YPL at YOUR School

You can bring The Young Playwrights’ Lab to your school or organization!  YPL links literacy and creative self expression, engaging students through theatre games and writing exercises, culminating in each student writing an original one act play. At the end of the school year, select plays are performed at the Young Playwrights’ Festival, a gala event staged at Zoellner Arts Center on the Lehigh University campus.

Interested in having a Young Playwrights Lab in your school or community group? Contact Mary Wright at Touchstone Theatre, 610.867.1689 or via email at mary@touchstone.org.

For Teachers and Administration

Here’s a more in-depth breakdown of what YPL does and accomplishes during its residency at your school.

Sequence of Activities:

The core group will meet with Touchstone ensemble teaching artists and classroom teachers twice a week for 8 weeks, 16 sessions total.

Early sessions will introduce core disciplines and skills in the theatre art form: playwright, actor, director and listening, imagination and focus. Students will learn fundamental playwrighting concepts on their feet through improvisational exercises and through writing explorations.

Middle weeks will focus on development of plot, character, and setting. Simple theatrical conventions will be introduced, and students will begin monologue and dialogue writing.

Final weeks will focus on guiding students into each writing a one-act play, and then refining each script through one-on-one support and group critique.

Participating teachers meet with Touchstone ensemble teaching artists before the program to learn the framework of this residency and offer suggestions and modifications based on their students.

Each student will develop a journal containing writing exercises, notes from ideas developed throughout the process, drafts of their one-act play, lists of ideas and titles for future plays, as well as at least one final script.

Touchstone Theatre’s Arts-in-Education Program Goals:

  • Write an original one-act, multi-character play
  • Understand roles and jobs in the theatre: actor, audience, playwright, director, designer
  • Use monologue, dialogue, and stage directions to advance plot and establish character, setting, and conflict in a play
  • Learn to edit and revise one’s own creative work
  • Use journal writing to document and analyze one’s own process creative and to analyze the works of others.
  • Learn and use critiquing skills: active observation, sharing observations and opinions, appreciation of strengths and success


PSSA Anchor Assessments and PA Academic Standards addressed:

  • R5.B.1.1 Identify, interpret, compare, describe, and analyze components of fiction and literary nonfiction. (components: character, setting, plot, theme)

From the PA Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening:

  • 1.2 reading critically (C)
  • 1.4 types of writing (A)
  • 1.6 speaking and listening (C, D)

From the PA Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities:

  • 9.1 Production, Performance, Exhibition (A, B, C, E)

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