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large cast play scriptsDIANE PURDY
Children's Playwright

Diane Purdy is a national award-winning playwright, who has been producing children's theatre and writing children's plays since 1970.

Diane's original scripts are the foundation on which CTW's colorful, productions are built. Her dynamic energy and exceptional creativity enliven every play; her empathy brings out the best in the casts; her inability to accept mediocrity in herself or those she “touches” has brought the theatre and film worlds hundreds of talented young performers. All of this is brought about because of Diane's intriguing children's plays.

Diane's Thoughts
I want my children to genuinely get into their roles. How can any cast member develop a strong characterization if he or she's named Girl One or Boy Two? All of my characters come onstage from living a real life and will continue living “a real life” after the final curtain falls. My four birth children, five perfect grandchildren and thousands of other-than-birth children are the driving force behind my creativity and my reason for being. Of course, I'm still trying to decide what I'll be when I grow up.

• B.A. Theatre Arts
• B.A. English
• Teacher Certifications K-12
• Screen Actor’s Guild (S.A.G.)
• American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)

***Organizations interested in exploring WW ll through the eyes of Rosie the Riveter for an hour of entertaining fun with facts, click here.

(A not-for-profit organization)

children's playsDiane Purdy’s Children's Theatre Workshop's drama by doing method of training was created to give any child, aged 4 to 18 who is interested in becoming an actor, the opportunity to perform, while also giving each child the capability to apply the theatre techniques taught to enrich his and her daily life.

The drama by doing training, created in 1970 by founder Diane Purdy, is structured, beginning with a scripted play and ending in a fully staged production performed before an audience.

To accomplish this, cast members develop characterizations: learn lines, stage movement, blocking, diction, projection, picking up of cues, plus touch on the various backstage and front-of-the-house aspects of theatre.

Every cast member is guaranteed an integral role in an original script written by Ms. Purdy. The scripts are created to enhance and stretch each child's potential as an actor, and to guarantee an in-depth role without the pressure of auditioning. All children's plays are treated as major productions with appropriate costuming, sets, lighting, props, sound effects and staff.

The children rehearse in a repertory type atmosphere as most remain in the same weekly workshop from one semester to the next, thereby establishing a friendly, stable, comfortable, non-competitive environment which enables everyone to blend in, share and express his and her own creativity.

Professional theatre training is the one of the organization’s missions. During the past thirty-plus years, many CTW cast members have become members of Equity, Screen Actor's Guild (S.A.G.) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (A.F.T.R.A.).

Many CTW graduates now work in professional positions, i.e.: Broadway stage-fencing choreography, voice-overs, print modeling, cabaret entertaining; related backstage fields, i.e.: television assistant producer, stage crew member, box office staff; drama teachers.

Diane Purdy's vision is the theatre’s driving force. All staff members are trained by Ms. Purdy, who was educated at the University of Massachusetts and Emerson College. She’s an accredited English, speech and theatre teacher; newspaper theatre reviewer, adjudicator; national award-winning children’s playwright; New England Theatre Conference honored director and actor, Executive Board Member of Emerson College New England Alumni Chapter.

children's play scriptsThe staff members are made up of adults, who have responsible careers in the outside world yet offer their areas of expertise in directing, sewing, set design, make-up, sound, lighting, teaching, music collaboration, business administration, finance, and just plain muscles.

Ms. Purdy acknowledges that while most children may never become professional actors there is much to be gained by having been a member of the CTW theatre family, such as:

  • The fear of speaking in front of an audience vanishes. Being able to comfortably speak in public is a valuable tool in one's adult life.
  • Cast members increase their reading skills due to the fact that they are able to see the script “come to life” during each rehearsal, thereby improving the ability to visualize.
  • Acting requires discipline if the show is to be successful. Actors must learn lines quickly, listen carefully and react to other cast members while working together as an ensemble.
  • “Three Es” - emotional contact felt between: actor to actor, actor to audience, audience to actor show cast members how to relate to others in their daily lives.
  • Parents and teachers have credited the workshop with dramatic improvement in school performances, both academically and behaviorally.
  • Theatre builds self-confidence and self-esteem. There is nothing better than the audience’s applause/laughter to give one an instant reward for a job, “well done!”
  • Making friends from diverse backgrounds and other communities with whom one shares a common bond - “putting on a play” - have led to long-lasting relationships.
  • The original scripts incorporate creative use of language which is the reason why college-bound cast members credit the workshop with their high A.C.T., S.A.T. and P.S.A.T. scores.

CTW provides its drama by doing training for young people, while also bringing cultural opportunities to the underserved by creating more community involvement through corporate sponsorships and private grants.


John DeaconJohn Deacon's quick wit and gentle manner make him an instant hit with both kids and adults. As a singer/songwriter and recording artist, John has delighted children throughout New England with his original music and humor. JD has won several songwriting competitions and was a finalist at the prestigious Kerrville ‘New Folk’ Songwriting Competition in Kerrville, Texas. John strongly respects the insights and individuality of children and his music is always self-affirming, creative and fun. A father of three, he credits his children for the limitless source of material and inspiration in his music. John is a staff songwriter for Diane Purdy’s Children's Theatre Workshop.

John Deacon’s Musical Releases:

“Alligators Don’t Live Under The Bed” recorded under the Acoustic Cove label. Original songs include; “Vegetables Bring Out The Best In Me”, “Holes In My Pockets Money in My Shoes Blues”, “Blue Tick Dog” and others. This is a great hit with kids and was particularly recorded to be “parent-friendly”. Available in CD ($12.97) and Cassette ($9.00), and includes shipping within the continental US. Accept U.S. Checks or Money Orders made out to “Acoustic Cove Publishing”. Also available at

Contact John:
John Deacon
P.O. Box 1539
Duxbury, MA 02331


A colorful, character-filled fantasy in which two young girls save the world by discovering - "READING FOR PLEASURE" (55 minutes)

"A child's attitude toward reading is of such importance that, more often than not, it determines his scholastic fate. Moreover, his experiences in learning to read may decide how he will feel about learning...and even about himself as a person. Family life has a good deal to do with the development of a child's ability to understand, to use, and to enjoy language."

In his above quote, Bruno Bettelheim, the noted child psychologist, identifies the importance of developing a positive attitude in children toward reading. Learning to read is important; but of equal importance is the psychological environment in which the child experiences reading. Creating a positive atmosphere for and attitude toward the written word is one of the most essential things a parent can do for a child.

Perchance to Dream is a unique video in that it is, on one hand, an engrossing and entertaining fantasy, and on the other hand, a video that encourages a child not only to read for pleasure, but also to identify reading blocks, such as, dyslexia or poor vision--physical impediments to the learning process.

Age: This family video may be enjoyed by the whole family, but is especially aimed at students, grades three through eight. A verbatim script is included in the $14.95 price.

The touching tale of how the clown castle "family" endures the loss of a loved one through - "LOVE AND LAUGHTER" (52 minutes)

In today's culture, the role of the schools/libraries in the education of our children is undergoing a great deal of change. The question as to whether or not the classroom should be the setting for instruction in areas of moral or social education has brought about intense discussion. While many people feel that moral issues belong at home in the capable hands of parent, there is a widening circle of opinion that calls for society to become more involved.

One social issue that has often been ignored at home and in the community is the subject of death. Death carries with it a vast amount of historical repression--embarrassment, denial, anger, hidden grief--that continues even in today's enlightened environment.

Using a delightfully original motif, The Day The Clowns Cried confronts the grief and bewilderment of loss and explores the ensuring growth in dealing with death in a manner that is neither morbid nor maudlin. Through this, viewers are then able to express their own experiences with death and loss, thus expanding their self-awareness.

AGE:While this family video is of benefit to a variety of students in all grade levels and disciplines (e.g.-high school psychology/curriculum-wide dramatics/etc.) it is specifically aimed at children, grades three through eight to be viewed in its entirety or to be shown in two sections with question and answer sessions following. Lesson plans are included in the price of $14.95.


Each Family Theatre Video is:

    family video
  • Programmed for learning
    Most children learn best when they realize it the least. FTVideos are designed to teach by showing not telling.
  • Created for fun
    Our videos are based on delightfully original stories featuring performances that are assured to please.
  • Multi-leveled
    It is a fact that a child will watch a new video over and over again. Each viewing of an FTVideo brings new understanding and involvement.
  • Values-oriented
    Using entertainment instead of a lecture, FTVideos place understanding, compassion, and morality where they belong, right up front.


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