Picture Book Plays, presented by Julia Donaldson

Our Contributors

 
Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson, the Children’s Laureate 2011-13, has a special interest in drama. She studied it at Bristol University and then was a founder member of the Bristol Street Theatre.  She is the author of many plays for children, some of which have been collected in an anthology called PLAY TIME.  In her time as laureate she has initiated two major series of plays for schoolchildren, “Plays to Read” for reading groups, and “Plays to Act”, based on well-known picture books,  for whole classes.

Ever since her first book, A SQUASH AND A SQUEEZE, was published, Julia has done hundreds of author visits and appeared at dozens of book festivals, and however big or small the event is she always encourages children to participate in the stories by acting parts or joining in the choruses.

She is the author of over 100 books and plays, including The Gruffalo.

You can find out more about Julia and her books from www.juliadonaldson.co.uk or from www.childrenslaureate.org.uk.

Pam Wardell

Pam Wardell

Pam Wardell is a veteran drama practitioner who trained in the 1960s to be a speech and drama specialist in primary and secondary schools in Scotland and has had a continuing commitment to children’s expressive arts ever since.

Throughout a long career as a BBC Radio Producer she worked in drama with children and young people, specializing with preschool and infant drama, directing projects for the Royal Lyceum Theatre at the Children’s International Festival and working with BBC Scotland to provide TV and Radio workshops for children.

She has been working on creative arts projects and events ever since, including contributing to Balamory, providing audio and drama workshops at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, for the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow and the Borders, for the Fife Library Service at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline and as a regular feature in the children’s programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

She was also the first coordinator of the Reading Rich project for the Scottish Book Trust, developing creative ways of motivating ‘looked after’ children to read for pleasure.

She now runs Books Alive, which offers nurseries, primary and special schools, libraries and festivals a host of drama and performance workshops, which highlight a wealth of children’s literature and involve guest arts professionals – actors, musicians, visual artists, sound engineers – to inspire children’s imaginations and creativity.

Website: http://www.books-alive.co.uk/

Fleur Alexander

Fleur Alexander

Fleur Alexander is a storyteller based in London. She creates story workshops and performances for children based on a variety of themes and ideas. She also facilitates drama and movement sessions with primary school children across London. Her workshops encourage active participation and interaction, while creating a safe environment that nurtures and rewards the little people’s creativity.

Website: http://www.fleuralexander.com

Joyce Dunbar

Joyce Dunbar

Joyce Dunbar is the author of over eighty books for children. She taught in the drama department of the college in Stratford-upon-Avon from 1979–89 and in 1990 ran workshops for deaf playwrights at the Unicorn Theatre. Many of her stories have been turned into performance: A Bun for Barney in 1989 by actors from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; Shoe Baby by Long Nose Puppets and Mouse and Mole (which has also been turned into a TV animation) by Tiebreak Theatre.

Moonbird was spectacularly staged by I Theatre in Singapore in 2007 and has also been produced in France and Thailand.

Website: http://www.joycedunbar.com

Vivian French

Vivian French

Vivian French always wanted to be an actor, and after university she joined a touring theatre company visiting schools. She soon began writing plays for her own company, and subsequently her plays were performed at the Young Vic Studio Theatre, the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon, and other venues. She has also been commissioned to write plays for many young people’s companies, including a series of musical plays for the Taliesin Theatre, Swansea (subjects range from the history of numbers to The Big Stink – i.e. sewage!). Her most recent play, Baby Baby, was first performed in 2009 and toured Scotland to critical acclaim; a subsequent revival by Dundee Rep gained four stars in the Scotsman.

Her first books for children were published in 1990, and she has since written over 250 books, including board books for babies, plays for new readers, non-fiction, contemporary fairy tales for fluent readers and novels for teenagers. She is an editorial consultant, reviewer and anthologist, and regularly works with illustration students at Edinburgh College of Art on projects involving students and children in schools.

Vivian is among the most borrowed authors in UK libraries – her books were borrowed well over half a million times last year.

Amy Clifford

Amy Clifford

Amy Clifford is currently working at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, where they are passionate about children developing a lifelong love of books and reading. As both a class teacher and an advisor she always works creatively with books so that young children can be involved in active and fun story sessions.

Website: http://www.clpe.co.uk

Moira Munro

Moira Munro

Moira Munro illustrated the logos for the site. She is a writer, illustrator, and for years she was paid to poke fun at teachers in cartoon strips. Julia Donaldson often asks her to help out in her shows ("Moira, please could you be a princess? No, forget it. Please could you be a nut?"). During her own school visits, Moira loves to make kids laugh their little socks off and do silly things very loud -- then she hands them back to the lovely teachers.

Website: http://www.moiramunro.com

Kristina Stephenson

Kristina Stephenson

Kristina Stephenson trained as a set and costume designer. She had a successful career in theatre and children’s TV until she had her children. Wanting to stay at home with them, she turned to illustration.

 
Inspired to write by her own son Charlie (who doesn’t have stinky socks), she showed her work to a friend in the book trade who recommended that she then send it to Egmont.
 
Kristina lives with her husband, who is a musician, and her son and daughter in Wiltshire.

Website: http://www.egmont.co.uk/contributor.asp?contid=85

Catherine Baker

Catherine Baker

Catherine Baker has worked in educational publishing for twenty-five years, first of all as an editor, and more recently as an author too. She loves plays, though she’s not very good at acting herself. She leaves that kind of thing to her daughter, Anna (who loves acting and singing) and her son, Peter (who can sometimes be persuaded to play along on the guitar or piano).

 
Picture Book Plays, presented by Julia Donaldson
Printed from www.picturebookplays.co.uk