Foreword by Sir Ken Robinson 50 Best Plays is for students and lovers of theatre, parents and politicians, teachers and actors, a guide to progress over 50 years in a field of theatre dedicated to children and young people. 50 Best Plays is based on Vicky Ireland's and Paul Harman's extensive working knowledge of playwriting and production in England and celebrates the wonderful work created all over the UK. At the book's heart is a detailed listing of 50 plays by English playwrights chosen by their contemporaries which have most influenced those working professionally to make theatre for young audiences in England today. It describes a journey during which many attitudes towards education and the arts have changed, much has been learned and maybe too much forgotten. Today, worldwide, practitioners in participatory or immersive theatre are working with children and young people, exploring their real world with them and helping them to express that experience through theatre. New generations of theatre-makers will find this book a useful signpost to sources of inspiration in their future work for young audiences. Celebrates the pioneers who helped establish and nurture the Theatre for Young Audiences sector in England over 50 years of original theatreCompiled by two leading practitioners, this one-stop resource is of interest to parents, teachers, theatre professionals and/or arts administrators, and others interested in professional theatre for young audiences. Launched at the 2016 World Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences, 'On the Edge', in Birmingham, UK. 2015 marked 50 years of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (known by its French acronym, ASSITEJ).
From a handful of European countries, ASSITEJ has grown to be a presence in over 80 countries in every continent, promoting the right of every child to experience theatre. 1965 was also the year in which a remarkable and unique experiment combining drama, theatre and education, known as Theatre in Education, began in the UK, in Coventry.