The Young Plawrights' Theater will receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in a private White House ceremony today. The award – the highest honor in arts education – will be presented by first lady Michelle Obama to director David Snider and program participants Heidi Lovo, a graduate of Bell Multicultural High School, and Mariana Pavón Sánchez, a student at Wakefield High School in Arlington.
The Young Playwrights' Theater teaches local students about playwriting in after-school programs, and gives students the chance to present their work in historic or prestigious venues. In the past 15 years, the group has produced more than 300 plays, which have been staged at locations including the GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Kennedy Center. Their upcoming production, the Express Tour, is a collection of student work that will be presented at various locations in D.C. throughout November and December. The first set of performances will be Nov. 3 through 6 at 8 p.m. at the GALA Hispanic Theatre. Tickets are free.
The NAHYP award is not the first honor that has been bestowed upon the Young Playwrights' Theater. They've received a Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, as well as a Helen Hayes nomination in 2009 for best new play, for Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure.