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.
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.
Seven books of scripts are currently available.
Hundreds of plays that have appeared in the pages of PLAYS Magazine are available to current subscribers online, as are full issues of the magazine going back to November 2013. 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.
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.
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.
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, 897 Washington Street, #600160, Newton, MA 02460 or Peter Dimond, Publisher.
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, 897 Washington Street, #600160, Newton, MA 02460. Requests may also be faxed to (617) 630-9101.
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.
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