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About Us
PLAYS Magazine was established in 1940 in Boston, Massachusetts to provide high quality and wholesome plays to young actors. Today, as in its beginning, PLAYS is still focused on quality, providing well-written creative plays that delight, stimulate, and inspire students in grades from lower to upper. And, while we provide great topics to broaden the mind, tickle the funny bone, stimulate discovery, and enhance discussion, none of our plays delve into religion, politics, sex, or violence. All of our language is up to date but none will make you blush. Contact us.
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Three Great Products
PLAYS, The Drama Magazine for Young People for lower, middle, and upper grade students/7 issues per school year/ 8-10 plays per issue all royalty free for current subscribers. Subscribe Now.
PLAYS Books
Seven books of scripts are currently available, including our newly published Awesome Plays for Teens & Tweens and the Very Best Christmas Plays for Kids.
Individual Scripts
Hundreds of plays that have appeared in the pages of PLAYS Magazine are available to current subscribers on an individual basis and are conveniently indexed by grade level and topic. Current subscribers to PLAYS may download individual plays at no additional charge.
Non-subscribers cannot access individual scripts. We recommend that non-subscribers become subscribers. Subscribe Now.
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Meet the Editor
Elizabeth Preston has been the Editor of PLAYS for over 25 years.
She specializes in selecting the very best plays for lower, middle, and
upper grade actors and working with playwrights to help develop their
ideas into entertaining stories that come alive with humor, drama, and
emotion. Key to her approach is a focus on plays that inspire, encourage,
and support a spirit of curiosity, adventure, creativity, and eternal optimism.
Subplots always build on the importance of friendship and community,
honesty, choosing right over wrong, and a healthy respect for diversity.
Liz holds a BA and MA in Classics and French from Tufts University. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with her husband and teenage daughter,
and attends school and professional plays whenever time allows. Contact Liz.


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How to Use PLAYS Magazine
Teaching and Boosting Reading Skills
Select a play (or even just a scene) that students will find interesting and appropriate for their age and reading level. Assign parts or let the students choose which parts they would like to play. Arrange desks in a circle or have students sit around a table so they can see and play off each other. For some plays, you (the teacher) may want to play the narrator or another major role, and have the students take more minor parts. This allows the play to move along, keeping students interest up and providing them with a subtle example of how a script should be read.
Students often find that their reading comes more easily as they get into their roles. So-called reluctant readers discover they actually look forward to reading their designated part in a play, and some may even forget that they are being asked to read in public. Plays are great for bringing out a shy student, and likewise, for discovering sympathetic qualities in aggressive ones. Over time, students learn to enunciate clearly and distinctly, with proper pacing, expression, timing, and projection. With practice, those miserable mumbles become a distant memory.
As students advance, gaining confidence and stage presence, they can read their parts with scripts in hand or parts memorized in front of their class, for other classes, or the entire school.
Homeschooling and After-School Enrichment Programs
Many homeschooling parents and students make a point of getting together with others to socialize, discuss books and other topics, and to put on plays. One group we've talked with has actually acquired a building for plays and other gatherings. Likewise, plays satisfy the growing need for activities in which students of all ages can participate after the school day is done. Through play reading, kids can gain confidence in themselves and improve presentation skills, which will be invaluable throughout life.
Dramatic Presentations
Plays are meant to be presented from simple round-table readings to full-blown presentations with costumes, scenery, lighting, and music. But no matter what your schedule or budget will allow, don't be afraid to put on a play with minimal props and limited costumes. . .your script, well-rehearsed actors, and the audience's imagination will fill in a lot of the details. For an evening of theater, some teachers and drama coaches present two, three, or four of our plays at a time. Of course, the more plays and more detailed the costumes and sets, the more students you can involve in the production.
Discussion of Ideas
PLAYS is also used by middle- and upper-grade teachers to jumpstart meaningful conversations about topics current and/or relevant to their students. Because the roles they take are only imaginary, students can talk about characters actions objectively, without self-consciousness, exploring issues that might otherwise be difficult to talk about. Historical plays are often used to provoke discussions about actions and feelings that relate the past to the present, bringing history to life and making current events more meaningful. To aid in this process, many teachers add discussion questions, or ask students to develop questions and answers on their own.
Appreciation of Literature
Our Dramatized Classics offer a way to introduce students to great works from literature. Seeing a novel, short story, or play come alive in one-act format often spurs students on to read the original work, and they're able to derive greater meaning from it as a result.
We hope these few suggestions will help you integrate Plays into your curriculum or program. Please let us know how you use our magazine; we're eager to share your ideas with the thousands of our subscribers who value the importance of a good play to the education of our students.
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Copyright Rules
Current subscribers are permitted to use PLAYS royalty-free in performances staged for non-commercial purposes as part of regular school, camp, or club activity. Current subscribers may also reproduce copies of the individual play being produced for members of the cast.
Non-subscribers (including those who have let their subscription lapse) may not use material from PLAYS. Royalty quotations and permission requests to copy, reproduce, perform, distribute, transmit, display or copy any of the literary and dramatic work should be addressed to PLAYS, P.O.Box 600160, Newton, MA 02460 or Peter Dimond, Publisher.
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Rights and Permissions
Questions and letters of interest in obtaining rights and permissions to reprint and otherwise use materials from PLAYS should be addressed to Peter Dimond, Publisher, PLAYS Magazine and Books, P.O. Box 600160, Newton, MA 02460. Requests may also be faxed to (617) 630-9101.
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Manuscript Submissions (print out if you need a hardcopy)
PLAYS is always in the market for exciting, interesting, well-written, and age appropriate material for lower, middle, and upper grade actors. We accept material on spec from first-timers as well as well-established professional authors with no promises that we'll be able to buy or use the submission in PLAYS. All submissions must be in hard copy (no email or CDs) following our submission guidelines.
  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines
PLAYS, The Drama Magazine for Young People, publishes approximately 75 wholesome, one-act plays each year (in seven issues, October through May, with a combined issue for January/February). We are in the market for good scripts to be performed by young people in junior and senior high, middle grades, and lower grades. Of particular interest are comedies, farces, dramas, mysteries, and melodramas for year-round use, as well as plays for such holidays and special occasions as Halloween, Book Week, Black History Month, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Washington's Birthday, etc. We use only secular plays for Christmas and other religious holidays, and publish no plays on religious themes.
In addition, we are looking for plays addressing environmental and human rights issues; historical and biographical plays; fairy tales and folk tales; skits; contemporary plays; and dramatized classics. (Query first for dramatized classics; stories adapted must be in the public domain.) We publish no music or musicals, but plays may include original words to be sung to familiar tunes.
Plays must be simple to produce, with minimal requirements for costumes, stage sets, and lighting. One minimal setting is preferred, and when more than one is required, the scene changes should be kept to a minimum. Please note: Characters should not use incorrect grammar, dialect, or profane language.
Payment for all manuscripts is made on acceptance. Rates vary, according to the length of a play and age level for which it is appropriate. The magazine buys all rights.
All submissions must be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope, large enough and with sufficient postage for the manuscript's return. Always keep a copy of your manuscript. If you do not wish the manuscript returned, enclose first-class SASE for editorial reply. Mail submissions to Liz Preston, Editor, PLAYS, P.O. Box 600160, Newton, MA 02460.
  • Format
Manuscripts must be typed on 8 1/2" by 11" paper, with margins of at least one inch all around. Leave one line space between speeches. Stage directions should be separated from speeches by parentheses. Names of characters preceding speeches and in stage directions should be in capital letters. Please don't underline or use abbreviations. Do not send photos or tapes of productions.
The following should appear at the beginning of each play:
  • List of characters
  • Indication of time in which the play is set
  • Description of the setting (if there is more than one scene, the setting should be described at the start of each scene)
  • An "At Rise" description of what is taking place onstage and which characters are onstage when the curtain rises
The manuscript should be followed by Production Notes, including number of characters; playing time; costumes; properties; setting(s); and special lighting and sound effects.
  • Manuscript Length
Junior and Senior High: 15 to 20 typed pages (20 to 35 minutes playing time)
Middle Grades: 12 to 15 typed pages (15 to 20 minutes playing time)
Lower Grades: 6 to 10 typed pages (8 to 15 minutes playing time)
Skits and Curtain Raisers: 8 to 10 typed pages (10 to 15 minutes playing time)
Remember: Please don't email your submissions.
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Downloadable Subscription Invoice and Order Form (print out if you need a hardcopy)

PLAYS Magazine

897 Washington St. #600160

Newton, MA 02460

1-800-630-5755

617 630-9101 (fax)

__1 year, $59.00 __2 years, $109.00

(Canadian Add $12.00 & Other Foreign $25.00)

___Check/money order __Mastercard __Visa __Invoice (for schools with purchase orders only)

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How to Reach Us
PLAYS

897 Washington St. #600160

Newton, MA 02460

(617) 630-9100 (phone)

(617) 630-9101 (fax)

1-800-630-5755 (toll-free)


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