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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
Mr. Dawkins, We Mustache You Some Questions
Something pretty wonderful happened today, but before I get into that I guess I need to introduce myself.  My name is Courtney Hooper, and I am a second year teacher at Liberty Middle School in Madison, Alabama.  I teach eighth and ninth grade here.  This year I've been doing a good deal of experimenting with technology in my classroom.  It's quite addictive, actually, and the kids L-O-V-E it. Isn't it wild that we can see and talk to someone anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse?  That brings me to today's wonderfulness....

Today in my ninth grade Introduction ...
Free and Almost Free Ways to Promote Your Production
When you’re busy producing a play the last thing you want to think about is filling seats. Whether you’re staging and elaborate Broadway musical or a bare bones middle school production, developing an audience should be a top priority.

Marketing your production begins before you start rehearsals. Online fundraising has become a way to build excitement and cultivate fans.  Kickstarter is a relatively simple way to raise funds and build awareness. Kickstarter allows you to create traditional and not-so-traditional donor awards based on pledge level. Awards don’t need to ...
Geek Theater: Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company
On a chilly evening last November I found myself wandering through the empty, warehouse-lined streets of Bushwick.  I was new to New York, and I had been told that Bushwick was a “hip” neighborhood in Brooklyn.  But as the cold air nipped at my fingers and ballet-flat-clad toes, I began questioning my decision to come out at all.  A friend of mine was sound designing a short play for Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company and I had promised I would attend, but I was skeptical as to what kind of art I’d find among the maze of warehouses.  I was about to give up and head home, when I ...
Happily Ever After, for Every Kind of Audience
Flipping through the TV channels or on a trip to the movies, you might notice that fairy tales are everywhere this fall. ABC and NBC are in on the action with Once Upon a Time and the darker Grimm, and last year’s Red Riding Hood was just the start of a slew of fairy tale films being produced for teenage audiences. Just outside our office here at Playscripts, Inc., a shiny two-story billboard has gone up, advertising Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman--we can’t seem to get away! But then again, why would we want to? Fairy tales endure for a ...
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 ...
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 ...
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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