Theatre for Youth
A Personal Note: I’ve enjoyed working in Theatre for Youth since 1988, and consider my own children and students as essential collaborators. As always, the research process is a joy– whether it be writing plays, designing curricula, or leading workshops. I have created classroom study and activity guides to accompany most of these scripts.
Heart of the Nation
Originally commissioned and performed by Atlanta's Academy Theatre for Yourth, this script on the Cherokee Removal had a 1988-89 tour throughout the Southeast.
It requires four character (2m, 2f) . The lead actor in the ensemble, playing Swimmer, is the now well-known Hollywood actor, Gary Anthony Williams.
My Bed is a Boat: The Adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson
This one-man script toured for years (1988-2002) and would love to hit the road again for a new generation. It was staged with a an Individual Grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts and originally featured John Forrest Ferguson in the title role, as directed by John Stephens of Theatre Gael and The Academy Theatre. Other performers over the years have included Lee Look, Bryan Mercer, and Hugh Adams.
John Forrest Ferguson as R. L. Stevenson
Cakewalk composer Bryan Mercer toured in Austin’s My Bed is a Boat, which “Isn’t your run-of-the-mill children’s play, deftly shifting between humor and drama, performed with dexterous grace,” Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times (3/18/99).
Dealing with the 16th century's often befuddled encounter with the New World, this script was commissioned in 1992 by the High Museum of Art in conjunction with their exhibition The Age of the Marvelous, which focused on the beginnings of natural history museums. The marvelous Randy Taylor (Create) performed it in an open-ended tour. The script is much fun in the classroom, and perhaps more relevant today than ever, as it deals with often comic, often tragic, cultural misconceptions.
Over the Garden Wall: Beatrix Potter and Friends
Beverly was awarded another Georgia Council for the Arts Individual Artist Grant to produce this play, originally with Worldsong Children's Theatre. Actress Holly Stevenson has toured this show around the Southeast, other countries, and enjoyed a sold-out two-week run at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke, Virginia. From the production's inception in 1992, Holly has charmed thousands of children and families. She continues to do so today, as young people always encourage Ms. Potter to be adventurous, find a home of her own, and venture over the garden wall. To book this show, contact Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click below to see a scene from Over the Garden Wall: Beatrix Potter and Friends.
This project, funded through the Atlanta's Alliance Theatre with a ten-thousand-dollar grant from the Metropolitan Life Foundation, was developed in cooperation with the Atlanta Public Schools. Writings about dreams were gleaned from creative workshops with primary students, then developed them into a script workshopped by Beverly Trader and director Marian Bolton at the North Atlanta School for Performing Arts. The resulting play, Dreamcatcher, won second place at the 1999 Georgia One-Act Competition.
The Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe
This play was commissioned in 2001 by Gwinnett County, Georgia's Aurora Theatre. It was produced with a grant from the Harland Foundation. The script features one male actor and one female actor, along with a percussionist in some stagings. The Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe played for all Gwinnett County Public School Eighth Graders every October from 2001-2004 at Aurora.
"Louisa," of course, is the popular author of Little Women and much more. This play was crafted in 2001 for Theatre Gael and Young Audiences. With Holly Stevenson in the title role, it toured from 2002-2005. With its emphasis on a brave woman, we would like to see it venture forth again.
Hans on Christmas
Light up the Season
Another one-person script, Light up the Season is also for young children. It's a multicultural exploration of why so many belief systems celebrate light at the same time each year, along with the beautiful ways in which they do so.
These two seasonal works were commissioned for Young Audiences of Atlanta, before their demise, in 2013. Hans on Christmas focuses on the holiday stories of Hans Christian Anderson. With a cast of one, male or female, it will appeal to those young children who have more recently viewed, and re-viewed Frozen. Please let it go to a good theatre.
Classroom Study and Activity Guides
These are samples of classroom study and activity guides created to accompany most of these scripts: