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School Connections

Young Playwrights Festival                                                                                                                         


MCT’s Young Playwrights Festival

challenges students to create new work for live theater—

and gathers emerging and established local artists to produce their stories.


The Young Playwrights Festival (YPF) is an ongoing celebration of new work!


YPF activities are threefold:

  • An annual cycle of Playwriting Residencies at local high schools, which encourages competition entries.

  • An annual one-act Playwriting Competition for high school students.

  • A biennial Showcase of winning plays fully produced by MCT with emerging and established local artists and staff.



YPF directly serves MCT’s mission to cultivate the talents of emerging local theater artists while seeking to generate new works of dramatic literature. By prioritizing high school students since 2007, MCT wishes both to encourage and to elevate the expression of their unique viewpoints; to offer students in our visual and interactive-activity-driven culture an opportunity to engage in a collaborative art form; and to nurture our community’s future patrons and artists.



Playwriting Residencies are designed classroom by classroom to meet both standard residency objectives and school partners’ curricular needs as determined by MCT Education and partner teachers. All residencies include classroom instruction and one-on-one mentoring during the writing process. Residencies may be live, online, or hybrid based on classroom needs and changing health and safety protocols.



MCT explores playwriting through three different formats. 

To learn more or to book your residency, contact MCT Education.

  • Standard Residency: Students write a one-act play of 15-25 minutes’ length.

  • Mini Residency: Students learn basic playwriting skills and write a scene or short-short play of 2-10 minutes’ length.

  • Devising Residency: Students create an ensemble piece for performance or a composite work of short-short plays.



MCT’s annual YPF Playwriting Competition welcomes entries from local student writers in grades 9-12 whether written in YPF Residencies or independently. Every June, a panel of artists determines the Top Ten Distinguished Plays of that year’s entries. Every other year, two consecutive sets of Top Ten plays enter a final round of competition to determine which MCT will feature in the YPF Showcase.



A host of regional theater professionals, including actors, educators, directors, and playwrights, evaluate the Top Twenty for writing quality and staging potential. MCT staff reviews recommendations and selects the top six plays—three winners and three Honorable Mentions—for inclusion in the YPF Showcase, in which local emerging and established artists perform their work for the public. All winning playwrights are further mentored in any revisions and offered the opportunity to participate in the production process as the writer of a new work.



MCT began offering in-school residencies and producing the Showcase solo in 2007. At first, the YPF Showcase was an annual production, with offerings in 2007, 2008, and 2009. After that time, MCT switched to a biennial cycle, with Showcases between 2011 and 2021. Honorable Mention staged readings began with the 2017 Showcase, and 2021 marked MCT’s first all-virtual Showcase. 2023 will mark the tenth YPF Showcase.


To join us or for more information, contact MCT Education via email or call 414.276.8842.

“All one has to do is spend an afternoon with a child to understand that they each have their own story and a deep desire to tell it. To have such a powerful platform to allow their voices to be heard is deeply moving and cherished for the special gift that it is.”

-Partner classroom teacher

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