Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will host the Voices of Now festival, a four-day event featuring original works of theater written and performed by 11 different youth ensembles from the internationally renowned community engagement program.

The festival will bring together more than 100 artists, ages 11-25, from DC, Maryland, and Virginia who have been working with professional theater artists from Arena Stage this season to devise original one-act plays.
An additional forum hosted by the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing will take place on May 17.
Currently in its 12th year, Voices of Now is a season-long drama program that utilizes creative writing, improvisation, collaboration, movement, and performance to devise autobiographical theater pieces with ensembles of middle school, high school, and adult artists locally and internationally. Each ensemble’s play poses challenging social questions relevant to the artists’ communities and investigates those questions by recounting the artists’ personal stories.
This year’s plays examine topics including education equality, sex trafficking in the DC metro area, mental health, school culture, the experience of moving to the U.S. from another country, and the questions that emerge when grieving a loss.
Voices of Now festival schedule:
Wednesday, May 13—7:30 p.m.
Balancing Act by the Key Middle School Ensemble
Growing Roots/Cultivando Raíces by the Key World Ensemble
Undercurrent by the Mentor Ensemble
Thursday, May 147:30 p.m.
Safety Net by the Glasgow Middle School Ensemble
Honor Code by the Jefferson Middle School Ensemble
Undercurrent by the Mentor Ensemble
Friday, May 157:30 p.m.
Push & Pull by the Burke School Ensemble
Break Through by the Robinson Secondary School Ensemble
Memory Loss by the Wendt Center Ensemble
Saturday, May 167:30 p.m.
The Space Between by the Mead Ensemble
Cost of Living by the Advocacy Ensemble
D.C. Traffic by the FAIR Girls Ensemble
All performances take place at the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle in the Mead Center, 1101 6th St. SW.
Tickets for the Voices of Now festival are FREE, though reservations are required through the Arena Stage Sales Office at 202-488-3300 or at

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