One story, four plays

Imagine this challenge: to write one play for four different reading ages. That’s what I was asked to do for The School Magazine. This is what I did.

I chose a traditional tale that could be told by four different characters. ‘The Musicians of Bremen’ was ideal.

I then crafted each play from the youngest reading age up. For each play, I increased:

  • the complexity of the plot

  • the language of the dialogue

  • the drama skills needed to take each script from page to stage

  • the point of view of the narrative

Look at the way the plays have been presented. The incomparable Josemalene Ruaya has worked her subtle magic with the graphic design elements. Four marvellous illustrators then created artwork to enrich and support the texts. You can tell from the layout and illustrations alone which play is for which level, can’t you? Thank you to The School Magazine team for this opportunity. And thanks to these artists for their work:

  • Aśka for ‘The Donkey’s Tale’ in Countdown

  • Ana Maria Méndez Salgado for ‘The Dog’s Tale’ in Blast Off

  • Peter Sheehan for ‘The Cat’s Tale’ in Orbit

  • Christopher Nielsen for ‘The Rooster’s Tale’ in Touchdown.

Students love the four titles of The School Magazine for the stories, poems, articles, activities and plays written and illustrated just for them. Teachers appreciate the magazines for the quality literature and ideas in every issue, and for the wealth of teaching and learning opportunities.

These four plays offer a unique chance to compare and contrast the written and visual elements as one tale is retold four ways.

If you don’t already subscribe, you can find out more about The School Magazine on their website.

Sue Murray