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Where would we be without our books? I love the web, but I hope I don't live to see ebooks in common use.

Following is a highly subjective, personal and biased booklist for anyone who wants to be a practitioner of Creative Drama or Youth Theatre. It's mostly the "Titans," but hey, as someone once reminded me, there's a really good reason Racine's Phaedra was held up as the ideal model of tragedy for 200 years (it's really, really well written with perfect structure).

Some of these titles are out of print, so here are links to three online used book dealers I use with alarming frequency. Frankly, if they don't have it, good luck, but persistence pays. I was recently looking for a rather obscure book about Germany's Navy during the Great War written by the Admiral of the fleet. Three months of nothing (with Christmas getting closer all the time), then, bam! Three copies at once (all in different countries -- I love the web). - Buy and Sell Textbooks and more
I like and have had good experiences with them. Pay attention the the ratings, and be aware that Media Mail shipping takes a long time (4-6 weeks).

ABE Books

ABE Book Exchange
Also very excellent, but be sure to change the search parameters to include "ALL BOOKSTORES." For some reason, the default form only checks one location.

Powell's City of Books
City block of books located in Portland, OR. One of my favorite memories of the '88 AATE conference was watching the shelves in the theatre section slowly empty as the conference attendees discovered the place.

Needless to say, if you're lucky enough to live in a city which has at least one good used book store, go make friends with the owner. Now.

Any of these which show as "in print" are linked at the title to Amazon does have a generous Associates kickback program, so if you're going to order from them, I'd appreciate it if you click through from here. Otherwise, by all means support your local bookseller (like the song says, don't it always seem to go/ you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...).

Brockett, Oscar G.
He defined many of the terms we use to discuss theatre. On principle, I believe you should have a copy of some edition of his History of Theatre on your bookshelf somewhere. If you ever need a succinct description of a significant aspect of theatre, it's in there.

  • History of the Theatre (8th edition). THE theatre history text.
  • Essential Theatre. I've taught Intro to Theatre from this text. Less expensive and narrower in scope than History, it's a great general overview.
  • Goodrich, Norma Lorre
    Linguist and scholar of literature, I've found her translations of well known myths to be highly compelling and original. Her Arthurian material (including a fasinating history of the Holy Grail) is first rate, if highly controversal (I'm with her on the historicity of Arthur which I find every bit as interesting as the legends).

  • Ancient Myths.
  • Medieval Myths. Includes the most readable Beowulf you're likely to find.
  • Ways of Love: Eleven Romances of Medieval France. Beacon Press, 1964. If you're a sucker for Medieval Romances (I am), this contains a fascinating set of rarely told but wonderful tales (especially Yonic and Eliduc by Marie de France).
  • Jennings, Coleman A.
    I had the good fortune to study with Dr. Jennings at the University of Texas at Austin. His knowledge of children's theatre literature is encyclopedic. These collections cover a wide range of subjects (including many of the best plays of Aurand Harris) and most are intended for adult performers playing to a young audience.

  • Eight Plays for Children : The New Generation Play Project
  • Plays Children Love : A Treasury of Contemporary & Classic Plays for Children
  • Theatre for Young Audiences : 20 Great Plays for Children
  • Theatre for Youth : Twelve Plays With Mature Themes
  • Lang, Andrew
    Collector, editor, translator and adaptor of tales from all over the world. The Color Fairy series is very broad in scope although not all the stories dramatize well.

    And that's just the start of the rainbow...
    For the other Fairy Books click the button.
    In Association with

    McCaslin, Nellie
    Historian, academic and practitioner as well as a prolific playwright.

  • Creative Drama in the Classroom and Beyond
  • Creative Drama in the Intermediate Grades
  • Creative Drama in the Primary Grades: A Handbook for Teachers
  • Historical Guide to Children's Theatre in America
  • Legends in Action: ten Plays in Ten Lands, Peterson & Co., Evanston, IL (1945). A new edition is due Spring of 2000.
  • Theatre for Children in the United States : A History .
  • Theatre for Young Audiences. Longman, 1978 From settlement-house productions for immigrant children at the turn of the century to modern professional companies, the above is a well written and documented history.
  • Pioneers in Petticoats: Dramatized Tales and Legends of Heroic American Women. Row, Peterson and Company 1960. Thirteen plays in which the main protagonists are female.
  • Puppet Fun: Production, Performance and Plays. New York, David McKay Co., 1977.
  • Shows on a Shoestring. An Easy Guide to Amateur Productions. David McKay Co., 1979.
  • For her plays at Amazon,
    click the button.
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    Russell, William F.
    Educator who has created a higlhy readable collection of classics that includes useful notes about plot, length, and vocabulary.

  • Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children
  • More Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children
  • Classic Myths to Read Aloud
  • Salisbury Wils, Barbara
    A teacher of the first order, her passing in 1999 diminished the field of Creative Drama immeasurably. These teacher's texts were adopted by the state of Texas for use with the state's required arts curriculum. She pulled together the best available material from a wide range of sources to create them.

  • Theatre Arts in the Elementary Classroom : Grade Four Through Grade Six
  • Theatre Arts in the Elementary Classroom : Kindergarten Through Grade Three
  • Siks, Geraldine Brain
    One of the founders of creative drama, her practical work tied to research still stands. These titles appear to be out of print, however, they were standards for so long they're fairly easy to locate used.

  • Children's Literature for Dramatization: An Anthology. Harper & Row, 1964.
  • Children's Theatre and Creative Dramatics, with Dunnington, Hazel Brain: (editors). Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1961
  • Creative Dramatics in Home, School and Community. with Lease, Ruth Gonser, Harper & Bros NY
  • Creative Dramatics. New York Harper & Row Publishers, 1958.
  • Drama with Children. Harper 1977.
  • Spolin, Viola
    Her name is synonymous with theatre games.

  • Improvisation for the Theater : A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques (Drama and Performance Studies).
  • Theater Game File (Index Cards and Handbook). I'm still kicking myself that I didn't pick this up when it first came out, then it went out of print for a while. Remarkable and SO handy to use!
    By the way, Amazon has a "wish list" feature which allows you to set up a list of items you'd like as gifts. I mention this in case you have no budget for materials; you might consider creating an Amazon wish list in your company or school's name and adding the address to your own "Chutzpah List" (as Berkeley Rep calls it) that you publish to your members or in play programs. Hey, if you don't ask, no one knows to give it you.
  • Theater Games for the Classroom : A Teacher's Handbook
  • Ward, Winifred
    Mother of us all, her work still forms the basis of creative drama as practiced in the US. The various editions of her works are widely available used.

  • Theatre for Children. Kentucky, Children's Theatre Press
  • Playmaking with Children. Appleton-Century-Crofts Inc.
  • Stories to Dramatize. Anchorage KY, Children's Theatre Press
  • Zeder, Suzan
    If you don't know her plays, you should. Covering everything from family issues (Doors and Step on a Crack) to folktales (Wiley and the Hairy Man) to classics (Ozma of Oz and The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes) to uniquely original, moving stories (The Play Called Noah's Flood, Mother Hicks and In a Room Somewhere), you'll find something you can (and should) produce in her collected works.

  • Wish in One Hand Spit in the Other. Anchorage Press, 1990
  • Zipes, Jack
    You probably wouldn't want to read a Zipes translation straight to a very young child; he uses the original material (before the Victorians got their grubby mitts on it and WAY before the non-violence crowd had anything to say about filling iron shoes up with red hot coals to make the miscreant dance to death and the like). Eminently readable and fun with lots of period illustrations.

  • Aesop's Fables.
  • The Arabian Nights.
  • Beauties, Beasts and Enchantment: Classic French Fairy Tales. Meridian (Penguin Books), 1989. The complete evolution of Beauty and the Beast. It's not the story you think it is.
  • Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde.Someday, I'm going to figure out how to dramatize The Selfish Giant...
  • The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.
  • Creative Storytelling.
  • Don't Bet on the Prince : Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England.
  • Victorian Fairy Tales : The Revolt of Fairies and Elves.

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