Drama, drama everywhere...but not a play in sight?
January 19, 2009 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Help me find free age appropriate plays/skits/acting exercises for my 6 year old.

My son is a voracious reader, and his reading tests into the middle school range, but just because his vocabulary is advanced, doesn't mean he's really ready to deal with the themes in adult/young adult theatre.

I have a vast collection of plays here at the house, but I think that he's too young for them. He loves listening to Shakespeare and Voltaire for the rhythm of the language, but I know he doesn't understand it.

He loves going to plays, and seeing them on DVD, and has expressed a desire to read and act in his own play. (The local children's theatre doesn't have programs for kids his age...well, they don't have programs that involve kids *reading* anything. Sigh.)

I'm not having much luck on the intertron finding free plays for young actors using a very small cast of players. I'm not opposed to buying books of plays, or even individual plays if they're well written, but the everything I've found assumes a performance license, which is a ridiculous amount of money for something we'll use for a week and then move on. Perhaps my fu is off, or my keywords are wrong, or I"m just looking in the wrong places.

Help me find drama! (For a precocious 6 year old.)
posted by dejah420 to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here are a bunch of educational plays intended for elementary school use (average seems about 3rd grade, which would be good for a precocious 6 year old). They are priced from $4, and many of them are available as e-books.

I found this resource through a search for the play "Anasi and the Moss Covered Rock," which I fondly remember performing in my (gifted) mixed kindergarten / 1st grade class. We did a lot of folk-tale plays, which were culturally interesting and often had themes that could be built on (honesty, fairness, etc.)

Since the plays are intended for schools, the casts are somewhat large. But a lot of the roles are the equivalent of "Tree 1-3" and can be easily re-worked.
posted by charmcityblues at 10:15 AM on January 19, 2009

(Play I referenced should be AnaNsi and the Moss Covered Rock. It's obviously been a while since "gifted" school.)
posted by charmcityblues at 10:17 AM on January 19, 2009

Not plays, but he might like Paul Fleischman's multi-part readaloud poetry: Big Talk, Joyful Noise, and I Am Phoenix - to give him a feel for language rhythms and coming in at the right time.
posted by Flannery Culp at 12:38 PM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Try searching for readers' theater scripts. Here's a good resource.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:46 PM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid, I found plays, scripts, and monologues through the library, and I'm sure librarians would be willing to help you find the age-appropriate.
posted by batmonkey at 2:16 PM on January 19, 2009

Has he tried writing his own plays? This seems like an endless source of things to learn about structure, storytelling, stage direction and a great way to both foster his interest in dramatic arts and supplement any other reading material you come up with.

I understand your son's position all too well. I spent a summer at his age reading, literally, every book in the small town library children's section because I went through them so fast. For what it's worth, by the time I was eight or nine I was catching up a little more to understanding the material I was actually capable of reading, and by the time I was ten or twelve the whole question was moot anyway, I'd discovered the secret grownup Judy Blume books and all bets were off, innocence-wise.

All that is to say, I wrote a lot of stories as a kid simply because my brain craved more stories than I could otherwise get my hands on. It was a good enough substitute.
posted by padraigin at 8:13 PM on January 19, 2009

Response by poster: padraigin, we've written a couple based on folk stories and myths, but I was hoping that there was as much deeper pool of material for dramatic reading than we've thus far found. But yeah, I was one of those "read everything I could get my hands on" kids too...I know how frustrating it can be.

Maybe I just need to learn how to be a playwriter so I can transcribe his ideas. Although, I'm not sure there's really a large need to introduce "The Adventures of TootMan!" to other people's children. ;)
posted by dejah420 at 6:55 AM on January 20, 2009

I wouldn't be so sure. Captain Underpants and The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby are certainly popular enough. No reason TootMan can't hitch onto their wagons.
posted by padraigin at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2009

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