Playing with a Purpose




edited by Bob Shuman and Stephen Fife
with Marit E. Shuman and Eloise Rollins-Fife

 Website | Editor Website

MONTCLAIR, NJ—Kids today face a different world—and a different set of challenges—than did the children of even 15 years ago. Young actors need a highly diversified selection of monologues to choose from when studying, practicing, or auditioning for theatre.

Playing with a Purpose: Monologues for Kids Ages 7-15 (June 2013, $16.99), from Applause Books’ well-known One on One monologue series, fills a pressing need for a new volume of monologues that convey a worldview that kids can more easily relate to. In the introduction, the editors state:

“Ingenious directors, teachers, and parents have put youth theatre together in their communities, passing strong speeches along and compiling notebooks, but core work is scattered everywhere. Monologues, those delicate objects of passion, anger, heartbreak, or whimsy, are like the theatre itself; they exist in the present moment and can become unobtainable because of rights issues or mere neglect. Beautiful pieces from the past can be lost as new work, new plays, new artists take their places. Reclaiming this material was part of our task, much like locating a forgotten folk- or fairytale or finding a melody heard long ago.”

Playing with a Purpose includes monologues from the ancient Greeks and Shakespeare; other classics like Lewis Carroll, James Joyce, and Mark Twain; contemporary dramatists including realist Carson McCullers and magical realist José Rivera; plays based on literature like Treasure Island and Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World; and even monologues written by middle school students who worked with theatre artists from the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles.

Stephen Fife (Santa Monica, CA) has written extensively about actor training for the New York Times, Village Voice, American Theatre, and many other publications; he has also worked with kids as an acting teacher/coach, writing teacher, and stage director over a period of 37 years, in a variety of different formats and programs in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. For the last five years, he has worked directly with kids in his company, the Young Actors Workshop.

Bob Shuman (New York City) is the owner of the Marit Literary Agency and the theater website Stage Voices, as well as a publisher, a playwright, and currently a professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. He is a recipient of Hunter College’s Irv Zarkower Award for excellence in playwriting and is a fellow of the Obie-winning Lark Theater Company. He is the co-author of Simply Elegant Flowers with Michael George and co-editor of Duo!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century, One on One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century, and One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century.

June 16, 2013      Paperback          $16.99          9781557838414        256 pages         5.25″ x 7.75″

Applause Theatre and Cinema Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group




Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on June 1, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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