How To Choose Play Scripts For Kids

By Anita Ortega

One of the highlights of the school year is the school play. This is when every child, even the most introverted one, can blossom and have a moment in the limelight. However, while students and parents love the excitement, it can be difficult for the teacher who has to make the production happen. Your job will be much easier if you know how to choose the most suitable play scripts for kids.

The first factor you need to think of is your audience. While everyone on stage may be having the most wonderful time, the production won't be a success if the audience members haven't been entertained. If the children are going to perform mainly for their peers, it's best to choose a script that matches the age and interests of that group. Small children won't understand the sophistication of Shakespeare while tweens may feel that they're too grown-up for simple fairy tales.

You also need to consider the skills and developmental level of your actors. If they are very young, they'll do best with a script that consists of short sections of dialogue. These are easier to learn and to remember than long monologues full of big words.

One of the most important considerations is the budget you have available. Even professional drama companies have to forget about staging huge productions if they won't be able to afford all the actors, elaborate costumes and intricate sets required. Period pieces also tend to be more expensive simply because you'll have to make the costumes especially, instead of just buying clothes at a discount store.

Another consideration is the venue where the play will be performed. A small, intimate production with a cast of less than ten will simply 'disappear' on the stage of an auditorium seating a thousand people. Likewise, a musical with chorus lines won't work if it's staged in a classroom. Look at the venue and see how easily you'll be able to create a convincing set too. If you're planning on staging a fairy tale, for instance, it can be extra atmospheric if it's performed on an outdoor stage surrounded by trees and shrubs.

Many plays geared towards younger audiences contain a message that will be especially significant to these children. Therefore, you may want to decide on a serious issue that needs addressing in your school, such as ethnic diversity or bullying. You can then choose a script that has been developed around this theme.

Your young cast will not only learn from the message contained in the play. Simply being involved in the production will teach them a host of skills. It encourages them to use their bodies and voices and to improve their communication skills. Furthermore, they can learn important life lessons and may even discover a hidden talent.

To find a suitable play script is quite easy. You can write one yourself or use an existing one. If your budget won't cover the costs of a performance license, simply check online for free scripts that will suit your needs.

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