Sunday, April 21, 2019

Young Playwrights for Change: Moving Forward

The Young Playwrights for Change project has taken huge leaps in the past few weeks and the committee could not be more thrilled to see the project’s development and everyone else’s excitement grow. Recently, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education held their annual summer conference in Washington, D.C. Among the numerous other sessions taking place, some members of the Dramatic Change team held an afternoon session on Thursday, July 25th that outlined the foundation of the project, discussed some of the pilot programs that were launched, and details on how to get involved in this new initiative. Presenters at the conference included Brian Guehring, Education Director at Omaha Theater Company, Karen Sharp, Education Director Seattle Children’s Theatre and President of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, Michael Bobbitt, Producing Artistic Director at Adventure Theatre MTC, and Allison Davis, School Services Director at Oregon Children’s Theatre. The project was well received and the session had a great turn out with many signing up to join the committee. The presentation from the AATE conference can be viewed here. We are excited to share an initial list of companies already committed to hosting a competition. Those include:

Oregon Children’s Theatre

Seattle Children’s Theatre

Adventure Theatre

Omaha Theatre Company

First Stage (Milwaukee)

Lexington Children’s Theatre

Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Noorda Theatre Center for Children and Youth at Utah Valley University

Grady Middle School in Houston, TX

Kaiser Permanente Colorado


With the announcement of the initiative and its goals at the AATE conference, the next steps are underway. The conference is only the first step in a series of many leading up to the release of the final plays online for classroom learning as an educational resource and a professional reading of a play next year! In the coming months, the project will have a final team of artists and educators on the committee, regional and local competitions taking place, and many submissions from eager, creative, and excited young playwrights!

Young Playwrights for Change is still looking for other local and regional hosts and it is not too late to join! Registration information and a complete list of rules and guidelines can be found on TYA/USA’s website here.  Each regional competition must send their local winner on to the national competition by Feb 1, 2014!  The project is also still welcoming new committee members! Email now to get on board. The official YPC committee is broken down into smaller committees which are Public Relations, Regional Competitions, Youth Winner Experience, National Competition, and Funding. Let us know which area piques your interest so you can get involved in the conversation.


Need more information? Questions? Email Brian Guehring at for information on joining the Young Playwrights for Change committee or to get more details on how to host your own regional competition!


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