When we look for a story to act out with children and teenagers we often choose it from a selection of plays that target the age group we are working with, and that are available in the current market. Alternatively, we can recreate a story. This last proposal is particularly interesting in a reading and writing framework.
When making a choice of this sort, we will begin by taking into account criteria based on quality and the adequateness of the material, applicable to any reading format.
If we choose a play…
- Clarity of thought, the conflict must be evident from Act 1 and perceptible at key moments of the story, so that the reader/spectator can be part of the intrigue and follow the development.
- Characters must be coherent in their actions, their physical appearances and their psychological constructions, and they must also be consistent in the relationships they establish amongst themselves.
- Dialogues should be ingenious and agile, with appropriate registers for each character.
- The resolution must tie up all loose ends, revealing any mysteries and answering any questions raised throughout the play.
- The solution of the conflict must not be easy and superficial, but credible and logical, so that the work in its whole doesn’t loose any dramatic strength.
- It is especially important that the stage directions are clearly expressed and comprehensible for the target audience.
If we choose a different type of representation
- Choose well-known stories, this lets you eliminate certain aspects without losing the thread of the argument; this is the case with folk stories, myths, legends…
- Bear in mind the stories that offer information about how to perform them on stage: detailed character and space descriptions in which text appears in the form of dialogue... for example picture books or comics.
- Don’t forget works that give a special importance to sounds and that provide discussion, allowing for interpretative differences when read aloud. These texts are often easier to memorise: poems, songs…
- Consider the recreation or adaptation of audiovisual proposals such as musical videoclips with a plot, film, trailers…