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Presented with the right plays, children are the most honest and appreciative of audiences. This anthology, compiled by an authority on children's theatre, collects new and overlooked scripts that represent the best of modern playwriting for children. From works adapted from classic children's stories to original contemporary scripts, each play inspires the imagination as it entertains.
With complete scripts for twenty plays plus a biographical sketch of each playwright, Theatre for Young Audiences is invaluable for anyone involved in children's theatre, from community theatre groups to teachers and students of dramatic literature.
Plays included in this book:
Charlotte's Web ... Joseph Robinette
The Arkansas Bear ... Aurand Harris
Really Rosie ... Maurice Sendak
The Secret Garden ... Pam Sterling
Wiley and the Hairy Man ... Suzan Zeder
According to Coyote ... John Kauffman
The Mischief Makers ... Lowell Swortzell
The Wise Men of Chelm ... Sandra F. Asher
Crow & Weasel ... Jim Leonard
The Ice Wolf ... Joanna H. Kraus
Home on the Mornin' Train ... Kim Hines
The Falcon ... Greg Palmer
The Man-Child ... Arnold Rabin
Hush: An Interview with America ... James Still
Bocon! ... Lisa Loomer
The Crane Wife ... Barbara Carlisle
Jungalbook ... Edward Mast
A Thousand Cranes ... Kathryn S. Miller
The Yellow Boat ... David Saar
Selkie ... Laurie Brooks Gollobin
A collection of plays, many of which are based on favorite children's tales, including such titles as: "Charlotte's Web," "Really Rosie," "Wiley and the Hairy Man," "Wise Men of Chelm," and "The Crane Wife."
"I am inclined to trust children with the truth, and allow them to draw their own conclusions. Not to tell them what to think— but to require them to think."
- Sara Spencer, publisher of the Children's Theatre Press
"I am only ten years old but I know a good play when I see one."
- Charles W.
The library of children's theater is understocked, and this collection partly redresses that situation. These mostly recent short plays are directed at children around ten, the ideal age to build a theater-going habit. The book begins with an interview with Maurice Sendak and includes a play of his, indicating the level of excellence the collection aims for and succeeds in achieving. None of these plays is doctrinaire or didactic, though they are full of wisdom. They engage children's imagination to communicate a sense of worth. There are coming-of-age plays, tolerance plays, and plays about children in society and war, and we are prefaced by useful introductions that will aid adult directors. Some are musicals. The best of them are based on folk tales from American Indian, eastern European, Russian, Japanese, and other traditions. Some are adaptations of children's literature such as Charlotte's Web and The Jungle Books. There is something here to meet every theater need and every child's anticipation. Highly recommended.Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., MA
Coleman A. Jennings, professor of Creative Drama/Children's Theatre at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of three plays for children and editor of four anthologies, including Plays Children Love, volumes I and II. In 1997 he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.