The Cookie Jar and Other Plays was first published in 1975. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The scripts of three plays by John Clark Donahue, artistic director of the Children's Theatre Company of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, are published in this volume along with background material and illustrations which, together, provide a look behind the scenes at the company, its personnel, methods, and productions. The company, which has achieved notable success, is regarded as a leading exponent of children's theater in this country.
The plays included in this volume are The Cookie Jar, How Could You Tell?,and Old King of Malfi.All by been presented by the Children's Theatre Company.
Linda Walsh Jenkins provides an introduction and commentary on the plays. There are also a profile of John Donahue and material based on interviews with him and with other theater personnel — directors, composers, designers, and others. This and other information, including a sketch of the history and background of the Children's Theatre Company, will be illuminating and helpful to other theater groups and individuals interested in the development of children's theater. There are sixteen pages of photographs, including four pages in color, showing scenes from Children's Theatre Company productions of the plays. Examples from the musical scores composed for the productions are also reproduced.
Under Mr. Donahue's direction the company has evolved an ensemble approach to production, in which script, music, and acting develop simultaneously throughout the rehearsal period. The dominant theme in his work with the company has been an educational one, based on his belief that the theater should be an educational environment which helps young persons to develop their creative abilities.