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Young Playwrights’ Lab (YPL) builds literacy skills through playwriting and theatre arts instruction. Professional theatre artists use writing activities, improvisation, theatre games and collaborative process to guide students (grades 3rd-12th) 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 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.
In the spring, 6-8 exceptional student-written plays are selected for performance live onstage 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.
The Young Playwrights’ Lab was developed in partnership with Bethlehem Area School District teachers in accord with PSSA Anchor Assessment and PA Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening and the Arts.
“I have watched withdrawn and shy students turn into creative and imaginative actors, directors, and playwrights…the students have become a like-minded community of young, enthusiastic performers and writers. I consider it a privilege to be a part of this outstanding program.”
—Jo Jackson, East Hills Middle School Teacher