Rating: 5 stars   13 reviews


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  

I want to extend a kudos to the members of the PlayWrite company. My students participated in a PlayWrite workshop. Each of these students had their own story to tell, but no one had ever taken the time to dig deep in to that story. Each of the mentors worked with these students to find their voice. Several times students came to me and said this is too hard, but each onf them continued throguh the whole process. At the end they felt accomplished and heard. 8 weeks later, they are still talking about this experience and that they are happy that they did not quit. I would recommend this to any group that works with at risk youth. The students see themselves in a new light.

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