Young Playwrights’ Lab

Help us bring YPL to more students next school year!


Young Playwrights’ Lab (YPL) was developed in partnership with Bethlehem Area School District teachers in order to build literacy skills through playwriting and theatre arts instruction. Over the course of 16 sessions, professional theatre artists use writing activities, improvisation, theatre games and a collaborative process to guide students (grades 3-12) through the process of creating an original one-act play. Students gain skills in theatre, performance and public speaking, while learning playwriting fundamentals such as monologue and dialogue writing, plot, conflict and character development. YPL is an encouraging and non-competitive environment for children and youth with varied levels of skill and ability; through a collaborative and student-centered approach, the program builds enthusiasm for playwriting as a means of positive self-expression.

Every spring, a selection of exceptional student-written YPL plays are professionally produced at Touchstone’s annual Young Playwrights’ Festival, with direction, design and acting by the Touchstone Ensemble and other local performers.  All participating playwrights and their families are offered complimentary tickets to the event, which is held at Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall.

For more information, check out this introductory video, read up on the YPL blog, or contact Mary Wright, Education Director, at (610) 867 1689 or

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Thank you to all the individual donors who supported the Young Playwrights’ Lab program through an unusual Young Playwrights’ Festival in 2020.


Roses & Mark Ackerman | Elaine & Mike Ackerman | Sarah Andrew in Honor of all the BASD students who didn’t get to perform their plays this year. | The Anich | Anonymous | Karen Bader    | Troy Brokenshire | Denise Calder in Honor of Mr. & Mrs. Edward Gallagher | Brian D. Carroll, PhD | A grant from the Cinquino Community Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation | Amy Miller Cohen, PhD in Memory of Bob Cohen | Karen Collis in Memory of Carrie Fiedler Longenbach | The Crisafulli Family | Lisa & Michael Ditalia | Eileen & John Dolcin | Jodi Duckett | Harper Egging | Carrie Egging | Cindi Egging | Bekah Eichelberger | Mr. & Mrs. Empirestates | The Engler Family  | Bridget & Bill George | In Honor of Meara Gill and all the wonderful Touchstone folks who have nutured her!  | Diane LaBelle & Norman Girardot | Cindy Glick  | Vicki Haller Graff | April & Patrick Herrity | Laura Herzog Kaplus | Renee James in Honor of Margaret Sullivan | Jenny’s Kuali | Dee Kindt | Eugene Kozma | A grant from the Kraft Hillman Family Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation | The Lanning-Minett Family | Alexis Leon | Edward A. Leskin | Sue & Fred Lucrezi  | Alison O’Connell & Jon Lunger | Rachel Lynn | Lisa Magidow | Mary Nemes in Honor of Donegan Elementary Students | Don Nicoll | The Pappalardos | Robin Pardoe in Honor of Olivia Zsilavecz | Amber (Finn) Patton & Andrew Patton | Dr. Joseph & Anmarie Roy | Hon. Steve Samuelson | Jeanne & Dave Shook | Christine & Christopher Shorr | Marylou & George Shortess | Jack Silva | Angela & Ed Sinkler | Denise & Jeff Stangl | Charlie Vetter | The Vogies | Diane Wagner | Sam Beedle & Bob Walsh | Richard Warmkessel in Honor of all artists suffering financial setbacks | Doris Weber | Ashley & Evan Weller | Silagh & Stephen White | Kiera Wilhelm | Heidi Wojciechowski | Kristen Zavar Junchaya | Kyra Zimmerman & Family