The Mission of
Playwrights Project is to advance literacy, creativity, and communication by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting programs and theatre productions.
Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to arts education. Founded
in 1985, Playwrights Project reaches up to 15,000 people
annually through programs proven to:
Teach the power of spoken and written language
promising young writers
Develop theatre artists and audiences
Honor older individuals by dramatizing their life stories
with classroom programs, Playwrights Project conducts the annual
California Young Playwrights Contest for writers under the age of
19, and professionally produces the winning scripts. Programs also dramatize stories from the lives of seniors, foster youth, and underserved populations and support the development of emerging playwrights.
Project collaborates with many organizations in San Diego County.
We have created major programs with Anaheim Union High School District;
Escondido Union High School District; San Diego City Library; San
Diego Unified School District; San Diego County Department of Health and Human
Services; San Diego Youth and Community Services; and Sweetwater
Union School District.
|Board of Directors
|Mary F. Harrison|
|Suzi Finkelstein |
|Ann von Gal |
|Ernie McCray |
Founder Deborah Salzer with
Artistic Advisor Edward Albee, 1985
have to begin the creative education of young
people very, very young, far younger than most
people think and that's why an organization
such as this one is so terribly important."
| Cecelia Kouma
Program Manager, Teaching
Program Manager, Production
Dr. Barbara Broderick
Edward Albee, Artistic Advisor, is one of the greatest American
playwrights. Among his 32 plays are The Zoo Story, A Delicate Balance and the groundbreaking Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf, almost
always in production somewhere in the world. His numerous awards
include three Pulitzer Prizes, a Special Tony Award for Lifetime
Achievement, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the National Medal of
Salzer, Founder, is a graduate of Oberlin College and
the Bank Street College of Education. Before moving to California
from New York, Ms. Salzer taught elementary school, trained teachers,
and directed an inner-city arts program in Harlem. Ms. Salzer founded
Playwrights Project in 1985. In addition to creating curriculum
and training teaching artists for Playwrights Project, Ms. Salzer
has produced the premieres of over 100 plays, along with the award-winning
television production of Simply Maria, or the American Dream by Josefina López. Ms. Salzer is the author of Stage
Write a curriculum unit which introduces playwriting to middle
and high school students.
Kouma, Executive Director, has a BFA in Theatre Arts,
from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She was hired as Playwrights Project’s Managing Director in 2000, to direct education programs and oversee the general operation of Playwrights Project. Ms. Kouma now serves as Playwrights Project’s Executive Director, after working with the Founder and Board of Directors to prepare the organization for the Founder’s transition from leadership in 2007. Ms. Kouma has worked as an arts administrator since 1987, including 11 years as the Associate Director of the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena. She has taught theatre and playwriting to students and teachers in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties and has presented at conferences on the topics of arts education strategies, evaluation techniques, and best practices for nonprofit management and accounting.