Complete Access ProgramsYoung Playwrights Festival 'Living with Disabilities' CategoryJuvenile Justice ProgramsVSA Playwright Discovery Program SitesSenior Citizen ProgramsIn-School ResidenciesProgram ApplicationAudience Access Programs

Complete Access Programs strive to open the creative writing and performing experience to all audiences. These programs range from the “Living with Disabilities” Category of the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest, to Programs with Juvenile Offenders, Senior Citizens, schools working with disabled students and young adults, and accessibility programs for audiences at our public events.  This year, we are working with students at the JFK School in Newark, The Craig School in Mountain Lakes, Warren Residential Center in Oxford, and Green Residential Center in Ringwood.

Our last four programs (2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018) with incarcerated Juvenile Offenders have been offered through a contract with VSA Washington’s VSA Playwright Discovery Program.

The VSA Playwright Discovery Program has also contracted with WTNJ to offer programs at The Craig School in Mountain Lakes, NJ, and the JFK School in Newark NJ.

WTNJ is proud to report that plays submitted to the VSA Playwright Discovery Contest have won national awards in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 (in the junior and senior division).

Click on the tabs to the left for more information, an application and project contact.

As part of the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, we have included the “Living with Disabilities”  Category, which accepts from writers, Grades 6-12, plays dealing with the subject of disability. One play from this category is presented as part of the the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival, and all plays are submitted to the VSA Washington Playwright Discovery Program. Click here for more information on The Playwright Discovery Program.

For over 25 years, Writers Theatre has conducted creative writing workshops in Juvenile Detention Centers throughout the state of New Jersey. This 20-week writing intensive generates stories, poems, and group plays.  A selection of the work is rehearsed and presented by the young writers for an audience of parents, peers and the public.

In 2014, 2016 and 2017, 2018, and 2019, these programs were made possible through a contract with the VSA Playwright Discovery Program at The Kennedy Center in Washington. These final presentations were held at Fairleigh Dickinson University in the Dreyfuss Theatre in January 2018; videos and photos from the 2016 presentations can be seen below:

A Scene from “Learn Your ABCs” by Elijah Gaines and Jaleel Lindsay

A Brief Scene from “Text This” by Jose Matias

Ethan Furstoss, Playwright and Actor, On the Excitment of Creating Original Work

Writers Theatre teaching artists also work with students with disabilities at their own schools as part of a contract with VSA– Washington.  The students learn about the elements of theatre and dramatic writing and write plays that are then submitted to the Kennedy Center’s Playwright Discovery Program.  This year, four students from our classes won the Playwright Discovery Program competition:  Elijah Gaines and Jaleel Lindsay were winners in the high school division (from our Juvenile Justice Program, detailed in the tab above) and Alessandra Sommers and Colin McKenna won the Junior Division.

Below are some images of a performance of the students’ work by their peers at he Craig School, one of two schools we work with as part of this program.

The Silver Scribes Program conducts writing residencies for senior citizens in senior housing and at senior centers. Selected works are performed on site with professional actors and residents. An anthology is created and presented to the residents at the conclusion of the project.

This is a clip from Writers Theatre Master Teaching Artist Arthur Wilson’s Silver Scribes class at the Ironbound Senior Center in Newark, NJ.  In it, Silver Scribes student Joyce Teixeira shares with the class a poem that she wrote about her experience as a school teacher.

Writers Theatre conducts in-school residencies for those living with disabilities. Recent residencies have included the JFK School in Newark, The Craig School in Mountain Lakes, Warren Residential Center in Oxford, Green Residential Center in Ringwood, and The Kessler Institute in West Orange. Specially trained professional writers work with each site to create flexible programs designed to fit the schedules and individual needs of the residency.


Writers Theatre Master Teaching Artist Dominique Cieri taught a class at the JFK School in Newark, NJ this year.  Here’s a clip from their final presentation, entitled, “You Don’t Know Me.”


Below are some of the students that Writers Theatre Master Teaching Artist Dominique Cieri worked with last year in her residency at The Craig School in Mountain Lakes, NJ.

This section is under construction.  Please check back for the program application soon!

Writers Theatre provides a number of accessible programs for audiences at our public events. Click here for more information.