I have heard so many playwrights who write children's plays saying things like, "well . . . I only write children's plays." as though children's plays were something less than big people plays. I have so much respect for author's of plays for young people I cannot begin to express. I remember being a carrot. I remember being a snow flake. I remember being Monstro the Whale. All these memories have drawn me to Theatre all my life. Without all those plays for young people there would be very small audiences since only TV and cinema would have been their main source of entertainment - their formitive influence. Live people on the stage couldn't possibly be as interesting as quick cuts, car chases etc. It is those writers of plays for young people and the teachers who introduce them to young minds who keep the magic of Theatre alive. The dramatist should genuflect. I bow to you. -Edd
Thanks, Ed. I certainly did not mean to denigrate what I do. I love it. I get the shakes if I do not have a project coming up with kids. I love being in the trenches with the kids. I love it when an 11-year old, somber-faced actor approaches me and tell me, "My character would never say that line." And I wrote the character and the line! And he was right! My daughter was a snowflake in one of my plays ... once upon a time ... and these days I strive to give them a bit more then "2nd carrot from the left." As Cynthia Nixon noted, "I am a theatre junkie." As a theatre-junkie myself, I hope to nudge all my young theatre-junkies to at least occupy a seat in the theatre as they grow.
It may not be professional, but it sure is a great thing. Congratulations and keep up the good work. Participate in Paddy's forum and write some 1-page plays. They're great fun and we've got a theatre listed that you can send them to.
I have been lucky (well, I think so ;-)), b/c in the past year or so I have had six productions of my work (I think it was six...maybe a couple more), and I haven't been writing plays for that long. Of course, to me, that isn't nearly enough :-(, but Edd and others would say otherwise! It is so competitive (450 plays for a 10-minute festival?! What are the chances??), but you write b/c you need/want to, and then submit, submit, submit, wait for the rejections, and exult in the acceptances.
I've been fortunate over the years to have some of my plays professionally produced. I find most of my mileage comes from writing short plays (between 10 and 20 minutes). The experience is wonderful, if you're able to get involved. I find amateur theatre can be just as rewarding. Recently in June, I had a play of mine, called TOOTH, produced by Youth Education on Stage in North Dakota. It was a 10 minute play for the theatre's International Playwriting Competiton Festival. The actors were children between the ages of 7 and 18. Although I was unable to personally view the production, I was happy to receive a DVD of all the plays selected and a festival t-shirt that fits me perfectly.
Main production highlights in my life--My adult drama, THE LITTLE DEATH, was professionally produced in Houston by Gypsy Theatre Company (years ago), and my mystery farce, DEATH BEHIND THE TABLOIDS, was produced by Eclectic Theater in Seattle last fall. My published children's play is picked up and produced various places, including at an American school in Germany.