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DemocracyWorks

A black female student with short, black hair smiles while holding a book over her head.

DemocracyWorks Student Essay Competition

Thespians passionate about making a difference will find their chance to shine in DemocracyWorks, EdTA’s annual essay competition designed to grow student advocacy for theatre education.

Concord Theatricals logo 2023

DemocracyWorks is sponsored by Concord Theatricals

Democracyworks p 1

Student Essay Competition

Thespians passionate about making a difference will find their chance to shine in Democracyworks, EdTA’s annual essay competition designed to grow student advocacy for theatre education.

DemocracyWorks was created to offer youth a voice to advocate for theatre education. Each year, students submit inspiring essays on a timely prompt surrounding the value of arts education. Three finalists receive prizes and recognition:

  • Winner: $250, publication on Dramatics.org
  • First Runner-Up: $150, publication on Dramatics.org
  • Second Runner-Up: $100, publication on Dramatics.org

The DemocracyWorks essay contest is an opportunity for you to tell your theatre story and to make the case for the arts as a key component of our democratic system of government.

Essays may be submitted beginning December 15, 2022. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) February 15, 2023.

Watch the 2022 Winner, Spencer Wareing, read her award-winning 2022 essay.

For Teachers and Troupe Directors

Democracyworks makes an excellent curriculum item!
See the Click to Teach Lesson: Become a Theatre Advocate

Recent Winners

2022

Spencer Wareing

Spencer Wareing

Troupe 3584
Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Prompt: "How has theatre helped you build resiliency in your personal life and academic studies?"

2021

Savannah Brown, 2021 Democracyworks Winner

Savannah Brown

Troupe 6303
Timber Creek High School, Orlando, Fla.

Prompt: "How does theatre support your social and emotional well-being and foster a welcoming school environment?"

2020

dougherty lena web democracyworks winner 2020

Lena Dougherty

Troupe 8938
Wildwood Catholic High School, North Wildwood, N.J.

Prompt: "How does theatre help bring diverse communities together?"

The Power of Student Voice

See 2019 DemocracyWorks winner Brannon Evans of Troupe 5483 at Millard West High School in Omaha, Neb., read her winning essay on To Kill a Mockingbird. Evans also won a $10,000 scholarship from the Educational Theatre Foundation funded by the Broadway show’s production team, awarded at a special event at the Library of Congress in honor of Theatre in Our Schools month (pictured above).

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