Playwrights Theatre, founded in 1986 is a community of writers, theatre artists and arts educators committed to Developing the Dramatic Imagination of audiences and students of all ages. PTNJ advocates the creative process through the writing and performance of all genres of literature. Our New Play Development program assists new work and new writers for the stage through a comprehensive program of readings, workshops and mainstage productions. Educational programs extend creative experiences and process-oriented learning to a broader community through residencies in schools statewide and through onsite classes. Playwrights values these dual focus areas equally, and encourages its community to participate fully in both.
Our multi-step New Play Development Program (national in scope) is designed to work closely with playwrights on the nurturing of their plays, taking promising scripts through a series of readings, workshops, and productions, with careful attention paid to the provision of talented artists and informed audiences who share in the process of growth and "discovery."
Working with over 15,000 students annually, the New Jersey Writers Project brings an impressive roster of seasoned teaching artists into classrooms and community-based organizations to help students and teachers discover the joy of writing, performing and being creative. Residencies work with students grades 3-12, are four to twenty-one days in length, and include pre-residency meetings with classroom teachers, as well as a professional development component for all teachers and administrators at the school.
CAA classes emphasize high-quality professional writing and performance skills, but our focus is on the whole student. Not everyone aspires to be a full-time artist, but hands-on work in the arts can change the way we think about ourselves and the world around us. It brings confidence and creativity to everything we do. It builds tolerance, empathy, and patience, and helps us get along better with others. Student success in school has been linked to arts participation, and the arts encourage the creative and holistic problem-solving skills required in the 21st Century job market.
Poetry Out Loud, initiated in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, is a nation-wide poetry recitation competition that encourages high school students (grades 9-12) to learn about great poetry through performance. Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Playwrights Theatre has partnered with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to facilitate the program in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Young Playwrights Program provides an opportunity for students in all school environments, grades 4-12, to write plays and receive written response to their work from professional theatre artists. The New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest selects representative plays and presents them as staged readings with professional actors and directors. Prior to the readings, the selected playwrights meet with their director/dramaturg to discuss the play and work on possible revisions. Winning plays are presented during the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival, a partnership between Playwrights Theatre and Premiere Stages at Kean University.
We see the audience as an intrinsic element of our artistic and educational mission. Our Audience Development Programs provide opportunities for audiences to be a real part of the work at Playwrights Theatre.
See links to all programs on one page.