Chautauqua Institution is proud to partner with the Chautauqua Theater Company to present an interactive, three-part playwriting project for area third and fourth grade students from M.J. Fletcher (Jamestown), S.G. Love Elementary (Jamestown), Chautauqua Lake, Westfield, and Panama Elementary Schools. The Young Playwrights Project is based on Florida Studio Theatre’s Write-A-Play program, now in its 27th year. In the first stage of the project, teaching artists from Chautauqua Theater Company visit every third and fourth grade classroom at each school to guide students through the process of writing a play. During the second stage, students and teachers take a winter field trip to Chautauqua Institution where community and staff volunteers read each third grade student’s play aloud. Awards are given during a closing reception to celebrate each student’s efforts and creativity and recognize winning plays. The third phase of the program sees the winning plays published online by Chautauqua Institution as well as performed by our Chautauqua Theater Company mid-June. The success of this performance has led to the Young Playwrights Project winning plays being an offering on the Institution’s Family Entertainment Series. All participating schools and their families are invited onto the grounds to attend the performance! 

For more information about the Chautauqua Theater Company


Final performance for the schools: June 14, 2019 in Lenna Hall

Public performance: July 2, 2019 at 5 & 7 p.m. in Smith Wilkes Hall  View Details



Chautauqua Institution Young Playwrights Project at Westfield Elementary


Chautauqua Institution Young Playwrights Project at MJ Fletcher Elementary


Chautauqua Institution Young Playwrights Project


Ingersoll, Ali. “Student playwrights see pieces come to life at festival.”, 1 Feb. 2018. Web 2 Feb 2018.

McCarthy, Kathleen. “Young Playwrights.” Lakeside Ledger, 22 Feb. 2018: 1 Lakeside Ledger. Web. 22 February 2018.

Moore, Deborah Sunya. Young Playwrights Project video. Facebook, 31 Jan. 2018, 4:50 p.m.

Paterniti, Gavin. “Area Students Convene at Chautauqua for Young Playwrights Project.” The Post-Journal, 2 Feb. 2018: 1. The Post-Journal. Web. 2 Feb. 2018

Vestal, Kevin. “Family Entertainment Series opens with Young Playwrights Project, showcasing imagination of local elementary schoolers.” The Chautauquan Daily, 25 June. 2018


Katie McGerrKatherine McGerr is a director and teaching artist who is honored to be in her fifth year with the Chautauqua Young Playwrights Project. She has worked with Chautauqua Theater Company since 2006 in various positions, including director, literary manager and artistic associate. Katherine is an assistant professor in the Syracuse University Department of Drama; she previously taught at Allegheny College and served as a director and teaching artist with Yale School of Drama’s Dwight/Edgewood Project. Recent directing credits include: The Baltimore Waltz, Laura and the Sea, Julius Caesar (Syracuse University); The Second Shepherds’ Play (Colgate College/Syracuse University); Building the Wall (Chautauqua Theater Company New Play Workshop Series); Measure for Measure (PlayMakers Rep); A Dream Play (Allegheny College). Katherine is a graduate of Columbia University and the Eugene O’Neill National Theater Institute; she holds an MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama.

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Blake Segal (Music) is a NYC-based performer and educator. National Tour: Mary Poppins. Regional: The Corn Is Green (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (The Old Globe); Noises Off (Syracuse Stage); Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrymore Award Nomination); Romeo and Juliet, POP!, Rough Crossing (Yale Repertory Theatre); Carousel (Paper Mill Playhouse); AmadeusMacbethThe Winter's Tale (Chautauqua Theater Company); Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (PlayMakers Repertory Company); Into the West (Tantrum Theater); Good People (The Public Theatre, ME). NYC: Bones in the Basket (Araca Project); Les Enfants de Paris (NYMF); Frogs (Fault Line Theatre). Concert: Swan Lake (Original Cast, Hollywood Chamber Orchestra). TV: Blue Bloods. Education: University of Virginia (B.A.) and Yale School of Drama (M.F.A.). Please visit for more.

Dresch2BHeadshot2B1Jacob Dresch (CTC 2013) is thrilled to return to Chautauqua to help inspire imagination, creativity, and love in our young ones. Since having been a member of CTC in 2013 playing Dromio of Syracuse in Andrew Borba’s production of the Comedy of Errors, Jacob has been acting professionally around the country and teaching around the world. Acting highlights include: School for Scandal (Off-Broadway, Red Bull Theater), The Foreigner, Lend Me a Tenor, Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth, (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival) The Great Gatsby, Shakespeare in Love, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night (Orlando Shakespeare Theater) and many more! As a teacher he has taught a wide variety of courses with the New York Film Academy. Most recently, Jacob had the opportunity to be an instructor at both NYFA’s Mumbai and Harvard campuses.

072917 Adrianna MitchellAdrianna Mitchell, Actor. Writer. Wanderer. American Conservatory Theater MFA Candidate. Spelman Alumna. Chautauqua Theater Company Member. British American Drama Academy Alumna