Providing advocacy & resources for the field of theatre for young audiences.

Welcome to Young Playwrights for Change.

Now in its fifth year (2017-18) and originally a collaborative program between TYA/USA and AATE, Young Playwrights for Change will move forward as an AATE initiative. TYA/USA members are still eligible to participate. For more info on this year’s program, click on the link below.

2017-18 Program Info

Young Playwrights for Change is a national middle school playwriting competition run by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). The mission of Young Playwrights for Change is to produce meaningful conversations that will ripple across our nation to provoke change. The goal is to spark conversation and discussion throughout classrooms, schools, and communities.


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Feature: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte Year 3 Winner

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New York City Children’s Theatre Year 2 Playwrights

Order your copy of the Year 2 Anthology Today!

Cover Design by MAKEWORKS; Cover Illustration by Borja Cabada

The seventeen middle school playwrights in this collection participated in workshops on the local and regional level and proved that the deceptively simple question we asked is actually quite complicated. As Adam Burke writes in the Introduction, “It was fascinating to see the question addressed from a variety of social, cultural, and biological perspectives in these plays. As I read the many wonderful plays by these brave new playwrights it became clear that there isn’t one simple answer to this question.” Each play was submitted to the national contest. The winner and runners-up—Life Goes On by Alexia Teagon McCarty, Who Is My Family? by Daniel Coppinger, and Speaking of Sexuality by Alexandria Smith open the collection, making way for all or our talented playwrights.


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All proceeds go directly back into the Young Playwrights for Change program. Thank you for your support. Enjoy!

The Year 1 Anthology is available at the TYA Bookstore.

Year 4 (2016-17): Empathy in Action: Combating Bullying

First Place

The Principle by Fletcher Fraher

Hosted by Adventure Stage Chicago



Slip-Proof Savvy? by Adelaide Kate Fisher

Hosted by Orlando Repertory Theatre


Second Runner-Up

When the Planets Align by Quinn Cole

Hosted by Children’s Theatre of Charlotte


Congratulations, and a HUGE thank you to all of our playwrights and contest hosts! Fletcher’s play will be read as part of One Theatre World 2017 in San Fransisco in May. Other readings by TYA/USA and AATE to be determined. A full press release is forthcoming.


Thank you to this year’s judges:

First Round

Cody Braudt (Stages Theatre Company)

Molly Mattaini (University of Wisconsin – Madison MA Theatre for Youth)

Mollie Murk (Kentucky Shakespeare)

Don Fleming (Seattle Children’s Theatre)

Megan Collins (SCT)

Emily Veno (Imagination Stage)

Karli Jenkins (Children’s Theatre Company)

Kyle Geissler (Hunter College Theatre Education MA)


Final Round

Courtney Sale (Seattle Children’s Theatre)

Sandy Boren-Barrett (Stages Theatre Company)

Buffy Sedlachek (Playwright, TYA)

M.J. Sasse (Young Playwrights for Change Year 3 Winner)

Our Past Winners

YEAR 1 (2013-14): Anti-bullying

Michael Ford, sponsored by Childsplay and Rising Youth Theatre, Tempe/Phoenix, Arizona, for his play Nerdy Nate & the Anti-bullying Quest.

YEAR 2 (2014-15): What is Family?

Alexia McCarty, sponsored by Noorda Theatre Center for Children and Youth, Orem, Utah, for her play Life Goes On.


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