City Theatre Young Playwrights is a comprehensive, dynamic arts education program serving teachers, students, and the Pittsburgh community. The program fulfills state academic standards, including Arts and Humanities as well as Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Four major components make up the Young Playwrights program: the Young Playwrights Contest, Festival, Teacher Institute, and In-School Workshops.

Videos & Photos


Kristen Link, Director of Education and Accessibility, discusses the Young Playwrights Festival.



The Young Playwrights tell us about of their winning, one-act plays, chosen from over 300 contest submissions.


The 2017 Festival

EQT Young Playwrights Festival 2017

Photos by Kristi Jan Hoover.


Young Playwrights Festival celebrates 15 years in Pittsburgh
“The region’s next generation of talented playwrights is set to present their original works at City Theatre Company.”


90.5 WESA
Young Playwrights Team Up With Pros At City Theatre Fest
“While many kids spent the summer swimming, playing video games or going to camp, six area kids spent theirs working with theater professionals to produce plays they’d written.”


The Pittsburgh Tatler
Young Playwrights Festival at City Theatre
“This year’s Young Playwrights Festival at City Theatre featured six short plays on a range of subjects, many of unexpected maturity and sophistication given the age range of the writers.”


Young Playwrights Contest

City Theatre’s annual Young Playwrights Contest encourages western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia students to make their voices heard by writing and submitting original, one-act plays. Every script is read and evaluated by our Literary Committee, and each student receives a written summary of the evaluator’s comments, including constructive criticism and encouraging suggestions for continued revisions. Selected plays from the contest are represented each year in our annual Young Playwrights Festival.

Contest guidelines >


Young Playwrights Festival

Selected submissions to the Young Playwrights Contest are given professional productions at City Theatre as part of the annual Young Playwrights Festival. Student playwrights have the opportunity to develop their scripts in collaboration with professional theatre artists—a director, dramaturgs, and actors—for productions in City Theatre’s Hamburg Studio.


Teacher Institute

Continued Education

Teachers take on the role of students during this professional development course. With the help of City Theatre professionals, teachers get to jump-start their own writing skills while learning creative ways to incorporate playwriting and basic theatre skills into their classrooms. Open to educators of grades 4-12.

In-School Workshop

Intro to Playwriting

A City Theatre teaching artist works in a collaborative partnership with the classroom teacher to facilitate in-school playwriting workshops for students. Students learn improvisation and basic theatre skills in an ensemble-based environment, as well as monologue writing, dialogue writing, character creation, and other fundamentals of playwriting. Using these elements, students compose a full scene, which is then expanded into a one-act play. Students participate in moderated constructive peer review of each other’s work, and have the unique opportunity to receive one-on-one feedback from the theatre artist in individual revision conferences. This dynamic approach to arts education fulfills state and national standards, including PA Arts and Humanities Standards (9.1–9.4) and PA Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Standards (1.1–1.8).

Download workshop application >

Young Playwrights

Teaching Artists

Julianne Avolio
Siovhan Christensen
Annie DiMario
Parag S. Gohel
Morgan Hunt
Tonya Lynn
Shannon Reed
Brett Sullivan Santry
Jennifer Schaupp
Katie Trupiano