directly as participants of our workshops, of which there are about 10 per year, each of which has 8-10 participants.

Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: pass out programs and serve as an usher at a PlayWrite performance, help edit video footage of workshop performance, provide professional photography or videography in-kind at a showcase.

Geographic areas served: Currently, we serve youth living across the Portland Greater Metro area.

Programs: Our core program is a two-week writing workshop in which trained coaches work one-on-one with high-school aged students in the process of writing an original play. At the end of the two week process, professional actors perform staged readings of these two-character pieces.

Graduates of our core program are also invited to part-take in a song-writing workshop, where students create lyrics for their characters and then work with professional musicians to find the right tunes.

We also offer weekly drop-in writing groups for graduates of our core playwriting workshop. Students gather in a relaxed community setting to share and discuss each others' new works of drama, poetry, fiction...whatever they bring to the table that week!

Mission:
Using the power of performance in art to transform the lives of youth at the edge.

Our work focuses on youth at the margins of our society. Our work empowers youth with creative tools - tools they will use to make themselves stronger through a carefully structured process of creating art. As they develop creative skills through challenging and difficult work, they gain new ways of seeing and coping with the world.
Results:
Since programming started in 2004, PlayWrite has coached over 500 kids through the process of creating original art. Their new works of drama and music have reached audiences totaling over 7,000 people, who've been able to share their own stories of experiencing the magic that happens when a young artist is given the space and the encouragement to create something amazing.

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02/13/14
I recently attended a performance by students of Playwrite in Portland, OR. For me it was such an inspiring experience with stories that are so real, written from the heart of at risk students about their lives and acted out by volunteer professional actors. Inspiring yes but also heartbreaking at... more »
12/08/11
The first time I saw a live PlayWrite performance, I was blown away. It's incredible what these kids write when they've been given a safe and supportive creative space to express themselves. It's like watching healing happen onstage. Beautiful, beautiful work... more »
05/24/11
PlayWrite is a wonderful nonprofit that works one on one with kids at the edge. During a two week workshops students write a short play composed of characters that can only be inanimate objects or animals. The students then direct professional actors in their loosely autobiographical work. Seeing ... more »
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pass out programs and serve as an usher at a PlayWrite performance, help edit video footage of workshop performance, provide professional photography or videography in-kind at a showcase. Volunteer

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