Since the beginning of the theatre-for-youth movement in the
United States at the turn of the century, the majority of plays
written for children have been fairy tales. By the 1960s, however,
encouraged by changes in social attitudes toward children,
playwrights began to respond to a growing tendency on the parts of
both parents and teachers to have children face, rather than avoid,
the more difficult truths of existence. Thus children''s dramatic
literature was opened to new subjects, themes and characters
previously considered unsuitable for the young audience.
Theatre for Youth seeks to identify and illustrate
this trend by examining twelve plays that deal with mature themes:
aging, death and dying, conformity, sexuality, divorce, moral
culpability. The plays have been chosen not only for their mature
content, but also for their professional integrity, the delicacy
with which they handle their subject matter, and their respect for
their intended audience.
A foreword by Jed H. Davis, an introduction and summary
paragraphs for each play by Jennings and Berghammer, and a lengthy
annotated list of suggested plays for further reading or viewing
make this volume extremely useful both for directors of children''s
theatre and for teachers.