The Current Logo
Why Aren't More Plays Being Read in K-12?

Why Aren't More Plays Being Read in K-12?

Written by Annabelle Howard
December 06, 2013

“Let me tell you a story  . . .” We hear this and we lean in. Students lean in. People love stories and they learn deeply from them — especially when there’s lots of dialog and the story is crafted by a great writer. I’m talking about plays. And yet so few plays are read in school. Why?

“Have you ever wanted something really badly and done something terrible to get it? We’ve all really wanted something . . . . that’s human. Most of us haven’t done something terrible to get it, but what if? That’s the story of Macbeth. Perhaps you thought you couldn’t relate to Macbeth, that it had nothing to teach you,” you might say to a class. Plays are stories told in conversation. Why are plays such a hard sell? 

Classic cars are awesome and so are classic plays. Classic means that something is judged to be exceptional, outstanding, and of the highest quality. Do not be put off by the word classic. My nonprofit is working hard to make classic plays relatable, accessible, and appreciated. My partner, Forrest Stone, is a Yale School of Drama playwright who knows that dissecting some speeches from a play does not do the play justice. He has helped write authentic adaptations that give students an experience of the narrative arc in one sitting — 45 mins or less — in an audio format, with the script on a screen. Students hear the play as they might in a dramatic performance. Afterwards, students can jump into all sorts of modules.

If you have children, or teach, perhaps you’d like to get a free trial of one of our BIG Plays? If so, go to