In a move inspired by the pandemic shutdown, Austin’s Pollyanna Theatre Company will soon offer its entire repertoire of 75 original children’s plays for licensing.
When venues shutdown to the coronavirus, Andrew Perry, Pollyanna’s stage manager, took on a new role heading the company’s new publishing and licensing division.
“For the past two decades, our dedication to developing new works with authors from all over the country has amassed an impressive collection of theatrical pieces. Until now, many of these have gone unpublished and thus near impossible to find by the countless producing organizations that constantly need new content to present to the youth of their schools and communities,” Perry said.
“We can make accessible an ever-growing list of new plays for young audiences that have all been produced in a professional setting and cover a wide array of both fun and challenging topics.”
Judy Matetzschk-Campbell, Pollyanna’s founder and artistic director, credits the pandemic and its associated shutdown with helping to make the long-planned endeavor a reality.
“The pandemic gave us the time to make this legacy project come to fruition,” she said. “We also hope it will provide a much-needed income stream to playwrights, who traditionally have a very difficult time getting publishers to pick up their work.”
The new publishing project will eventually make all of Pollyanna’s commissioned works available not only to other theatre companies, but also to teachers, who have long appreciated Pollyanna’s curriculum-based plays.
“Our plays are flexible,” Matetzschk-Campbell said. “A classroom full of children have characters to play. Our plays are perfect for educational productions and study in the classroom.”
Currently there are more than a dozen plays by six playwrights available for licensing. Those plays, which are ideal for grade school aged children, include popular productions such as “Liberty! Equality! And Fireworks!,” “The Texas ChiliQueens,” “The Big Bolt” and “The Secret of the Soap and Spin.” Pollyanna Select Plays Publishing plans to expand its library, ultimately offering all of the company’s commissioned works.
Additional information is available at pollytheatre.org/publishing.