Inspired by the origins of classical theater, when troupes of actors roamed the countryside, Traveling Players Ensemble fuses great theater with the great outdoors ... while nurturing the creativity, skills, and talents of young actors. Serving a performing arts community of over 800 kids (grades 3-12), programs are varied – including summer camps, weekend immersion courses, and 10-week classes during the school year – and almost all incorporate TPE’s signature touring feature. Actors camp out, swim, and hike, but also rehearse and perform the classics, often outdoors or in nontraditional venues like hospitals and libraries. While exploring Shakespeare and Moliere, kids learn self-expression, physical health, teamwork, and professionalism. TPE boasts a 70% student retention rate, and scholarships ensure that any committed young actor can join. All the world's a stage...and for these kids, you can play an important part.

COVID-19 Update: Spring acting classes via Zoom focused on building the theatrical skill most needed during a pandemic – improvisation – while Spring Break classes offered an interactive community in which to grow, connect, and release. After a successful virtual summer camp, fall (and winter) classes provide acting training and community building through the power of the ensemble.

Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; VA-Statewide; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-Loudoun County; VA-Prince William County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+); All

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: Traveling Players works with public and private schools in the region to bring master classes and residencies tailored to the theatre department's needs and objectives. In the past, we have conducted classes/residencies at the following schools: Herndon MS (Fairfax County), Thoreau MS (Fairfax County), Carson MS (Fairfax County), Georgetown Day School -- MS (DC).

  • Students Served Annually:   700
  • Audience Members Served Annually:   7264
  • Performances Offered Annually:   50
  • Programs (Camps & Classes) Offered Annually:   46
  • Scholarship $ Awarded Annually:   $20,000 to $30,000

Awards & Recognition

• Arts Education Award (ARTSFAIRFAX, 2020, to be awarded in 2021).
• Featured in The Catalogue for Philanthropy (since 2015-16, receiving annual renewal for 2020-21).
• Ranked a Priority 1 arts nonprofit as “critical to the cultural life of the community” by the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), annually since 2010.
• Commissioned 6 new plays on mythology by Judith Walsh White (2012-20); 2 have been published, listing Traveling Players students as Original Cast.
• Awarded Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Good Neighbor grant (2018, 2016), dedicated funds to scholarships.
• Selected as one of 25 "Summer Schools in the Arts” (NEA, 2007), and recommended our comprehensive and intensive curricula as a model for other arts orgs.
• 2019-2006--Selected to perform at Reston's Multicultural Festival, our middle schoolers representing France or Italy with Moliere or Carlo Gozzi
• 2010--Featured on WAMU's "Metro Connection"
• 2010-2006---Selected to perform at the International Children's Festival, our middle schoolers representing France or Italy with Moliere or Carlo Gozzi
• 2007--featured in Washington Post article about local camps that meaningfully combat ‘nature-deficit disorder’
• 2005--Invited to perform Much Ado at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
• 2004--Featured on WAMU's "Metro Connection"
• 2003--Hailed as "a little-known gem for the budding actor" by The Washington Post

TPE Students attribute numerous awards and distinctions to our programs and coaching, including:
• 1st Place: 10-minute Playwriting Contest at Arena Stage, 2011, TPE student.
• Winner: Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play, TPE student
• Nomination: Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play, 2009, TPE student.
• English-Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition for the National Capital Region: 11 first-place awards in school competitions, Regional Finalist (2005, 2013), Regional Winner (2006 - competed in national competition at Lincoln Center), Regional 1st Runner-Up (2008), Regional 2nd Runner-Up (2012).
• 2nd Place in the Colorado-Wyoming National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition in Classical and Musical Theatre categories for college freshman students.
• Poetry Out Loud, National Endowment for the Arts, 2011 State Champion (MD) and National Finalist; 2012 State Champion (DC).
• Winner: Montgomery County Public Schools All-County Superintendent’s Performing Arts Award, TPE student.
• Winner: DC-area Cappies Critics and Awards Program, Best Musical, Best Song, Best Supporting Actress TPE students
• Nominations: DC-area Cappies Critics and Awards Program, Sound, Makeup, and Acting, TPE student.
• Forensics wins by TPE students:
• District Level: Dramatic Interpretation: 1st and 2nd place, Humorous Interpretation: 3rd place
• National Level: Dramatic Interpretation, Prose Reading, Top 50

TPE Students have been accepted at some of the most prestigious universities in the USA, including the American Academy of Dramatic Art, Brown University, Carnegie Mellon, College of William and Mary, Columbia University, DePaul University, Emerson College, Harvard University, Ithaca College Conservatory of Music, Muhlenberg College, NYU Tisch School for the Arts, North Carolina School for the Arts, Oberlin College, PACE University, Sarah Lawrence, Savannah College of Art and Design, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Hartford, Hartt School of Musical Theatre, and Yale University.


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Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Traveling Players Ensemble is: Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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