Young Playwrights Academy

#YPA    Summer 2021

Welcome to The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Academy Summer 2021!

We are excited to launch this exciting extension of our premiere national Young Playwrights Festival program, now in production for its 29th year, to offer classes that provide professional development for new artistic voices.


All classes run July 20 – August 15
Students who will be in 9th to 12th grades as of Fall 2021 are eligible
Each course will enjoy:
12 hours of interactive class sessions
1 Master Class led by a working writer
Performance Showcases of each student’s work
Classes are live via zoom and available to students across the nation!


TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS 10am-11:30am PST/1pm – 2:30pm EST

The tantalizing ten-minute play is one of theatre’s most compact and punchy forms and this class will give you the tools you need to knock your ten-minute play out of the park! Whether it’s your first play or tenth, this class will help you build a toolbox of fundamentals, including discussion of structure, character, and dialogue. Through writing exercises, reading, guidance, and connection, your script will come to life and you will emerge from the class confident about your ability to write an impactful ten-minute play that engages and delights audiences. At the end of class, your completed ten-minute will be brought to life with professional actors in an unforgettable showcase! There will be eight 90-minute working class meetings, one master class, and one showcase class where writers will see their plays performed by professional actors. Beginning and experienced writers welcome.



TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS 12pm – 1:30PST/3pm-4:30pm EST

Get ready to expand your craft as you develop and workshop your material in a supportive, collaborative environment with other writers who are serious about their work. In this energizing workshop designed for intermediate to advanced students, you’ll take a deeper dive into the key elements of writing for theatre and gain fresh, critical insight into your playwriting.  Your toolbox of fundamentals will expand as we delve into further exploration of structure, character, genre, style, theme, and voice. We’ll explore ways to move your audiences and take them where you want them to go. Through exercises, discussion, readings, and workshops, you’ll discover impactful and meaningful ways to write for the stage. There will be eight 90-minute working class meetings, one master class, and one showcase class where writers will see their work performed by professional actors.

Admission to this class is by approval only. Past Young Playwrights Festival winners will enjoy automatic admission. All others interested in participating in the advanced class must submit a ten-page writing sample. The writing sample should be a play or portion of a play on any topic from any time period. Writing samples will be evaluated for their potential to craft character, write dialogue, and create story structure.



Wednesdays 10am-1pm PST/1pm-4pm EST

Every great movie begins with a script. Screenwriting is a language unlike any other genre and in this class, you’ll learn how to craft your words for cinema. Screenplay structure, format, character creation, dialogue, and visual language will be explored through writing exercises, readings, screenings, and workshops as we develop your film idea and translate it to the page. Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker, a playwright who’d like to dip your toes into different genre waters, or a newcomer to creative writing, this course will guide you through screenwriting essentials. At the end of class, your completed short script will be brought to life with professional actors in an unforgettable showcase! There will be four three-hour working class meetings, one master class, and one showcase class where writers will see their scripts performed by professional actors. Beginning and experienced writers welcome. Final Draft, Celtx (free) or (free) software preferred.



The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Academy will continue our long tradition of helping future writers and artists to change the world.

Registration is NOW OPEN!  We’re excited for you to be part of the Summer 2021 class of our YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS ACADEMY!

For more information please email the YPA Team:

Register for YPA

For almost three decades, The Blank Theatre showcased the unique voices of talented writers ages 19 and younger. Our Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival is the premiere venue for young people to share their original stories. As part of the YPF prize, we give winning playwrights world-class mentorship opportunities.

We are thrilled to now offer that kind of education and mentorship to others through our new Young Playwrights Academy.

The YPA experience creates a safe and nurturing atmosphere to empower young people to enhance their creative perspectives and enrich their writing. We believe artistic education must focus on eventually working in the professional world and, therefore, YPA offers hands-on practical learning to our students.

We believe this kind of experience should be open to all, and for nearly 30 years, we have offered a rich, equitable, and inclusive atmosphere. We support and educate a diverse group of young playwrights, offering a “professional” opportunity. Past participants include Tony Award winning playwright Stephen Karam, Doris Duke Artist Award winner Lauren Yee, NY Drama Desk nominee Ada Cochran, TV Show creator/show runners Kit Steinkellner, Austin Winsberg, Oahn Ly and cross-disciplinary writer Delali Ayivor among hundreds of others.



Classes will be taught by Beth Bigler, a versatile and creative writer, development executive, dramaturg, and teacher. She is a dynamic, engaging, and caring arts educator and is an instructor in the producing and screenwriting departments at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles and New York campuses. There, she teaches courses in dramatic writing, producing, and serves as a thesis reader for BFA and MFA students. She has taught elementary, middle, high school, and college students at a variety of institutions with diverse populations including the University of Illinois-Chicago, Interlochen Center For The Arts, Goddard College, and The Sakhumzi Children’s Centre in Mfuleni, South Africa.  As a sought-after dramaturg and script consultant, Beth collaborates with authors of all ages and developmental levels on their scripted and unscripted projects to help shape their projects for stage and screen.

A proud graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (BFA), Beth also holds an MFA in dramatic writing from Goddard College. Beth’s stage plays have been produced in New York and Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in FreezeRay, Mead: The Magazine of Literature and Libations, Cheek Teeth, Enizagam, and elsewhere. Her work has been honored by numerous awards and nominations including Scholastic, L.A. Weekly, YoungArts, The Dunes Review, and the NAACP Image Awards.

Beth is a three-time winner of The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival and continues her work with The Blank as a dramaturg for The Living Room Series, Young Playwrights Festival Selection Committee member, and mentor for winning writers of the Young Playwrights Festival. She also serves on the Board of Directors for The Blank Theatre.

Beth has held positions at Lionsgate, Machete Productions, True Entertainment/Endemol, Sony Pictures Entertainment, CBS, and ABC. She has extensive experience developing, casting, writing, and selling projects for broadcast, cable, and digital networks. As a development consultant, she has shepherded series for numerous clients, including Fremantle Media, Magical Elves, Relativity Media, and Carnival Cruise Lines.  Career highlights include Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Discovery’s Wreckreation Nation, A&E’s Very Superstitious With George Lopez, CNBC’s Back In The Game, Logo’s The A-List, Discovery Science’s Catch It, Keep It.

Classes are available to students of varying ages and skill levels and are open to students from anywhere in the United States.  Some scholarship opportunities are available.

For more information
please contact the YPA Team: