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Ignite the spark for storytellers

This free dramatic writing program is open to high school students.

Young Playwrights Summer Program


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The TDF Young Playwrights Summer Program is a free two-week playwriting intensive led by award-winning dramatist Crystal Skillman that is open to tri-state area high school students. Students explore personal expression in writing, and the art and form of dramatic writing. Students will work individually and in teams, with a final presentation on the last day. This year's edition focuses on dramatic works with theatrical magic and play productions with music.

By the numbers: 12-15 students, two weeks of master classes

Who is eligible?

Rising high school freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors and 2024 grads who are interested in learning the craft of playwriting and creating their own works. Please note that the program may also explore other forms of dramatic writing such as audio drama and screenwriting.

Students must have well-developed writing skills and an interest in playwriting along with a recommendation from a teaching artist or English teacher. Team spirit, commitment and enthusiasm are important qualities for this program.

What does the Young Playwrights Summer Program include?

  • Playwriting workshops five days a week for two weeks, with independent and group writing done independently
  • Two evening outings to Broadway shows. Tentative dates: July 23 and 30.
  • Small group seminars with professional theatre artists talking about their creative process
  • Writing (and rewriting) a short original play
  • Professional actors reading student plays in progress
  • Staged readings of final works by professional actors

When is the Young Playwrights Summer Program?

July 22 to August 2, Monday to Friday 1 to 4 p.m. Final presentation is Friday, August 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a 10 a.m. call time for all student playwrights.

Where is the Young Playwrights Summer Program?

In-person sessions will take place at TDF's Midtown Manhattan offices at 520 Eighth Avenue between 36th and 37th Streets, Suite 801. The building requires visitors to sign in and present ID. Be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before each class starts.

How to apply:

Applications for 2024 have closed. 


As of July 2024, TDF has discontinued its Young Playwrights Residency and Young Playwrights Group.