Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Smarty Pants by Bradley Hayward; a comedic play that’s all about the importance of play.
Dallas is a real smarty pants; he can read Hamlet in half an hour! He can’t wait to show off in his new Advanced Placement class. But there’s more Play-doh than Plato and more colouring than Van Gogh. What kind of advanced class is this? Will Dallas figure out Kindergarten High or will he flunk? Who’s the real smarty pants?
A fantastic competition piece that encourages students to develop strong characterizations.
Why did we publish this play?
Bradley Hayward knows how to write for youth. We’re lucky to have a number of his plays in our catalogue including Smarty Pants. In this play everything is not what it seems, which makes for a great comedy platform. Add to that, it’s a fabulous characterization opportunity for your students and an easy script to stage. The entire cast of Smarty Pants is gender-neutral which is a lovely bonus. Give your kids a chance to play!
Let’s hear from the author!
1. Why did you write this play?
Smarty Pants started out as a “play within a play” and quickly transformed into a “play about how to play.” I was a straight A, straight laced, straight faced student in high school. It wasn’t until I graduated that I realized I could have been having a lot more fun and still make good grades. I think a lot of adults feel this way, so I wanted to let teen audiences in on this secret a little bit earlier.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
The biggest gift we are given as children is the ability to play. As we grow older, we sometimes forget how to do this, and Smarty Pants is all about relearning how to embrace the moment.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
There is a moment where all of the characters are committed to a game of jump-rope. I love watching this scene because the actors are working together to make this challenging moment happen and the characters are all physically connected, working toward a singular goal.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Play! Play around with it. Play with the staging. Play with the pacing. Play with the costumes. Play with the setting. Play with each other. Think of the play as a co-operative game, with the ultimate goal being “everybody wins!”
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
Smarty Pants is a great play for student performers because the actors get to play characters their own age, as well as versions of themselves at a younger age. It is also a very physical piece, so they get to explore the importance of working together to use the entire stage. For this reason, it is also a terrific play for student directors.