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The 52nd Street Project

To order the complete kit, click on The 52nd Street Project Kid Theater Kit for an order page. To order individual titles from the Kid Theater Kit, click on the book titles or covers below.

Nationally recognized as an innovative force in theater for young people, The 52nd Street Project has created both acting and playwriting programs for children. Visit The 52nd Street Project website.

The Acting Programs

  • The One-on-Ones — each youngster is paired with an adult professional playwright who writes a one-act play for the youngster and playwright to perform together.
  • The Two-on-Twos — an adult playwright creates a play for two experienced Project youngsters to perform together.

The Playmaking Program

The Playmaking Program is a series of playwriting classes for the students. The curriculum, devised by writer/educator Daniel Judah Sklar, offers the youngsters a medium through which they can express a personal vision.

The Playmaking Program is divided into three steps:

1. Playmaking, the initial eight-week session begins with classes in basic playwriting and ends with the youngster writing a play for two actors. These plays are subsequently performed.

2. Replay, the sequel eight-week course where the Playmaking graduates are challenged to write their second and third play while learning plot and character development; and

3. Playback, where the Project's most experienced writing and acting students are matched with a playwright, and each write a play to perform together.


The impulse to recreate the Project stemmed from inquiries from theaters, community organizations and individuals throughout the country wishing to start a Project of their own. The Project staff has developed a manual complete with lesson plans and supporting materials (described below) to help you start your own Project.

THE 52ND STREET PROJECT KID THEATER KIT: PLAYS, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE is designed for those interested in recreating this imaginative program. Each volume is designed to lay flat when open to facilitate copying. The kit consists of:

  • The "How To" manual 52 Pick-Up: A Practical Guide to Doing Theater with Children
  • The Teen Ensemble: A Practical Guide to Doing Theater with Teenagers
  • Three collections of ten-minute one-act plays (45 in all) for children to perform
  • A collection of six plays written by kids from the 52nd Street Project
  • A 30-minute video of the documentary "Three Minutes from Broadway: The Story of the 52nd Street Project," which gives an inside look at the 52nd Street Project in action (Video shipped separately.)
  • The commitment of up to five hours of telephone consultations with the Project staff

The entire kit is available for $150.00. Click on The 52nd Street Project Kid Theater Kit for an order page.

Individual titles from the Kid Theater Kit may also be purchased separately. Click on the titles below for order pages. (Please note that THE DINOSAUR MUSICAL and QUARK VICTORY, as described on the 52nd Street Project Page in the 2005-2006 Complete Catalogue of Plays, are no longer available for purchase or performance. The price for the Kid Theater Kit has been adjusted accordingly.)

52 Pick-Up: A Practical Guide to Doing Theater with Children The Project's "How To" manual written by founder/artistic director Willie Reale consists of a series of recipes for its programs in a simple, no-nonsense, step-by-step fashion. Along with that are comprehensive descriptions of all the Project's writing and acting programs for children, as well as detailed advice on working with children in theatrical contexts. Incorporated in the manual are Daniel Judah Sklar's "Playmaking Lesson Plans," which cover basic and second-level playwriting courses for children and adults. A third component of the manual are plans and schematics of scenic designer Kevin Joseph Roach's "Instant Set," upon which most of the Project's productions are staged. The guide is available for $35.00.

The Teen Acting Ensemble: A Practical Guide to Doing Theater with Teenagers This companion “How To” manual to 52 Pick-Up, written by Project “Teen Dean” Chris Ceraso with commentary by Associate Artistic Director Michael Bernard, provides a carefully structured week-by-week program of acting classes, rehearsals and performances. The plan, developed in association with Willie Reale, uses basic professional-level acting technique and ensemble skills to form a company of teenagers. Included are examples of teen-authored plays based on Shakespeare sonnets as well as a ninety-minute adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The guide is available for $15.00.

The Butler Did It! is a collection of twenty short plays with music written for the One-on-One Program, conceived as a means to create an opportunity for a child to star in his or her own play. Some of the authors included in this volume are Craig Lucas, Charles Dumas, Katharine Long, Willie Reale, Peter MacNicol, Jacquelyn Reingold and Lewis Black. The composer is Henry Krieger. Over a week in the summer, two troupes of children and professional playwrights retreat to a country setting where the playwright is asked to mine the particular charms of his or her child partner and imbue a fictional character with those traits. Somewhere in these twenty plays there is certain to be a role to suit nearly any child's personality and level of skill. The twenty plays with songs were written for an adult, a child with each featuring a cameo role for an adult "Butler." This collection is available for $30.00.

The Bedtime Zone is a collection of twenty more short plays from the One-on-one Program. Some of the authors included in this volume are Cindy Lou Johnson, Willie Reale, Donald Margulies, Richard Dresser, Nancy Giles and James McDaniel. These plays, all dealing with the supernatural, are two character plays for children to perform with adults, and do not contain music. This collection is available for $20.00.

Plays for Pairs is a collection of five one-act plays written to challenge the more experienced young actors in the Project's program. The authors in this volume include Donald Margulies, Cindy Lou Johnson, Thomas Babe, Willie Reale and Jose Rivera. These plays were written for the Two-on-Two Program and offer two children leading roles in comedies. The recommended age level for these plays is ten to fourteen years-old. This collection is available for $15.00.

The Spring Thing is a collection of six two-character plays by student writers to be performed by experienced actors. The writers are all graduates of the Playmaking Program where they took an eight-week class in which youngsters learn the basic tenets of how to write a play and how to tap into their imaginations and emotional lives in order to write a play. This collection is available for $15.00.