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Doris Anderson

Doris AndersonI started writing drama out of necessity. My high school students in an alternative setting needed a way to express the kinds of experiences with which they were familiar - abusive relationships, tough guys pushing others around, and the ugly reality of street violence. Trouble was, I couldn’t find just the right thing in the drama catalogs geared to high school kids. Using ideas from their own stories, I crafted my first play. My hope was that by playing the parts, the kids would absorb the idea that bullying and violence just led to loss and sadness. We barged in where angels fear to tread by preparing a production for the whole school. Even though the performance was a bit rough around the edges, their peers cheered them on. A few people in the audience were in tears. Suddenly, the amateur actors were somebody, besides how they were known on the streets. When asked, they even gave other students their autographs.
I decided to try playwrighting from a life-long love of story telling, prodding kids through Hamlet, and a little script-writing training as I worked on my Masters in English composition. After “A Walk in My Shoes,” I was commissioned by a small publisher to write a book of 40 problem-solving skits for teens. Thus emerged Tackling Tough Choices: Discussion Starting Skits for Teens, 2001, Resource Publications, Inc.

Plays by Doris Anderson with Heuer Publishing: