Rating: 5 stars   11 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Arts & Culture, Children & Youth


PO Box 13420 Portland OR 97213 USA


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.


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.

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.

Geographic areas served:

Currently, we serve youth living across the Portland Greater Metro area.


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!

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Reviews for Playwrite

Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I live in a rural area of North Central Washington state where I practice law and work with youth at the Alternative High School. A friend who is on the PlayWrite Board asked me to donate some legal services to the organization. Through this work, I learned about the amazing work (miracles really) that Bruce and his coaches and talented Portland area actors perform with youth, many of them at the fringes, in Portland. I attended the December plays and was blown away by the ability of this program to release emotional angst in a safe and supportive environment while providing an amazing experience to encourage further creativity and to foster confidence in a lost and marginalized population. As a result of the experiences I have seen with youth involved with PlayWrite in Portland, I am working with the arts council in the area where I live to try to bring Bruce and his magic to the disenfranchised rural youth where I live. Unlike therapy alone, by combining a safe exploration of life experiences and feelings with creative expression and the support of talent in the local arts community, I truly believe that this organization reaches and transforms the core of some young souls who otherwise might be lost to us and to themselves. I cannot say enough good things about the dedication of this staff and the work that they are doing.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I delivers a terrific bang for a donor's bucks.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Every person involved is completely committed to the mission of PlayWrite.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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