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Theatre for Youth and Community Collection

This guide is to engage researchers and community members with the history of theatre for young audiences and drama in education.


This page provides tools for finding plays in the Theatre for Youth and Community Collection. It also includes notable plays by donors, including award winning plays as recognized by American Association of Theatre Educators (AATE).

These plays range in publication from the early 1900s to present, and provide invaluable historical and cultural insight into cultural taste and perspectives on youth at the time. Many themes in these plays are still highly relevant and provide a foundation for future plays for young audiences. These themes and formats include, but are not limited to, fairy tales and folk tales; war and isolation; grief and death; friendship struggles; and the confusion that comes with growing up. 

Note: Plays for young audiences are not limited to this collection at ASU Library. Navigate to the 'Theatre for Young Audiences' tab for additional suggestions for finding plays, collections, and more in our open collections.

Finding plays in ASU One Search

Search the Library Catalog by author or title, and limit resource type to 'book' to find play scripts in the library collection. You can also search "Children's Plays" as the keyword search.

Monologues and collections of monologues can also be found by searching the Library Catalog. In advanced search, search by Subject: Monologue. 


AATE Award Winning Plays

American Association of Theatre Education (AATE) recognizes excellence in playwriting with several awards. These include the Charlotte Chorpenning Cup honoree, the Distinguished Play Award, Playwrights in our Schools Section, and the AATE Unpublished Play Reading Project award. Below are a few items that have received this distinguished award.

A Separate Peace, by Nancy Paul Gilsenan.  Based on the book by John Knowles. (1988 ) 

The Chicago Gypsies: a Full Length play, by Virginia Glasgow Koste. (1989). The Man-Child

What is a children's play?

Playwriting for youth has shifted drastically even in the past twenty years. Looking at the history of playwriting reflects cultural values and constructs at the time. It also raises the question: what is a child? In its earliest history, playwriting was not just a means of entertainment, but a way towards moral education. From goals such as developing "ideal citizens" and emotional education, playwriting for youth has never been morally neutral. Playwriting models and practices are captured in the Theatre for Youth and Community holdings, and continue to evolve.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.