Biography

Sara Spencer

Sara Katherine Spencer (1908-1977) was an author, playwright and publisher of children’s plays.

In 1935, she founded the dramatic publishing house, Children’s Theatre Press (later, Anchorage Press Plays, and now part of Dramatic Publishing Company). The firm published 114 children’s plays, and she remained the editor there for over forty years.

Spencer was also a major force in creating the Children's Theatre Foundation, national and international children's theatre associations, several community children's theatres, and, through her work as a publisher, a new style of American play writing for children's theatre. In the 1940s, together with Mary Tyler Dick, she formed the Louisville Children’s Theatre.

Several awards exist today in honor of Spencer’s accomplishments. SETC presents the Sara Spencer Child Drama Award to a member of that organization who has shown excellence in children’s theatre. The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), the national professional child drama organization, presents the Sara Spencer Award to children’s theatres that exhibit sustained, exceptional achievement. The Children's Theatre Foundation honors Spencer by annually sponsoring a noted speaker at the AATE annual national conference; this session is known as the Sara Spencer Event.

Junior Theatre produced her dramatization of Mary Poppins in 1950.