Actores y flores


This anthol­ogy con­tains six plays appro­pri­ate for stu­dents in sec­ond to fifth grade.

Two of the plays were orig­i­nally cre­ated by Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Cam­poy: La cuchara de palo is a new ver­sion of the tra­di­tional tale Stone Soup while El árbol is a dra­matic game, in which chil­dren will pre­tend to be a tree. As they read or say the lines they can expe­ri­ence all the gifts a tree offers and inter­nal­ize that they, as the trees, have much to offer. La mata de guayabas by Clara Rosa Otero is a drama­ti­za­tion of a Latin Amer­i­can trickster’s tale. Tamarindo el pastelero, a humor­ous play by Beat­riz Dourmec. The final selec­tion, Los col­ores, is a poem to be dra­ma­tized, writ­ten by the well-loved Puerto Rican poet Isabel Freire de Matos.


The val­ues of the use of involv­ing chil­dren with the­atre are mul­ti­ple. Plays can be an excel­lent tool for pro­mot­ing the abil­ity to speak in front of a group, which is a lead­er­ship skill. Since they offer chil­dren the oppor­tu­nity to uti­lize words and lan­guage reg­istries they may not have other oppor­tu­nity to use, plays can be strong vehi­cle for vocab­u­lary and lan­guage development.

When used for choral read­ing plays can strengthen read­ing skills. In addi­tion, act­ing on a play enhance children’s self-confidence and self-esteem while pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn about one’s self and oth­ers. Most impor­tantly, putting out a play, no mat­ter how sim­ply, pro­motes the val­ues of col­lab­o­ra­tion and solidarity.


Theatre has been a passion in my life. I was part of every play during my school years and later in High School I also begun writing plays. One of my works “The Museum” was chosen to be performed at the important theatrical event of our class graduation. Theatre was a way of life for me during those early years.

Because of my experience with theatre, and how important it was in giving me a voice, breaking the barriers of shyness, and encouraging me to speak in public; ensur­ing that chil­dren have access to read and act in plays has always been one of my basic goals. Even if it is done with great sim­plic­ity, act­ing in a play can have very pos­i­tive results.

I am con­vinced that one is bet­ter able to teach some­thing one has enjoyed doing. And just as Alma Flor Ada and I empha­size, in our courses of Authors in the Class­room, that teach­ers who cre­ate their own books will be bet­ter able to get their stu­dents to become authors, I believe that encour­ag­ing teach­ers to do the­atre and expe­ri­enc­ing the rich­ness of the process would bet­ter allow them to incor­po­rate plays in their reg­u­lar teaching.


Each of the seven antholo­gies in this series offers a vari­ety of plays well-suited for either read­ing aloud or for full-scale per­for­mance. For the early grades, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Cam­poy have cre­ated orig­i­nal adap­ta­tions of tra­di­tional children’s sto­ries. Famil­iar tales are retold in the form of plays, choral poems, and the­atre games, invit­ing chil­dren to explore move­ment, char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and imag­i­na­tive play. The use of tra­di­tional His­panic folk­lore, woven into the dia­logue, enhances the cul­tural set­ting in which the sto­ries have been recast. For the older grades, a selec­tion of the best plays writ­ten for chil­dren through­out the Spanish-speaking world has been care­fully assembled.

The antholo­gies are: