When Theatre for Youth: Twelve Plays with Mature Themes was published in 1986, it met a need for plays that could help young people deal with some of the more difficult realities of life. Responding to the sweeping changes in society over the succeeding thirty years, Coleman A. Jennings and Gretta Berghammer have assembled a new collection of plays that reflects not only on themes such as aging, death and dying, friendship, courage, conformity, maturation, sexuality, and struggles with moral judgment but also on gender identity, poverty, diversity, and discrimination.
Theatre for Youth II: More Plays with Mature Themes presents twelve plays, nine of them new to this anthology, that offer a rich variety of original stories (The Tomato Plant Girl, The Arkansaw Bear, Super Cowgirl and Mighty Miracle), compelling adaptations (The Afternoon of the Elves, Broken Hearts, Courage!), historical drama (Mother Hicks, Johnny Tremain), diverse themes (La Ofrenda, The Transition of Doodle Pequeño), friendship (The Selfish Giant), and future societies (With Two Wings). As these plays explore some of the most challenging themes for today’s youth, including the difficulties of single parenthood, divorce, race relations, sexuality, and gender discrimination, they share messages fundamental to us all: open your imagination and dare to dream; embrace life; honor your personal passion, beliefs, and creativity; take a risk; and love with all your heart.
Coleman A. Jennings (1933–2020) was a professor in the area of drama and theatre for youth and communities at the University of Texas at Austin. Gretta Berghammer is a professor of youth theatre/drama education at the University of Northern Iowa.
The Arkansaw Bear
Super Cowgirl and Mighty Miracle
Tomato Plant Girl
Afternoon of the Elves
The Transition of Doodle Pequeño
In the Garden of the Selfish Giant
With Two Wings
Twelve More Plays with Mature Themes for Consideration / Deliberation
Another Twelve Plays with Mature Themes for Reading / Study
Quotation from the Foreword by Jed H. Davis to the first edition of Theatre For Youth: Twelve Plays With Mature Themes, 1986
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