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  

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 their work played out in front of them, students are helped to move past the issues holding them back. In many cases the creative energy tapped into to create the play open the floodgates on the river of life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the students take a bow after their play is amazing. You can see instantly how proud they are and how happy they are to have recogntion from the audience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it available to more students

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

PlayWrite provides a great opportunity for youth by giving them voice and a creative outlet to work through hardships. The coaches know how to encourage them and when to push just a little to let them tell their stories using inanimate objects and aminals. I love watching the youth introduce their work and how they react seeing it brought to life by professional actors and musicians.

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

seeing what objects or animals the youth use in their work to symbolize different characteristics or emotions. Then watching an actor bring to life something like a parking meter, a canoe with a leak or a spatula is amazing.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

PlayWrite has a transformative effect on the kids involved. To watch their faces and body language change during the performances and to hear their comments afterwards is amazing. The plays can pierce your heart with their intense emotions.

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

deicated and icommitted to the organization's mission statement of using the power of performance in art to transform the lives of "youth at the edge"

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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