A teacher complained about a script that one of her pupils had selected from the Lazy Bee Scripts web site. She said that it wasn’t suitable for children.
We agreed with her. It wasn’t suitable for children. It wasn’t intended for children. That’s why you couldn’t find it by browsing the Scripts for Schools and Youth Theatre section of the web site or by searching for scripts suitable for a particular school age-group.
In that case, it was a clear-cut issue. (Our classification matched that of the teacher; our method of finding scripts didn’t match that of her pupil.) Other examples of classification by age are more problematic.
Another note from a teacher said “in reading over the entire plays I noticed some offensive parts that I was shocked that elementary school plays would have in them”. The drama in question was “Ambition” by Tony Best. Amongst other things, the teacher drew attention to the star who doesn’t want to be a star because “a man with a telescope on a rooftop that keeps looking up her skirt”.
Now, Tony lives and writes in a world where there are uncomfortable issues and moral ambiguities. There is an appropriate point to introduce children to those issues, and the fictional world of a play may provide a useful way of exploring them.
The problem here is that the “appropriate point” is not the same for all children – it varies according to local culture and according to the maturity of the children. We have a further difficulty in that our classification system works in broad bands. (Under fives, five to eight, nine to twelve, thirteen to sixteen and over sixteen.) Our purpose is to be helpful, rather than prescriptive. We’re trying to help customers to narrow down their search – there is usually little point in offering adults a script written for five-year-olds, and vice versa. In the case of Ambition, we’d classified the script as suitable for the nine to twelve group and older groups. However, the difficulty comes with the breadth of the group; I doubt that many nine-year-olds would get much out of the play. In my view, a lot of 12-year-olds would, but not necessarily all. We don’t know your group, so our classification is imperfect.
That’s where the other major feature of the web site comes in: you can read the scripts on-line. That’s what the teacher had done in this case. She had discovered that whilst she wanted her class to perform the play, there were some parts that were inappropriate and therefore, with our permission, she cut those parts of the text.
We always advise you to read before you buy.