For the past 24 years, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, an Arts and Education Council grantee, has been enriching the educational experiences of fifth-grade students through their WiseWrite playwriting program. Each season, over the course of a seven months, more than 100 students work closely with Rep teaching artists and education staff to learn to write plays. 

In normal times, the program culminates with the WiseWrite Festival, where plays from each class are performed on The Rep stage by local, professional actors. Each student also receives a bound copy of their play allowing every participant the honor of being a published playwright. Year after year, the program helps students build self-esteem, hone creativity and develop written literacy skills.

The Rep brought their WiseWrite program to the digital space this year, creating access for all St. Louis youth to take part in this exciting storytelling event. The Rep staff created a series of online lessons, which students from grades 4 to 12 can access from home. They also accepted submissions from students throughout the nation for inclusion in the digital festival, which will feature performances by professional actors. Local actors will perform and record selected plays from home to be shared with the students and The Rep’s audiences.

WiseWrite is a beloved cornerstone of The Rep’s education programming. The Rep’s education team is planning to expand their efforts deeper into the community and include more schools and classes in the 2020-2021 program. Until then, students in grades 4 through 12 can explore the Wise Write digital lessons at their own pace, developing their own stories at

Step into the imagination of three young playwrights as The Rep presents professional readings of their new plays during the 24th Annual WiseWrite Young Playwrights Festival. Tune in Oct. 2 at 6:00 p.m. to watch the plays on The Rep’s YouTube channel.

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