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What resources teach how to write school plays?

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I have seen some children's authors create school plays - some from their pb books and others from new stories. I'm interested in learning more about how to create school plays but I'm not quite sure how to get started. Do any Blue Boarders have suggestions/advice?

:) Abigail
#1 - July 15, 2011, 04:46 PM
Top Dog Series - Rosen Publishing, 12 x 12 in 2012, fiction & stories published Stories for Children, Under the Juniper Tree and Kids 'Magination

An editor asked me to write a readers theatre. I looked up some online and made one up. It worked! He liked it.

So, I would go to a teacher store and study a book or two. Buy it, if that helps. Model one after what you see, and decide if you like it.
#2 - July 15, 2011, 05:36 PM

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EspressoChick, I've read your post several times and hesitated to offer suggestions, because I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "school plays."  (Or even what kind of PBs you write--are they history tales, like Verla's, for example? folk/fairy adaptations? animal stories?)

There's a range of types of "school" plays, from short and simple reader's theater performed in the classroom (often as part of a lesson plan) all the way to the fully-mounted "high school musical" or comedy meant for public performance. Each category has its own requirements as to length, number of roles, and subject matter.

I write the fully-staged kind, so suggestions I make wouldn't  be much help if you mean "classroom" plays, or plays that fit into a lesson plan.

Can you help us help you, by making your question more specific? 

#3 - July 16, 2011, 05:19 AM

Hello :)

I have several funny stories - like children's picture book length. I don't know very much about plays for children and was interested in learning more, to see if I could adapt my stories to become plays. I don't think I realized all of the different types of plays there are! :)

I welcome any suggestions. Thank you for your time.

#4 - July 16, 2011, 03:10 PM
Top Dog Series - Rosen Publishing, 12 x 12 in 2012, fiction & stories published Stories for Children, Under the Juniper Tree and Kids 'Magination

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Sounds like you're wide open to suggestions and inspiration.

A good place to start is the Blue Board's own Script Writers board. Read all the posts, and you might find a description of the kind of play you'd like to write, and of sources for further info.

Or, following Inspired's good suggestion, go to a teacher resources store and browse the shelves for school play books--how-to's as well as script collections. (You didn't specify the target age range for your stories, but If they're geared to pre-school children, teacher stores will also offer collections of simple puppet plays and finger-plays that may also inspire and guide you.)

Do you know any teachers? Consult them to learn what kinds of plays their students need and like.

And remember that when it comes to plays, reading how-to's and scripts only takes you part of the way. You need to actually see plays on stage.  How do they work? What do the kids like? What bores them?

So locate any and all children's theater groups in your area and see every show to learn how it's done and what works best. Your local library and bookstores might offer play-time and story-time events, or touring plays. Museums, symphonies and other music groups, and even department stores might offer children's concerts and children's theater events. See all of them.   

Have fun!

#5 - July 17, 2011, 07:15 AM


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