Pollyanna Theatre, Austin, Offers for Licensing Its Entire Catalog of Commissioned Works for Children


Pollyanna offers its commissioned works for licensing

Children’s theatre company becomes publishing house for original plays


(via Pollyanna Theatre Company)In a dramatic move inspired by the pandemic shutdown, Pollyanna Theatre Company of Austin, Texas, will soon offer its entire repertoire of original children’s plays for licensing.


As one of the only theatre companies in the country producing exclusively new works for children, Pollyanna has commissioned more than 75 plays over the last 20 years. The company’s plays are both entertaining and educational, designed to inspire young audiences with engaging characters and memorable stories.


Like many theatre companies, Pollyanna was forced to pivot during the pandemic. In an effort to not only stay connected with its young audience, but also provide work to its cast and crew, the company offered a number of virtual productions and re-imagined job descriptions. For Stage Manager Andrew Perry, that meant a role heading Pollyanna’s new publishing and licensing division as its managing editor.


“For the past two decades, our dedication to developing new works with authors from all over the country has amassed an impressive collection of theatrical pieces. Until now, many of these have gone unpublished and thus near impossible to find by the countless producing organizations that constantly need new content to present to the youth of their schools and communities,” said Andrew Perry, Pollyanna’s stage manager, who organized the new venture. “With Pollyanna Select Plays, we can make accessible an ever-growing list of new plays for young audiences that have all been produced in a professional setting and cover a wide array of both fun and challenging topics.”


Judy Matetzschk-Campbell, Pollyanna’s founder and artistic director, credits the pandemic and its associated shutdown with helping to make the long-planned endeavor a reality. “The pandemic gave us the time to make this legacy project come to fruition,” she said. “We also hope it will provide a much-needed income stream to playwrights, who traditionally have a very difficult time getting publishers to pick up their work.”


The new publishing project aims to eventually make all of Pollyanna’s commissioned works available not only to other theatre companies, but also to teachers, who have long appreciated Pollyanna’s curriculum-based plays. “Our plays are flexible,” Matetzschk-Campbell said. “A classroom full of children have characters to play.  Our plays are perfect for educational productions and study in the classroom."


Currently there are more than a dozen plays by six playwrights available for licensing. Those plays, which are ideal for grade school aged children, include popular productions such as Liberty! Equality! And Fireworks!, The Texas Chili Queens, The Big Bolt and The Secret of the Soap and Spin. Pollyanna Select Plays Publishing plans to expand its library, ultimately offering all of the company’s commissioned works. Additional information is available at www.pollytheatre.org/publishing.


(via Pollyanna Theatre Company)


ABOUT POLLYANNA THEATRE COMPANY, a resident company of The Long Center: Founded in 2000 to promote theatre’s role as a powerful teaching tool, the Pollyanna Theatre Company historically reaches more than 20,000 school children each year with a series of top-quality theatrical productions. Pollyanna produces only original plays, commissioning playwrights from around the nation to create timely works for children that engage, motivate and inspire. As the only professional company in Central Texas to produce theatre for the very young, Pollyanna illustrates the link between theatre, literacy and academic readiness.  In 2018, Pollyanna was selected, along with four other arts organizations, to be a part of Austin’s inaugural Village of the Arts, which seeks to bring arts education to underserved communities while expanding affordable creative space.  Pollyanna is grateful to be part of the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department Artist Access Program. During the pandemic, Pollyanna pivoted to provide interactive on-line theatrical experiences that have reached thousands of children.