Thursday, April 17, 2014

What To Consider When Choosing 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.

When faced with a variety of possible plays, you first need to think about who will be watching the performance. Grown-ups and older children can appreciate a more sophisticated production. Children under about 10, however, prefer simpler shows. These shows also need to be relatively short or your young audience will get bored in no time.

It's also important to think about the skills of your actors. If they're in high school, they're usually perfectly capable of learning longer, more difficult lines and can easily handle a Shakespeare play or another theatrical classic. The younger your actors are, however, the simpler the script should be because they not only need to understand it but also to remember their dialogue.

Even in professional theater, the budget is a major factor in determining which production to stage. If you don't have a lot of money to work with, it's probably not a good idea to opt for an elaborate period musical because the more cast members there are, the more costumes need to be made. Think about the practicalities of creating the set and how easy it will be to create costumes with cheap and readily available materials.

The venue should also have an impact on your decision. The smaller the space you have in which to stage your production, the smaller the production should be. A huge theater auditorium works best for large productions like musicals. An open-air venue can be perfect for a fairy tale or a story set in the outdoors, since you can then use the natural surroundings as part of the set. However, it will be more difficult to transform a park setting into a desolate alien planet or the streets of New York and plays with a futuristic or city theme are best performed indoors.

You may also want to consider the message you want the production to convey. If bullying is a problem in your school, the play may be a great opportunity to educate the kids about the consequences of not treating others with compassion and respect. Diversity is a great theme to use too.

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.

It's not very difficult to find a script that is perfect for your needs. If you'd rather not write your own, you'll easily find plays in the library or online. Bear in mind that many require a performance license, so if your budget is tight, you may prefer to opt for a free script instead.

About the Author: