Putting on a Show: Theater for Young People


199 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 1-896764-89-4
DDC jC812'.54





Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp, a former professor of drama at Queen’s University, is
the author of The Pleasures and Treasures of the United Kingdom.


Kathleen McDonnell is an award-winning playwright and the author of two
books about children and the media, Kid Culture and Honey We Lost the
Kids. Putting on a Show is a collection of four of her plays. “Loon
Boy,” the story of a troubled boy and his foster mother, uses the
device of

loon puppets carried by unmasked actors as it explores its underlying
themes of healing, redemption, and environmental concern. “Ezzie’s
Emerald” is a musical that taps into two seminal teen concerns: the
wish to be popular and the desire to be thin. “The Seven Ravens” is
a theatre adaptation of a fable by the Brothers Grimm (in addition to
the original story, two versions of the play are included).
“Foundlings,” the story of an infant who is abandoned by her family
and raised by a bear, incorporates elements from a number of Greek

The collection opens with a 12–page history of theatrical
representation and a glossary of theatrical terms. The history of
theatre introduction is very brief and has little relevance to the plays
themselves. Finally, I am not convinced that plays written to be
performed by adults for young audiences are easily adapted to being
per-formed by young people themselves. Recommended with reservations.


McDonnell, Kathleen., “Putting on a Show: Theater for Young People,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/22614.