Playwright Information Center

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I really appreciate Playscripts and their work toward creating better theater and theater experiences for all. Jay Muldoon Theater Teacher, Fairfield, OH
General Information
Art Imitating Life: How School Plays Help Solve Real-world Problems for Students

As students begin making their way back to school, some perennial, universal issues face them. For younger students, this may mean sitting still for more than five minutes at a time, making friends, or dealing with bullies. For older students, it could entail fitting in, dating, or competing academically with their peers.

Playwrights remember these issues, whether they’ve been out of school for decades or still in school, and many of them do a fantastic job at addressing these problems in dramatic or comedic ways. For example, one fantastic new play that addresses some of the biggest issues that middle schoolers face is the musical Lunch  by Shawn Northrip. Sure, it’s a message play, but it’s also funny, gross, and loaded with excellent music. The student actors enjoy performing it, and the audience appreciates the fact that the piece has something to be learned as well as enjoyed.

"Lunch" by Shawn Northrip

For high school actors and audiences, I like What I Want to Say But Never Will  by Alan Haehnel. Told through monologues and anecdotes, the play is actually based on real answers from students around the country to the question hinted at in the title, allowing the audience real glimpses of the biggest issues on the minds of America’s teenagers. And really, what better way to begin addressing their problems than to get them out into the open?

"What I Want to Say But Never Will" by Alan Haehnel

What’s your favorite play that directly relates to issues faced by teen or pre-teen students?


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