Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT
Voices of Now ensembles in Washington, DC
Event Calendar

Washington, D.C.

Voices of Now works with ensembles made up of middle school and high school students, community group members and young adults. Working with Voices of Now teaching artists, these ensembles create and perform original, autobiographical plays that pose questions relevant to the ensembles and their communities.

This season, the Voices of Now program will create plays with 10 ensembles in the D.C. Metro area. All ensembles will present their plays at the Seventh Annual Voices of Now Festival May 17-21, 2017 in Arena Stage’s Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle.

2016/17 Ensembles

Advocacy Ensemble
Burke Middle School
Glasgow Middle School
Jefferson Academy
Key Middle School
Key World Ensemble
Mead Ensemble
Mentor Ensemble
Robinson Secondary School
Wendt Center for Loss and Healing

Ten ensembles were part of the 2015/16 season and presented their plays at the Sixth Annual Voices of Now Festival in Arena Stage’s Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle in May 2016. Click the links below to view videos of their performances.

2015/16 Ensembles

Advocacy Ensemble
Glasgow Middle School
Jefferson Academy
Key Middle School
Key World Ensemble
Mead Ensemble
Mentor Ensemble
Robinson Secondary School
South County Middle School
Wendt Center for Loss and Healing

Click here for past ensembles

The Mead Ensemble

The Voices of Now Mead Ensemble is an artist-training program for students in grades 7-11. Participants work with master teaching artists starting in November to create an original, autobiographical play that is presented in-part at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival in February, and in full at Arena Stage as part of the Voices of Now Festival in May. No audition is necessary to participate in this program. Learn more

The Advocacy Ensemble

The Voices of Now Advocacy Ensemble is made up of participants in their teens and twenties from the Metro D.C. area that collaborate to create an original, autobiographical play that focuses on a specific issue facing their community. The Advocacy Ensemble play is presented at Arena Stage as part of the Voices of Now Festival, and throughout the community as a tool for creating dialogue around social issues. Past partner organizations for this ensemble have included D.C. Child and Family Services, Metro Teen AIDS, Promising Futures, Next Step Public Charter School and First Star Academy.

Participants explore the program through free workshops in the fall that culminate in an audition in December. Artists and activists ages 14 and up are encouraged to register for the FREE Advocacy Ensemble workshops this fall! Click here for more information.

Voices of NowFacilities

Classes are held in the beautiful Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Rehearsals are held in the classroom and the final showcase is held in the 200-seat Kogod Cradle.

Voices of NowRequirements

Students in grades 6-11 are encouraged to register. No audition is required. Students should bring a water bottle, a small snack, clothing and shoes in which they can move freely and comfortably.

Director of Education
and Voices of Now Founder Ashley Forman

Ashley Forman

“Voices of Now instills an excitement for exploration and dialogue. When writing their plays, artists use stories pulled directly from their lives to explore issues such as social justice, growth, loss, identity and personal responsibility. This results in dynamic and highly personal theater pieces intended to spark a productive dialogue among themselves, their audience and their communities.” – Ashley Forman