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Monday, September 12, 2016

Madison Young Playwrights Pen New Plays

Madison, NJ – September means back to school but in Madison, New Jersey, it also means the start of Writers Theatre of New Jersey’s Madison Young Playwrights Program. The program places professional teaching artists in all three of Madison’s public elementary schools in addition to Saint Vincent Martyr School and the Madison Junior School. These teaching artists work with the students on playwriting – first teaching and discussing the elements of creative writing, then building scenes, and finally helping to guide the students through a revision and editing process that strengthens the final script. At the end of the program, the students’ plays are entered into the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival and representative plays are performed at each school, allowing the students’ teachers, peers, and family to enjoy the result of the young playwrights’ hard work.

Last year, two Madison students, Vanya Dhamija and Artha Abeysinghe, won the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest out of hundreds of entrants throughout the state, a testament to the quality of the writing coming out of the Madison Young Playwrights Program. As Artha’s mother said, “Thank you, [Writers Theatre], for continuing this successful program in our schools. It is your hard work, nurturing environment, the school assemblies, and the great teachers that motivate our son to keep writing more plays.”

The Madison Young Playwrights Program has been running for thirty-one years and has helped to strengthen the writing skills of thousands of students since its inception. Madison parents interested in the program can register their children for it via an online form on the Writers Theatre of New Jersey website at: For parents in other towns that are interested in the educational opportunities these in-school residencies afford their children, Writers Theatre offers similar residencies through its New Jersey Writers Project. More information on that program, including how to bring those residencies to your child’s school, can be found here:

For more information on any of Writers Theatre’s programs, please visit, or contact Writers Theatre at P.O. Box 1295, Madison, NJ, 07940, 973-514-1787 x20 or

About Writers Theatre: 
Writers Theatre is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, professional (Actors’ Equity) theatre and a community of professional playwrights, theatre artists, and arts educators that provides opportunities for writers to develop their works in a nurturing environment and connect with new audiences. Our New Play Development Program is a multi-step process through which playwrights, theatre artists, and audiences collaborate to bring selected texts from rough draft to finished production.

Our Education Programs introduce students of all ages and backgrounds to the possibilities inherent in thinking and communicating creatively. Writers Theatre’s New Jersey Writers Project provides hands-on workshops led by professional writers-in-residence to students in schools and community centers throughout the state. We place an equal emphasis on Development and Educational activities, and encourage our community and audiences to participate fully in both.

We are honored that, every year since 2003, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) has designated Writers Theatre as a Major Arts Institution. This means that the Council considers Writers Theatre to be “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”

Funding for our activities comes from: the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Dramatist Guild Fund, Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, The Shubert Foundation, The Victoria Foundation, and many corporations, foundations and individuals.

Writers Theatre is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the National New Play Network, and Madison Arts & Culture Alliance. 

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