The Young Playwrights program extends City Theatre’s mission of developing and producing new plays by using playwriting as a tool for students to discover their own unique voice. This program strengthens students writing and critical thinking skills while fulfilling state standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening and Arts and Humanities, as well as Common Core standards for English Language Arts. The Young Playwrights program has provided thousands of hours of professional residency activities in schools throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. With over 360 submissions to the contest in 2015, City Theatre produced 6 student written plays as part of the Young Playwrights Festival.
Additionally, City Theatre offers a Teachers Institute and Educator Workshops that join educators and teaching artists, introducing teachers to the curriculum of the Young Playwright’s program. In the past seven years, 50 middle- and high- school teachers from throughout the Southwestern Pennsylvania region have participated in this program.
Finally, the Student Matinee Series introduces students to theatre performances through both the Young Playwrights Festival and regular season programming. All teachers bringing students to a matinee performance receive a Teacher’s Resource Guide with lesson plans they can use in the classrooms before and after attending the show. Additionally, each performance ends with talkback sessions, allowing students to ask questions and provide feedback to the Education Director, creative team, and actors. These sessions allow students to think critically about the play they have experienced.
City Theatre Young Playwrights program serves teachers as well as middle and high school students from at least 25 school districts across eight counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Student Matinee Series reaches local primary and secondary students.