My name is Jenny Lombard. I am a drama teacher at a large public school in New York City with many years' experience. Over time I have observed that my students love to read plays aloud, particularly if they are funny, age-appropriate plays.
When kids engage with plays that are a good fit for them, language skills such as interpretation, fluency and vocal expression don’t have to be taught. They just happen. Also, there is the social aspect of reading plays—to get the most out of a play you really have to read it with someone else. Dramatic literature written specifically for child actors has an incredible potential as a teaching tool. So why don’t we, as parents and teachers, read more plays with children?
There is really only one reason: because we can’t find them. Unlike other genres of literature, the canon of plays for children is thin. There are great plays out there but there is not one central place where these plays are located. StayAtHomePlays.com seeks to correct that.
Like many kids, teachers and parents, we are all trying to teach and learn while quarantine restrictions are in place. I have been learning about how important online resources are but also how problematic digital learning can be. Kids are stressed. They need to have fun. So do we.
So why not read a play? Make a joke! Add a costume or a prop. Become someone else for a few minutes and see where it takes you and your child.
And of course, if you are a playwright reading this, we are imploring you—send us your plays! Kids need your imagination, your vision and your humor. You can save the world, one living room at a time!