Playwriting and Young Audiences (Book)

Collected Wisdom and Practical Advice from the Field

From the success of Matilda on Broadway to the 2015 revival of Annie in movie theatres, it's clear that theatre with and for young people has widespread and enduring appeal. Despite this, there is no contemporary guide designed for playwriting for youth in professional and educational contexts. In Playwriting and Young Audiences, Matt Omasta and Nicole B. Adkins put this right. Providing a range of perspectives, the book collects the practical advice and wisdom of seventy-five artists and practitioners. It is a deeply poignant account of those who have dedicated their lives to work that applauds the dignity and depth of young people.


Despite the fact that there is a thriving presence of theatre for young people in today’s society, there is, however, no contemporary guide dedicated to the writing of plays for young people in both professional and educational contexts. We only have to look at the colourful and compelling plays of Matilda, Annie and Cinderella to realise that there is a surge in plays for the youth of today. Playwriting and Young Audiences helps to fill this gap by offering a comprehensive guide to developing subjects for young people through the use of both practical and critical advice from playwrights on all aspects of new play development.

Nicole B. Adkins is an award-winning playwright, artistic associate with YouthPLAYS, and incore faculty in the Playwright’s Lab graduate program at Hollins University, Virginia. 

Matt Omasta is associate professor in and assistant head of the Department of Theatre Arts at Caine College of the Arts, Utah State University.




Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Genre, Style, and Form

Chapter 3: Ethical Considerations

Chapter 4: Practical Considerations

Chapter 5: Adaptations

Chapter 6: New Play Development

Chapter 7: Production and Publication

Chapter 8: Marketing and Promotion

Chapter 9: Income Potential

Chapter 10: The Present and the Future

Appendix A: General Playwriting Resources 

Appendix B: Organizations Serving the Field

Appendix C: Recurring TYA New Play Development Opportunities

Appendix D: Grants, Fellowships, and Awards

Appendix E: Select TYA Publishers and Producers


Notes on Contributors


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