Why Do You Write for Young Audiences? (Part One of Three)

February 19, 2014
We asked our authors the question, "Why do you write for young audiences?" Below are four of the replies...

Rocco Natale shares with us: 

Not only do I find it personally rewarding to see young people onstage—and in the audience
enjoying theatre, but I feel it is an important part of our American Culture to share and re-imagine stories in a collaborative space.  I like honest storytelling and often when I write for adults, I find myself adding "layers" to a story that does not need to be any larger than the scale of the story being told.  Writing for young audiences demands a level of clarity and scrutiny that I, frankly, find exciting. 

Greg Romero

I love writing for young audiences because they are interested in playing, they accept truthful impossibilities, they seek wonder, and they are really honest.  Young people have unlimited integrity, and so they inspire my very best effort.  These are only some of the reasons why young people are so wonderful, and why they make such great art-collaborators.  Knowing I am writing for young audiences dares me and frees me to write as impossibly and as actively as I can imagine.  And then they inspire me to imagine further.

Arthur M. Jolly invites us to know:

I don't write for young audiences.  I write for actors of all ages, and YouthPLAYS has very nicely published I think six of my plays so farbut they were all written for actors of all ages to act and people of all ages to watch.  True, the characters in some of them are young, the subject matter might be relevant to younger peoplebut I don't ever try and deliberately write "for" young audiences, I just write.  I think young actors can handle plays about a wounded soldier returning home (How Blue is My Crocodile) just as much as a fantasy tale of dragons and princesses (The Christmas Princess), and a good story is a good story.

Nancy Brewka-Clark
closes, connecting to current moment:

Having always been enthralled by the Olympics, I particularly take to heart the opening call for the youth of the world to gather and compete in peace and joy.  It's world theatre, performance on a scale the rest of us can only imagine.  I may age, but the Olympians remain forever young, ever hopeful, ever confident, always optimistic that the next peak is only the next peak and not the ultimate peak with everything going downhill from there.  Writing for young audiences and young performers not only keeps me on my game but gives the talent of the future a place to start dreaming.

Big thank yous to Rocco, Greg, Arthur, and Nancy for sharing their reflections.  Please check back with the YouthPLAYS blog for Parts Two and Three of this series responding to the question, "why do you write for young audiences?"

Happy writing, everyone!

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