Acting Out: Six One-Act Plays

Acting Out: Six One-Act Plays


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With a star-studded lineup of writers, there’s a stage full of drama, comedy, and great storytelling waiting behind these curtains!

Sharon Creech spoofs a publishing office in The Raven, and the environment fights back against overdevelopment in Susan Cooper’s The Dollop. Patricia MacLachlan puts a twist on detention in The Bad Room, and Katherine Paterson revives a classic fairy tale in The Billionaire and the Bird. Richard Peck has schoolboys doing their best to trick a spooky substitute in Effigy in the Outhouse, and Avi’s Not Seeing Is Believing has words playing tricks on everybody. There’s something for everyone in this all-star lineup.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416938491
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 06/22/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 777,386
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Avi is the author of more than seventy books for children and young adults, including the 2003 Newbery medal winner Crispin: The Cross of Lead. He has won two Newbery Honors and many other awards for his fiction. He lives with his family in Denver, Colorado. Visit him at

Susan Cooper is one of our foremost children’s authors; her classic five-book fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising has sold millions of copies worldwide. Her many books have won the Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and been shortlisted five times for the Carnegie Medal. She combines fantasy with history in Victory (a Washington Post Top Ten for Children novel), King of Shadows and Ghost Hawk, and her magical The Boggart and the Monster, second in a trilogy, won the Scottish Arts Council’s Children’s Book Award. Susan Cooper lives on a saltmarsh island in Massachusetts, and you can visit her online at

Patricia MacLachlan is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb’s Story; Edward’s Eyes; The True Gift; Waiting for the Magic; White Fur Flying; and Fly Away. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Date of Birth:

December 23, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964

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Acting Out: Six One-Act Plays 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Acting Out is a compilation of six plays by noted children¿s authors, Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson, and Richard Peck. Besides being written by talented authors, the plays have something else in common. Using a technique used in improvisational acting, editor Justin Chanda asked each author to submit a word that must be used in each play. The resulting words, hoodwink, dollop, raven, knuckleball, panhandle, and Justin appear in every play. Part of the fun is noting how the author works in the unusual additions. Note how ¿raven¿ appears in Richard Peck¿s play, ¿Effigy in the Outhouse,¿ which takes place in the year 1910. One of his characters, Edna, the eldest and bossiest student in the one-room school house, yells out, ¿Stop all your rantin¿ and raven. I declare, you¿re all like hogs turned into an orchard.¿The plays are varied in style and content. The plays are mysterious, life-like, whimsical, environmental, historical, and more. Although Richard Peck¿s humorous look at children in a one-room schoolhouse is my favorite, Sharon Creech¿s spoof on the publishing industry is a hoot as well! A young Edgar Allen Poe, is trying to seal a deal with a modern day publisher, TRISH: Ah yes, strategies, et cetera. The two-word title is OUT. Out, out, out!POE: Out?TRISH: Quite, Out. Your use of ¿The¿ is fine, mind you. Absolutely terrific! But we need ¿The something-something.¿ You follow? ¿ ¿The Raven Code,¿ perhaps? ¿The Raven KNUCKLEBALL¿? Or better yet. ¿Something-something and the something-something.¿ Let¿s say ¿Polly Raven and the Silver Chalice, ¿ mm?This book is perfect for older reader¿s theater groups or school groups. A note of caution, though ¿ although its title is Acting Out, any group wishing to perform these plays, must obtain written permission from the publishers. Performance rights will, however, be granted without charge to non-profit groups.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
This collection of one-act plays, written by six winners of the Newbery Medal, will appeal to middle school students enrolled in a beginning drama class. My favorite is Sharon Creech's "The Bad Room," which revolves around students in detention; it reminds me a bit of the 1985 movie, "The Breakfast Club." One interesting spin is that each author was asked to choose a word to use in his/her play; all six words chosen were then used in each play. Students will recognize the names of the authors, making it more likely to draw them into the plays.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
What happens when you ask six Newbery Award winners to write one-act plays? Well, you get a book like ACTING OUT, and you get the potential for a lot of fun.

Award-winning authors Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson, and Richard Peck were asked to write one-act plays. They were given the freedom to write about anything, but there was one catch. Each author picked a word which was to be used in all six plays. The words chosen were dollop, hoodwink, Justin, knuckleball, panhandle, and raven. Their creative efforts are a pleasure to read.

The subjects of the plays include school topics like the detention room and a scary substitute, a mysterious voice, a moving, talking giant rock, a childhood Edgar A. Poe, and a selfish billionaire. Each script includes stage directions, character descriptions, and production hints.

ACTING OUT is successful as a casual reading experience as well as for its potential for actual staged performances. Readers will appreciate seeing a different side of some of their favorite Newbery authors.