City Theatre has received an $118,500 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to fund arts education outreach in West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania schools.
This grant, along with a new partnership with West Liberty University’s Center for Arts and Education, will facilitate the theatre’s Young Playwrights Program, which features professional development workshops, in-class playwriting workshops, and field trips to City Theatre to experience live, professional, high-caliber theatre.
City Theatre Young Playwrights is a comprehensive, dynamic approach to arts education that has been serving teachers, students, and the Pittsburgh community for nearly 15 years. In the Young Playwrights model, a City Theatre teaching artist is paired with the classroom teacher—creating the artistic team for a partnership that guides students through the playwriting process during classroom workshops.
The workshops are student-centered, involving young people in hands-on activities that incorporate the class as a whole and stress the idea of an ensemble environment. The artistic team engages students in writing and revising activities, including writing conferences and theatre techniques such as improvisation and performance.
All subject areas and life experiences are material the students can shape artistically to create an original one-act play.
“An integral part of Young Playwrights’ mission is to provide middle and high school students with a new outlet in which to establish their voices and express themselves creatively,” says Kristen Link, director of education and accessibility. “Through our playwriting program, young people not only learn a new craft, but also discover different ways to think critically and connect to their fellow peers.”
“Receiving this grant from the Benedum Foundation will afford us the opportunity to expand our educational programming to regions that currently lack the resources to provide meaningful experiences within the crafts of theatre and playwriting. We look forward to connecting with many new schools, teachers, and students,” says Ms. Link.
City Theatre’s 39th season begins this fall. City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Adam Rapp, Jeffrey Hatcher, Theresa Rebeck and Christopher Durang.