City Theatre Young Playwrights Program

City Theatre, in partnership with the Center for Arts & Education at West Liberty University, will offer its Young Playwrights Program to educators in Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties during the 2013-2014 academic year.

The program will include:

  • 30 hours of professional development and training for up to eight educators (7th – 12th grades) selected through an application process.
  • Complimentary subscriptions to Tuesday night preview performances for the eight participating educators and the opportunity for teachers to purchase additional tickets or subscriptions at a discount.
  • Twenty hours of professional support from a teaching artist for one classroom of students per participating teacher, to be delivered over a period of four to sixteen weeks, at the mutual agreement of the teacher/school and City Theatre.
  • A minimum of one and maximum of two field trips to City Theatre for students to see a matinee presentation of the Young Playwrights Festival, October 1-10, 2013 and a matinee performance of City Theatre Main Stage show. City Theatre will provide 25 tickets per educator and reimburse schools for round-trip busing to the performance;
  • Reimbursement for expenses associated with participating in this program, including substitute teachers, busing, and travel to and from the theatre for workshops and performances at a rate of $.375/mile.

This dynamic approach to arts education fulfills state and national academic standards.

Professional Development and Training for Educator
City Theatre will provide the eight selected educators with a maximum of 30 hours of professional development and training during the 2013-14 academic year:

  • One eight-hour intensive workshop on the Young Playwrights Curriculum, scheduled for Thursday, August 8, 2013 from 9:00am to 5:00 pm at West Liberty University
  • Six two-hour workshops on the contemporary plays in City Theatre’s 2013-2014 season and the dramaturgical and character-education issues raised in each play, scheduled to take place between 4:30-6:30pm on Tuesdays immediately before the preview performances. Feedback from teachers indicates that it is difficult to attend every workshop, given the substantial distance between their schools and City Theatre. In order to accommodate, City Theatre will require that teachers attend at least four out of six workshops. Three supplemental workshops will also be scheduled at West Liberty University.
  • Attendance at four out of six contemporary plays by established and emerging playwrights on the same dates as workshops listed above.

In return, participating teachers will provide City Theatre and AIU Intermediate Unit 3 Evaluation & Data Services (which is contracted to provide evaluative services for this programming) with a minimum of six lesson plans that demonstrate their efforts to integrate theatre in their classrooms and to complete and return other online evaluation forms and surveys.

Teachers who satisfactorily complete all aspects of the program will receive three graduate credits from the College of Education at West Liberty University.

Professional Support/Teaching Artist Residencies
The eight participating teachers will also receive classroom support for introducing the craft of playwriting when City Theatre places qualified teaching artists in their classrooms for up to 20 hours of residency to teach playwriting and conduct one-on-one writing conferences with students.

Each residency will last between four and sixteen weeks and include thirteen hours of classroom instruction led by the teaching artist and seven hours of individual conferencing sessions–20 minutes of conferencing time per student, assuming each classroom consists of 15 to 20 students. Past residencies have followed this structure:

  • Week One: Full or half day workshop introducing the notions of dramatic structure, plot, story and objective.  Students work collaboratively on ensemble-building activities, as well as brainstorming exercises.
  • Week Two: Two hour-long classes that include student improvisations, group and individual writing-based activities where students focus on the creation of characters and dialogue. The students are assigned to complete a scene from their play, along with a description of settings and characters.
  • Week Three: Two hour-long class that provides students a chance to reflect on their playwriting experiences and share their scenes. Students explore theirs and others’ works through improvisational-based activities and peer review sessions.
  • Weeks Four through Sixteen: Over the remaining seven hours, the students will workshop scenes in-class and teaching artists hold one-on-one story conferences with each student.

(Note: This is a sample structure only. City Theatre works with classroom teachers individually to arrange a schedule that is specifically tailored to each classroom’s needs.)

Field Trips to Introduce Students to Live Theatre
Through this program, City Theatre also seeks to introduce the students of participating teachers to live theatrical performances. The students should be asked to write reflective essays on their experience at the performance.

Teachers and students are required to schedule field trips to City Theatre for the student matinee performances during the Young Playwrights Festival. Matinee performances are currently scheduled to take place October 1- 10th, 2013 at 10am. City Theatre will reimburse school districts for busing and substitute teachers associated with attending these performances.

In addition, schools are strongly encouraged to schedule a second field trip to City Theatre to attend a matinee performance of a Main Stage production.

City Theatre Young Playwrights Program Application 

Completed applications should be submitted by May 24, 2013 to:

Lou Karas
Director, Center for Arts & Education
West Liberty University
208 University Drive
College Union Box 148
West Liberty, WV 26074
[email protected]

If you have any questions or need additional information about the Young Playwrights Program, please contact:

Kristen Link
Director of Education & Accessibility
t. 412.431.4400 x 225
[email protected]