Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Playwright Spotlight: Get to Know Forrest Musselman

Welcome to "Playwright Spotlight" — your exclusive backstage pass to the creative minds crafting the incredible plays featured in our Theatrefolk catalogue. Discover the magic, quirks, and genius of the playwrights who help bring the stage to life. Let's meet one of these exceptional playwrights who offers the chance for your student performers to shine in their spotlight.

What inspired you to start writing plays specifically for high school & middle school students?

When I started writing nearly 30 years ago, I saw a need in the youth market for plays that were relatable to teens. I wanted to make plays that they could identify with.

Can you share a bit about your creative process when developing plays that resonate with students?

I am a teacher and director at a local high school, so I'm surrounded by kids all the time. When I write a new script, the students help me a lot with shaping it and making it more "teen" friendly.

Are there any challenges you face when writing for student performers, and how do you overcome them?

A big challenge is just keeping up on what's cool and what's not. What slang phrases are being used? What stands the test of time and what is just the flavor of the month? The students keep me in check : )

What themes or messages do you aim to convey through your plays?

It's okay to be different. Technology is evil. All we need is love.

How do you balance education and fun in your scripts?

It can be a fine line sometimes, but I always want to have fun first. The education comes sometimes when students have to research or find meaning behind the text.

Can you share a memorable experience or feedback from a student performance that left an impact on you?

I've had quite a few actually. The latest one was during my performance of who are we, who we are when showing it to our student body. I swear you could have heard a pin drop in the theatre, they were so invested in watching the show. After the show, several students went to see our guidance counselor to seek help with their anxiety and depression.

Any advice for teachers or directors looking to choose engaging and age-appropriate plays for their student performers?

Theatrefolk is a great resource. Start there.

What is your favourite play you've written so far?

A Deep Poetic Journey Into Something

Anything else you'd like students and/or directors to know about you as a playwright?

I love to hear feedback on shows and see pictures. Don't be afraid to contact me and send pictures. I'd love to post them on my social media platforms.

Products referenced in this post: A Deep, Poetic Journey Into Something and who are we, who we are

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Theatrefolk is the Drama Teacher Resource Company. We are your one stop shop for Plays, Resources, and Curriculum Support - all specifically designed for High School and Middle School drama teachers.
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