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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
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The Blog
Full-Length Plays For Student Actors
After nearly a decade’s steady diet of university theater productions in which at least one actor if not dozens required aging via makeup and mounds of gray hairspray, I got it into my head to write a play where no such tricks were required––where young actors could play people their own age.  The result was Acts of God (now published by Playscripts, Inc.), in which a dozen high schoolers cope with the emotional detritus of an F-3 tornado strike.

My dislike of forcing young actors to “play age” has not diminished.  Since the advent of Acts, I have ...
Stupid Things I Have Done: 4 Things Not To Do When Directing a Play
I think it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’ve done a lot of stupid things over the years. I’m going to limit this to my experiences as a director of my own work, though, to narrow it down.
To start with, I’ll admit that I’m not a great director. I’m decent enough at getting good performances out of actors, but I made a lot of mistakes in my first years. Here’s a few of them.
1. Use plastic chairs to stand in for your set. At the middle school, I didn’t have a shop. I didn’t even have a hint of a shop. There was no wood. So, if I ...
Adapt or Perish! Five Things to Consider Before Starting an Adaptation
Playwrights, it's hard to deny the lure of the adaptation. Taking existing content that you already know works and adapting it for the stage seems so much faster than writing something from scratch. An adaptation also makes your job that much easier when it comes to promotion. If your source material already has fans, they'll seek out your content on the strength of the original name even if they've never heard of you. Sounds great, right?

Nearly all adaptations can be boiled down into two types:

Format shifts: Taking a movie, short story, novel, life story, ...
Is It Christmas Already?
In Texas, we have four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Late Summer, and Christmas. Christmas seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, and I’ve noticed that lately some stores are sneaking their Christmas stuff out before Halloween, which causes more than a few problems.

When you’re teaching theatre in Texas, there’s an unwritten expectation that you’re supposed to do a Christmas show. For some reason, parents want to see their kids perform in something. And although I’d spend at least a month or two happily playing improv games with my students, sooner or later ...
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 ...
Making the Most Out of a Living Playwright
When it comes to theatre, especially high school theatre, sometimes the syllabus and maybe even the whole season looks like a trip through the graveyard. Shakespeare. Moliere. Chekov. Rodgers and Hammerstein. You know. The usual suspects. They've got some phenomenal plays between them, sure, but they're not exactly the liveliest bunch around. Mostly because they died decades ago.

I was the president of my high school drama club so I know this feeling first hand. It's easy to get in the habit of assuming everything your teacher hands you was written by someone who's currently ...
Catalog of Plays and Musicals for Schools
For the past few months, we have been diligently assembling our annual catalog, and it's finally done! This catalog reflects our newest and most popular plays and musicals for middle and high school theater programs or competitions. The plays range from one-acts to full lengths and include works by some of our most popular playwrights such as Ed Monk, Jon Jory, Alan Haehnel, Jonathan Rand, Don Zolidis, Jonathan Dorf, and Ian McWethy.

New and popular musicals in the catalog include works by Peter Bloedel, Sam Willmott, Nick Blaemire, Jodi Picoult, Mark Baron and Jeffrey ...
Favorites
Whenever I talk to theatre groups, I’m inevitably asked which play of mine is my favorite. Now, most writers defer and talk about how they love all of their children equally (not true), but I always have an answer: Snappy’s Happy Half Hour. I wrote it my second year of teaching middle school theatre, and it provided my favorite theatrical moment ever.

Snappy’s is the story of a live children’s television show where all the actors quit moments before broadcast and the techies are forced to act. It’s kind of like A Midsummer Night’s Dream ...
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