The curtain rises on Theatre and Youth, volume 23 of Theatre Symposium with keynote reflections by Suzan Zeder, the distinguished playwright of theatre for youth, and presents eleven original essays about theatre’s reflections of youth and the role of young people in making and performing theatre.
The first set of essays draws from robustly diverse sources: the work of Frank Wedekind in nineteenth-century Germany, Peter Pan’s several stage incarnations, Evgeny Shvarts’s antitotalitarian plays in Soviet Russia, and Christopher Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, whose depictions of childhood comment on both the classical period as well as Marlowe’s own Elizabethan age.
The second part of the collection explores and illustrates how youth participate in theatre, the cognitive benefits youth reap from theatre practice, and the ameliorating power of theatre to help at-risk youth. These essays show fascinating and valuable case studies of, for example, theatre employed in geography curricula to strengthen spatial thinking, theatre as an antidote to youth delinquency, and theatre teaching Latinos in the south strategies for coping in a multilingual world.
Rounding out this exemplary collection are a pair of essays that survey the state of the art, the significance of theatre-for-youth programming choices, and the shifting attitudes young Americans are bringing to the discipline. Eclectic and vital, this expertly curated collection will be of interest to educators and theatre professionals alike.