Our Mission


EPIC (Empathic Playwriting Intensive Course) was developed for public schools to impart upon today’s students the importance of empathy—not just as a value and a practice, but also as a means to foster cultural sensitivity and gain better understanding of conflict resolution. High school students explore their world—and themselves—as EPIC immerses them in dramatic writing, aiding them in the discovery of compassionate empathy.

EPIC employs a hands-on approach to building empathy by harnessing the transformative power of playwriting. Students engage with unique experiences and differing perspectives to write original ten-minute plays. Through this act of play creation, students expand their understanding of civic engagement, tolerance, and the importance of storytelling. 


Core Curricular Goals

EPIC's curriculum is built around three core concepts: cultivating tolerance and empathy in students, improving students' playwriting skills and knowledge, and improving students' attitudes and understanding of civic engagement. To analyze program efficacy, we identify key features within students' ten-minute plays that illustrate student's understanding and implementation of our curricular goals.

EPIC Cultivates Empathy in Students

Two indicators of tolerance and empathy include writing about a character who is significantly different than the playwright and developing a storyline and conflict through their character’s perspective. During the 2015-16 school year, close to 90% of participating students wrote plays which demonstrated both of these characteristics.

Learn how we're using this data.

EPIC Improves Playwriting Skills/Knowledge

Indicators of improvement in playwriting skills and knowledge include writing a piece with conflict at its core; developing theme through the utilization of characters, plot, setting, and conflict; utilizing consistent formatting; and developing scenes logically, in a way that clearly establishes setting, time, and place. Overall, 87% of students increased their playwriting skills and knowledge as a result of the EPIC program. 72% of students served during the 2015-16 school year implemented consistent formatting when writing their ten-minute plays, which is largely due to limited or irregular computer access at partnering schools. 

Without dedicated script-writing software, getting students

Learn how we're using this data.


During the 2015-16 school year, 95% of students wrote a play addressing an issue within their community.  By the end of their residency, the majority of students also agreed that storytelling could create change  Whether students were passionate about tackling gang recruitment outside a popular hangout or creating a medieval allegory for the way politicians treat the bid for the presidency, EPIC gave them the skills and platform to express their feelings about the problems they perceived in their communities.