Purple Crayon Players

Purple Crayon Players is a nationally recognized, award-winning theatre company comprised of Northwestern University students committed to producing professionally written plays for young audiences. Established in 2005, Purple Crayon received the 2006 “Best New Student Group” award. In the summer of 2010, Purple Crayon Players won the Winnifred Ward Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education at their national conference in San Francisco.

In addition to our mainstage season, Purple Crayon Players showcases Northwestern undergraduates' work with a diverse array of special projects that address different perspectives on or elements of TYA, drama, and education. Past special projects have included student-created adaptations such as Calvin and Hobbes and Shelebration, an adaptation of Shel Silverstein poems; educational workshops such as “HONK! If You Love Drama” and a partnership with professional playwright Anne Negri to adapt a touring production of Robin('s) Hood; as well as various storytelling events on campus and off campus.

Purple Crayon also offers opportunities for new work development and festival production with PLAYground Festival of Fresh Works, our annual festival of new plays for young audiences, written by professional and emerging playwrights and directed by student directors.

Every year, Purple Crayon's Winter Mainstage goes on tour to Chicagoland schools in the Spring. We bring the show and its accompanying workshop to elementary, middle and high schools, receiving valuable feedback and responses from students and teachers alike. Past tours have included The Phantom Tollbooth, Pinballs, Salt and Pepper, and Step on a Crack.

Purple Crayon Players seeks to create thought-provoking, smart and entertaining theatre for young audiences as well as to provide opportunities for young people to further engage with theatre and understand themselves through workshops and other events. We believe theatre for young audiences is theatre for all audiences, and invite you to join us for our season of classic plays and risk-taking new projects.

Purple Crayon Players is a student-run theatre company on the Northwestern University campus committed to creating high quality productions, events, and educational materials regarding all aspects of theatre for young audiences. Purple Crayon Players believes that audiences of all ages can appreciate, be inspired by, and grow through exposure to this unique art form.

We produce a mainstage season of professionally written works for young audiences, while also sponsoring high quality outreach events, educational events, and special projects for audiences of all ages both on campus and in the outlying community. These events support the mainstage season, as well as explore other aspects of theatre, community service, and learning.

Purple Crayon Players feels that making theatre more accessible, in large part through our touring show as well as through events during our season, is a necessary aspect of producing theatre for young audiences. We strive to include diverse opinions, cultures, events, and voices in our season in order to adequately reflect the diverse world that our audiences and artists come from.

Furthermore, we understand the importance of training the future leaders of the TYA field, and strive to provide Northwestern University students with opportunities to direct, produce, design, perform, teach, and explore new ways of expanding the field both on campus and at large.

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