The Young Playwrights Program (YPP), ACT's flagship education program, sends professional playwright teaching artists into area schools for 10 weeks to teach the basics of playwriting to Puget Sound-area students. ACT's YPP equips participants with tools for creative self-expression, endowing them with self-confidence and the sense that their ideas – about themselves, their world, and the challenges they face – matter, and their voices will be heard.
Offered in the fall as a FREE afterschool program open to students 14 - 18 at ACT! Find out more
"This program has really helped me to find out more about myself. The more I write, I discover connections between each piece and that's when I realize, wow, this is what I'm interested in, this is who I am."
-Si Jia Yu, Roosevelt High School
Started in 2002, YPP is a natural extension of ACT's commitment to new plays and playwrights. The YPP begins in the fall of the school year, when professional playwright/teaching artists from ACT go into the classroom and teach the rudiments of playwriting. Concepts taught include dramatic structure, character creation, dialogue, action, subtext, point of view, understanding and developing dramatic conflict, writing a scene, generating ideas through improvisation, the importance of rewrites, and writing for an audience. Each student playwright completes a 10- to 40-minute original play by the end of the session. The 10-week classroom portion of the YPP runs from September through December each year.
In December, ACT selects eight outstanding plays by the young playwrights from each year's YPP and showcases them in staged readings at ACT in the Young Playwrights Festival, which takes place in early March.
Each young festival playwright is partnered with a professional director, dramaturg, stage manager and actors, and each play receives two performances at ACT. Each year's eight chosen plays are also included in an annual anthology, PLAY. Buy your copy today for just $20!
Since its inception, the YPP has grown from 60 middle and high school students in six schools to more than 300 students in 16 schools. The YPP now serves schools in Seattle, Bellevue, Bainbridge Island, and Burien; it fulfills the Washington State Essential Learning Requirements (EALRs) in Arts and Writing; and it integrates important artistic education into students' regular school schedule - ACT is one of the few organizations in Seattle providing a unique and relevant curriculum devoted exclusively to the art of playwriting!
Bring the Young Playwrights Program to your school! Contact Anita Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 292-7660 ext. 1227.
2011 ACT Young Playwrights Program Sponsors: