Dramaquill's All Things Writing

September 16, 2008

Writing Plays for kids – Look around, inspiration is everywhere.

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I love my job!  Part of what I do involves an aspect of writing that I thoroughly enjoy – writing plays for our drama department.  This means that during any given school year I’m likely creating 6-8 original scripts.

But after a while, coming up with new ideas that I know will appeal to our students can become a daunting task. 

So where do I turn for inspiration?

The kids, of course!

Just being around all the different ages of students who come through our doors can provide me with tons of new material.  Kids love to share and they have great stories from what they did on summer vacation to something that happened at school to their fears or their hopes and dreams.  That’s when I write a play about a subject they can relate to because it’s likely gone on in their world.

But the kids don’t always want to play kids.  They love to be creative and become something other than who they are and that’s when I turn to some other very accessible sources.

TV shows provide great fodder.  Reality TV is huge right now so writing a play about a type of “Survivor”, but with a twist, proved to be very successful with our intermediate class.  If the students know it from TV, they will relate to doing their version on the stage.

Who hasn’t read a great suspense novel or watched a mystery or ghost story movie?  Our teen class had a blast with a murder-mystery we wrote where one of the girls actually had to play twins and our juniors did a comical haunted house theme that had the audience mesmerized until the end.

Songs can also be a great source of inspiration.  I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with our littlest children in the “intro” class this semester and the song “Lollipop” just gave me a great idea.

We’ve all played board games.  Why not write a play where the kids are inside the game?

Hot topics of the day are also great choices, especially if you’re trying to write a play with a message that could be used to help kids deal with an issue, like bullying or self-esteem.

Look around!  Inspiration is everywhere – you just have to know where to look.

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