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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Young Playwrights' Theater, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Human Services, Theater, Youth Development

Mission: 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 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.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 1,400 students in 58 classrooms covering all 8 Wards of Distric of Columbia Public Schools, as well as the City of Alexandria and Arlington County in Virginia and Prince George's County in Maryland.

Geographic areas served: Public and Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC and the great DC metro region.

Programs: The following programs and productions offer young people the opportunity to share their words with the world while nurturing a new generation of artists: The In-School Playwriting Program enhances student literacy, creative expression and collaboration through the art of playwriting. For over ten years YPT has integrated the learning of a creative writing process into the English, Humanities and History curricula of D.C.P.S. During 14 in-class workshops, led by professional artists, students explore the mechanics of language, drama and self-expression, culminating with each student writing their own 10-minute play. Each year YPT has further developed and refined its process and several schools throughout the District now rely on YPT to provide its holistic learning process as a means of enhancing student literacy, communication and creativity in the classroom. The In-School Playwriting Program culminates in YPT?s annual New Play Festival, which gives students the opportunity to actively participate in the arts by selecting the most interesting and dynamic work written by students each year and producing a professional staged reading at a local regional theater. The After-School Playwriting Program strengthens students? community engagement, collaboration, and conflict resolution by exploring a theatrical process as an ensemble. This year YPT will teach acting, directing, playwriting and design in after-school programs throughout D.C., partnering with the Oak Hill Juvenile Detention Center, Ferebee-Hope Elementary School, The Perry School, D.C. Scores, Kid Power, Asian American LEAD and Freedom Youth Academy. Each of these programs will culminate with a public performance of student-generated work at the end of each semester. In addition, having created a student-run theater company at Bell Multicultural High School during summer 2006, YPT will again train approximately 20 students at Bell throughout the year during after-school hours, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., meeting three times per week, in acting, directing, design and playwriting, and culminating in student performances of original work at the end of each semester for family, friends and peers. The Express Tour (formerly Youth or Dare) shares the work of young playwrights with their greater community in order to create a dialogue that can engage, entertain and educate. During this eight week performance series, our fledgling playwrights play an integral role in the development and production of their work as they polish their scripts with a dramaturge, attend rehearsals, and offer input to the actors and director who will give life to their words onstage. Seeing the final product of their writing develops their self-esteem and creates positive interaction within the community. The tour targets under-served audiences, providing many of these patrons with their very first professional theater experience. As YPT continues to partner with local DC theaters, including Woolly Mammoth, Discovery Theater and GALA Hispanic Theater on Special Projects and performances, its expanding programs and productions are attracting new national partnerships and opportunities to showcase the talents and voices of D.C.?s inner-city youth for a national audience. Currently YPT is partnering with the Smithsonian Institution on two new shows, African Roots/Latino Soul and American Rice, both of which will be written by D.C. public school students and produced by Discovery Theater. YPT will also collaborate in 2006-2007 with the White House and the Kennedy Center on the creation of a new play on students? experience of the White House, to be produced by the Kennedy Center in 2008.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 John421

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What do monsters, high schools, the US Government, prisons, and love stories have in common? EVERYTHING.

Especially if you're one of YPT's students and you're writing about a high school-prison for monsters mandated by the federal government, leaving monsters and non monster relationships in tatters. And that's only one of the fascinating plays I've had the pleasure of attending over my time volunteering for YPT.

Why do they keep giving me the whole seat? I only need the edge!

1 Kareem

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YPT's focus on outcomes is far and above what separates them from other organizations. By focusing on developing students over the course of a year, they're able to measure and track the students' success. YPT's team is encouraging, empathetic, and just plain fun to be around - I have been volunteering for a couple years now, and it is always a joy to see what the students are able to produce, and even more enjoyable to witness their work with the staff that makes it happen!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YPT is an incredible organization that successfully works to empower DC area youth. The events and performances performed by YPT and its students are rewarding experiences for the audience and performers alike. I wouldn't want to volunteer anywhere else!

2 Callie4

Board Member

Rating: 5

YPT has incredible staff very dedicated to running a high-quality, engaging program for kids and the larger DC-area community. I have worked in the education, non-profit field for over 10 years, and have been so impressed with the organization's strategy, resolve, creativity, and energy. I look forward to helping this organization continue to grow and provide transformative educational experiences for kids and their families.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

provides amazing and supportive opportunities for local youth

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YPT is such a vital and important part of the DC community. The programs they lead are effective and affecting, and clearly leave a lasting, positive mark on all who are lucky enough to participate. Additionally, the staff is the most passionate, dedicated, and committed group of people you're ever likely to meet. It's inspiring how much they do with the resources they have, and I'm proud to contribute in whatever small way I can to YPT!

1 Ryan78

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

YPT uses theatre to change kids' lives. As an audience member, for the past six years, I've seen YPT's work and its affects on kids' lives and outlooks, and it never ceases to amaze me. As a director, I've worked with many of YPT's young playwrights and their work coming out of YPT's in-school programs is always challenging and inspiring, and seeing the playwrights watch their work come to life through the voices and bodies of professional actors is always one of the highlights of my creative life. Every time, you can see these young writers realizing the power of their own voices and the value of their own experiences and you get the sense that this experience will forever live in their minds, and that they will carry it forward with a confidence, self-assuredness, and even daring that they might not have found otherwise. And YPT keeps giving more and more kids that experience, in every class, in every rehearsal, and every production, every year. And it's great.

1 Amanda256

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been at YPT as a volunteer since September, and I have nothing but positive things to say. The energy in this office is incomparable to any other organization I've worked with. Everyone is so passionate to achieve YPT's goals, as well as going further than the previous year. I look forward to coming in and helping in the office, because I know a difference is truly being made in the greater DC area.

1 Kathleen127

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YPT is one of the most wonderful organizations in the DC area. I've served as a volunteer for over a year and have interacted with students, peers, and artists at many events and programs. I've come to know the entire staff and many members of the "YPT Family." This organization cares about empowering young people through arts education and few things are more important in my eyes. The team at YPT is dedicated, loving, and innovative. They seek challenges, run excellent programs, pay their teaching artists well, and inspire the communities they serve.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the Young Playwrights Theater for a few months now and I am blown away by the dedication and ability of the employees. This organization has some of the nicest most capable people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They are constantly thinking of new and better ways to bring playwriting, and the arts in general, to a much deserving group of students. Also, their ability to take limited resources and turn them into amazing events for their students and their families only furthers how deserving this organization is of recognition. It has been one of my greatest pleasures getting to volunteer with the staff of YPT and continue to see and experience the amazing work that they do first hand.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a student volunteering part-time at YPT, and I love this organization! I have never met friendlier people than the YPT team and I am honored to work alongside them! Each and every team member loves the work that they do, and it is inspiring to see how dedicated they are to their students. I am so excited to continue working with YPT and all of the wonderful members of the YPT family!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YPT not only has an important and well executed mission to bring out the creative voices of DC's youth, but they have an incredible staff full of enthusiastic and inspiring people to boot! Volunteering with them is a joy and a blast. Working with the program in schools is also greatly rewarding. May their programming continue to expand and reach more young people in the District and beyond!

1 Amelia10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Young Playwrights Theater (YPT) is such an inspirational organization. I initially got involved through a friend who worked there, but in the past three years, I've taken a deeper dive as a volunteer and supporter myself. Their work with students in DC is unparallelled and the results are undeniable. Just try attending performances at the New Play Festival or events like Girls Write Out! without tearing up and feeling your heart fill with joy. I'm so proud to be affiliated with YPT and can't wait to see where they can climb!