Young Playwrights' Theater inspires young
people to realize the power of their own voices.
YPT In The News
The links below track YPT’s recognition in local and national news.
Theater Brings Literacy to Life for Kids
Published in GOOD Magazine's Project Literacy
In July, 2016, GOOD Magazine's Project Literacy featured YPT in an article on theater and literacy, as part of their Alphabet of Illiteracy campaign! Our story falls under the letter P, for performance.
"For many ... students, YPT marks the first time they’re encouraged to write about whatever they want without censorship. 'Treating those stories with value can do wonders for students’ engagement in the educational process and trigger amazing advances in literacy,' [YPT Executive Director Brigitte] Winter says."
Click here for the full article on theater and literacy!
Karen Zacarías Talks YPT on TCG's "Offscript" Podcast
A Conversation with Washington Post Theater Critic Peter Marks
"Reflecting back on my time with Young Playwrights’ Theater has made me think about how so many unique stories are hidden within the crevices of people’s minds and how beneficial this program and programs akin to it are for young, aspiring artists."
by 2016 New Play Festival Featured Playwright Marisa Poe
2016 New Play Festival Featured Playwright Marisa Poe also wrote a piece for DC Metro Theater Arts, and it is just as touching and articulate as Jarid's!
"When my play was read, the actors made it absolutely hilarious, and it was the first time I really saw my play come to life. It made me feel proud that I could make other people laugh through my play."
Click here for the full text of Marisa's terrific article!
From Page to Stage: YPT Helps DC Youth Find Their Voices
The Daily Do Good makes YPT its Featured Nonprofit!
The Daily Do Good, a DC-area nonprofit that highlights the work of other local organizations, made YPT their Featured Nonprofit in September, 2015.
"YPT (helped) me realize that I could be more than I already am...YPT has helped me believe in myself.”
Thank you to The Daily Do Good for spotlighting our work! Click here for the full article!
TheatreBloom Shares the Inspiration of the 2015 New Play Festival
Our friends at TheatreBloom attended the second night of the 2015 New Play Festival, and were blown away by the quality of our young playwrights' writing!
"The caliber of work that is coming forth from the YPT program is astounding."
YPT Actor Rick Westerkamp Goes Behind the Scenes of the 2015 New Play Festival
YPT actor and DC Metro Theater Arts critic Rick Westerkamp starred in the first night of the 2015 New Play Festival, then wrote about it the next day! Read his unique and inspiring perspective on working with elementary school playwrights.
"It was during the rehearsal process that I became in awe of the six playwrights, what with their abilities to use a genuine blend of real-life and imagination as the spark of creation for their plays."
Washington City Paper Makes the 2015 New Play Festival Something "ToDo Today"
Popular DC publication Washington City Paper placed the 2015 New Play Festival at the top of its "ToDo Today" list for April 22, 2015. The City Paper also featured the Festival in the "City Lights" section of its print edition the week before the show.
"[YPT] encourages students to connect with their inner dramatists and explore their ideas."
DC Theatre Scene on the "Exceptional Artistic Talent" of the 2015 New Play Festival
"For two decades, DC’s own Young Playwrights’ Theater has fostered the minds of budding young writers by helping them discover their own theatrical visions." Thus begins a lovely preview of the 2015 New Play Festival, by Keith Loria of DC Theatre Scene!
Afro American Newspaper of DC Shares Performance with Southeast Community
"Four young, Black high school students are [sharing] their stories on an array of issues that are important to them ... in plays that are set to make audiences cry, laugh, and perch on the edge of their seats."
"Brought to life by local theater companies, each playwright’s distinctive voice was breathtaking."
DC Theatre Scene "Plays Favorites" with YPT's 20Fest Plays
Just in time for YPT's 20th Anniversary Festival, DC Theatre Scene published a lovely overview of our work and preview of the performance. Take a look at what they have to say about the power of student voices!
YPT Talks Youth Empowerment on WPFW's "emPower Hour"
YPT Executive Director Brigitte Pribnow Moore, Program Manager Laurie Ascoli and Young Playwrights' Workshop student Joella Roberts speak to emPower Magazine's DeShuna Spencer about sparking student success through playwriting!
Click here to listen to their live radio interview from November 13, 2014! Interview begins 30 minutes into the program.
YPT Wins the 2014 Washington Post Award!
After being named a Finalist two years running, we were honored and humbled to receive the 2014 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, from The Center for Nonprofit Advancement and The Washington Post! The recognition is a true testament to the power of our work and our community.
Click here to read the full article in The Washington Post!
DC Metro Theater Arts Shares the "Precious Gift" of the 2014 New Play Festival
Our friends at DC Metro Theater Arts stopped by Night One of the New Play Festival and wrote this wonderful piece on our elementary school plays!
"The caliber of creativity and cohesive storytelling that was present in these plays shows that there is a great deal of hope and potential for future generations of plays."
While we continue to deepen YPT's impact at home in DC, major media outlets in South Texas are sharing our work at Garcia Elementary School in Hidalgo County - and the news keeps getting better and better!
Read what The Monitor, South Texas' largest newspaper, had to say about the difference our In-School Playwriting Program is making with Garcia's bilingual, imaginative and excited fourth graders!
Pamela's Punch Eats for Good at the 2014 Giving Voice Award Gala
The leading source of the "who, what, when and where" of the Washington, DC social, professional and philanthropic scene, Pamela's Punch sets the standard for the premier events in the District. Correspondent Lindsey Clark attended our 2014 Giving Voice Award Gala and wrote this wonderful piece encouraging people to come out and support arts education!
Click here to read the article, and click here to see all of Pamela's Punch's past coverage of YPT events and performances!
DC Theatre Scene Pulls Back the Curtain on "Truth and Dare"
"If we start saying, 'Your voice matters' instead of 'Wait until you’re older,' perhaps the next generation will be more inclined to raise their voice and claim their space. YPT performing student plays is activism in its most direct form."
Read all this and more in DCTS's wonderful review of New Writers Now! Truth and Dare!
Valley Town Crier Rings the Bell for YPT's Texas Program!
In January, 2014, YPT launched its first In-School Playwriting Program outside Greater Washington at Garcia Elementary School in Hidalgo County, Texas. Local newspaper The Valley Town Crier broke the story with a wonderful piece on our program launch and visit to the area!
Motor City blog Detroit Unspun wrote a terrific piece on the 524 Project, the collaboration between YPT and Detroit's InsideOut Literary Arts Project that will connect a Detroit poetry class and a DC playwriting class via twenty-first century technology.
"If we listen closely, I think we’ll hear a new definition of Detroit, one that accepts the past, redefines the present and gives us fresh perspective on the future."
Positive Detroit Positively Raves about the 524 Project!
Positive Detroit, a blog dedicated to "churning out positive, important, and newsworthy happenings in and around 'The D'," featured the 524 Project as just such a bright light in a city that's seen its fair share of darkness!
We Love DC interviewed Artistic Director Nicole Jost in June 2013 about the Young Playwrights’ Workshop Presents performance in the Source Festival.
"This kind of self-expression builds confidence. It helps you realize your own power. So I hope that this year’s workshop members gain a sense of pride in their own work, and the knowledge that they can do absolutely anything they set their minds to."
The Washington Post’s Backstage section featured an article about YPT’s after-school Young Playwrights’ Workshop and their final performance in the 2013 Source Festival.
Click here and scroll down to read the full article.
The Scene DMV at the New Play Festival
The Scene DMV attended the 2013 New Play Festival to learn more about YPT’s programs and performances from Executive Director Brigitte Moore, Festival playwright Gi’Armoni Dorsey and YPT alumna Cecelia Jenkins.
"When Chelsea Kirk first started teaching playwriting to her students at the Maya Angelou Academy — a public charter school located within New Beginnings, a residential detention center for D.C. youth — she found it to be ’by far the most defining experience for my scholars and our school culture.’"
YPT's Virginia Playwrights Featured in the Arlington Connection
YPT's first nationally-published book, Write to Dream, features the work of four amazing Arlington playwrights. Get to know three of them and hear from their parents about YPT's lasting effect in the Arlington Connection.
“Having a creative outlet is really important. It’s kind of hard to, ineveryday life or in school assignments, put your emotions out on paper,” said Boomsma. “A lot of people who write are able to express their feelings in a story. I think that’s really helpful to do.”
The Catalogue for Philanthropy Discusses "Write to Dream"
"In browsing through the 350+ page book, I was inspired by the creativity, imagination, and honesty of YPT’s playwrights — and the maturity of content that many of their works expressed."
Read the full article on the Catalogue for Philanthropy blog here.
#GivingTuesday in the Washington Post
YPT recently participated in the first ever #GivingTuesday, and donor and Company member Vanessa Strickland was interviewed in the Washington Post about why she chose to support YPT on a day of giving back. Read the full article here.
"Welcome to Our World" on the Washington Post Blog
YPT’s Young Playwrights’ Workshop was featured in an article in the Washington Post blog The Root DC. Learn about their June 11 play, "Welcome to Our World", here!
Nonprofit’s turnaround has brought it lots of attention
The Washington Post highlights YPT as a collaborative, innovative nonprofit in this article. The Post sponsors the Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, an award YPT was honored as a finalist for in May of 2012.
YPT a Finalist for the Washington Post Award
In May of 2012, YPT was honored as a finalist for the Washington Post’s 2012 Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management. Learn more about the award here and read a blog post on the award by Catalog for Philanthropy here.
DC Theatre Scene reviews the New Play Festival
"At times, I felt as though I had been allowed into a world my children rarely let me see..." Read the full review here!
Greater DC Cares Award
On April 19, 2012, YPT was honored with the HandsOn Greater DC Cares 2012 Community Impact Award. Learn more about the Volunteer Impact Awards and the 2012 Servathon here.
WeLoveDC wants to see you at the New Play Festival
"In case you haven’t noticed, the DC theater community is growing, and fast; but what kind of plays can we look forward to down the road? If you’re interested in the future of DC theater, there’s no better place to look than toward our youngest playwrights." Click here to read the full article!
YPT Reviewer Talks to "WTOP Radio's Man About Town" Bob Madigan
On February 14, 2012, DC Theatre Scene’s Larry Bangs wrote a rave review of New Writers Now - Mad Love! A week later, on February 21, Larry was interviewed by WTOP’s Bob Madigan about his review! Listen here.
American University's College of Arts & Sciences talks to David Snider
Producing Artistic Director and CEO David Snider is "Putting the Arts in Arts Management." Click here to read the full American University article.
DC Theatre Scene Reviews New Writers Now! - Mad Love
"With all due respect to the well-heeled professional companies in D.C., these kids wrote some of the freshest, most vibrant, and flat-out funny theatre that I have seen since last summer’s Fringe Festival."
NBC stopped by New Writers Now! - Mad Love on February 13, 2012 as part of a piece on the celebration of Anti-Valentine’s Day. See the clip here.
CEO David Snider tells theatreWashington "Why Theatre Matters"
"I know that as I reflect on important moments in my life when I truly learned something, most of them didn’t happen sitting silently at a desk." Click here to read more about why theater matters--especially for young people.
Program Manager Nicole Jost Featured in Washingtonian's "List of Women to Watch"
"These ladies may not have made the list of 100 most powerful women in Washington this year, but at the rate they’re going, they’ll land there soon enough!" See what they had to say about Nicole here!
The reviews are in for "Out of the Shadow"!
DC Theatre Scene and Maryland Theatre Guide loved the Young Playwrights’ Workshop’s performance of Out of the Shadow at the Capital Fringe Festival! Check out the DC Theatre Scene review here and the Maryland Theatre Guide review here.
WAMU reports on the Young Playwrights' Workshop
WAMU stopped by the office during rehearsals for Out of the Shadow to talk to the students about the play and give audiences a sneak peak. Listen here.
Arte inspira a jóvenes a resolver problemas de su entorno
New Writers Now! - Luv in the Time of Txting playwright Fatima Rodriguez was featured in an article in El Pregonero. Read about her experience with YPT’s In-School Playwriting Program and the live performance of her play on May 23.
A D.C. cemetery's dead come to life again on stage
YPT was featured in a story by the Washington Post about Woodlawn Cemetery and the performance of Woodlawn at the National Geographic Museum on Thursday, March 10.
Battle for the Budget
YPT was featured in a story by PBS on the state of the federal budget after the midterm elections, and how it might affect arts programs like YPT.
YPT on Prince of Petworth
"Congrats to Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT) Recipient of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award"
The Young Plawrights’ Theater will receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in a private White House ceremony today. The award – the highest honor in arts education – will be presented by first lady Michelle Obama to director David Snider and program participants Heidi Lovo, a graduate of Bell Multicultural High School, and Mariana Pavón Sánchez, a student at Wakefield High School in Arlington.
Broadway World featured an article on YPT as we accepted the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House on Wed, October 20. To see the full article, click here.
YPT featured in the Washington Post
First lady Michelle Obama will present a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Wednesday to the Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT), which teaches playwriting in Washington area schools. YPT will receive $10,000 to expand its programming.
YPT Chosen as Semifinalist for 2010 Coming Up Taller Award
President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities
Young Playwrights’ Theater has been chosen for recognition as a 2010 Coming Up Taller Semifinalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
YPT was chosen as one of 50 semifinalists from over 459 nominations from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. According to the letter we received on May 12, "Your program’s selection as one of the 50 semifinalists distinquishes it as one of the top arts- and humanities- based programs in the country."
The letter was signed by Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, Marsha Semmel, Acting Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and James A. Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Award recipients will be chosen from among the semi-finalists by the end of June.
YPT Receives Award From Georgetown Philanthropy Class
Georgetown University News
YPT was the recent beneficiary of an award from students in Georgetown’s "Philanthropy and Social Change" course. The following article details the innovative course and partnership that led to this award.
Young writers share a neighborhood's stories of change
Washington Post, Wednesday, February 24, 2010
by DeNeen L. Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Photo by Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post
Gentrification was the subject the students in the Young Playwrights’ Theater were assigned to tackle and make into a play. Some students had never heard of the word, although they were living in the midst of it, walking through it each school day in Columbia Heights where their after-school program on playwriting is located. Watching stores go up and trees come down, and neighbors disappearing and new people coming in and the bright lights of Target and Best Buy replacing dingy old buildings. At least some people thought they were dingy.
Young Playwrights will watch as their words move from page to stage
February 17, 2010
Mary Ann Barton, Current Correspondent
Photo by Bill Petros
This article covers the upcoming New Play Festival and profiles playwrights Kalia Snowden, Brenda Reyes and Becky Koretz. Click here to view the PDF.
David Andrew Snider wins the Meyer Foundation's Exponent Award
We are proud to announce that our own Producing Artistic Director and CEO David Andrew Snider has won the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation’s Exponent Award in honor of his innovative leadership. Mr. Snider has led Young Playwrights’ Theater since 2005.
The Exponent Award celebrates the accomplishments of exceptional nonprofit leaders. In selecting its awardees, the Foundation considered each nominee’s track record as a manager and leader, including his or her success at increasing the quality and impact of the organization’s work.
"David is the rare combination of a great artist and great leader. He works tirelessly to ensure Young Playwrights’ Theater thrives at improving the lives of thousands of students. He is an inspired and inspiring advocate for the entire nonprofit community of Greater Washington. I am thrilled he will receive this award."
-- Karen Zacarias, Founding Artistic Director
To see video, view pictures and learn more about David and the Exponent Award click here.
To download a printable two-page flier about Young Playwrights’ Theater click here.
By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 8, 2009
Karen Zacarías, mother of three children younger than 8 years old, begins her day by serving breakfast. Then it’s a book read, shoes on, car seats buckled, a song sung, kids dropped at appropriate locations, a kiss goodbye. Once that routine is complete, she will shower -- finally -- and become her other self: the 39-year-old woman who has emerged as one of Washington’s most successful and prolific playwrights.
Stephanie Kay of local NPR station WAMU 88.5 produced three separate pieces on YPT’s play Choosing Change in the past week. The longest of these aired May 15, 2009. See below for links to each of the pieces.
To listen to the story from Metro Connection on May 15, 2009 click here.
Celebrating Community: A New Writers Now! Event in honor of Hispanic Heritage month
Washington, DC -- The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) partnered with Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT) on Monday, October 27, 2008 to present Celebrating Community: A New Writers Now! Event in honor of Hispanic Heritage month.
Leader to Leader Institute chose YPT’s In-School Playwriting Program as their Nonprofit Innovation of the Week for August 6 – 13, 2008. Chosen from among hundreds of submissions, YPT’s In-School Playwriting Program was noted for fully integrating English Language Arts Standards into the curriculum and working to implement an in-school model that can be replicated throughout D.C. Public Schools and beyond.
In the summer of 2008 YPT teamed with CityDance to provide an innovative playwriting and choreography camp at the Trinidad Recreation Center. The summer camp was highlighted in a recent piece on WAMU’s Metro Connection, "Searching for Solutions in Trinidad."
To see more photos click here. (scroll halfway down page)
Chasing George Washington performed at White House
First Lady introduces new musical written with help from YPT students
On Friday March 7th, the new musical Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure, written by YPT’s Founding Artistic Director Karen Zacarias with help from YPT students at Capitol City Public Charter School had a special performance in the White House’s East Room.
The dude on the dollar bill leaps to life in Karen Zacarias’ entertaining and sometimes inspiring children’s musical "Chasing George Washington." The production (at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater) also features a spry score by Deborah Wicks La Puma that ably mixes hip-hop, disco, ballads and traditional show music.
The May New Writers Now! staged reading was a tribute to Edwin Ventura, a student at Bell Multicultural High School who tragically lost his life in April of 2007. Article by Elissa Silverman [filetype: pdf]