Good luck with this. It has always been seen as a ‘hole’. You might find Arizpe and Styles’ chapter in ‘The Routledge Companion’ useful, ‘sidelines: some neglected dimensions of children’s literature’. Beyond this, I remember Peter Hollindale giving a talk in mid 1990s about this neglected area. He then intended to publish something on it but not sure he ever did.
Can anyone suggest any criticism of drama for children and young adults for a chapter in a forthcoming Palgrave Macmillan book on essential criticism of modern children's literature to be co-authored by Pat Pinsent and me? There appears to be a complete dearth of criticism (with the notable exception of the many aritcles and books on Peter Pan), in spite of the fact that there have been many critically acclaimed stage adaptations of children's books, most recently, of course, Tim Minchin's award-winning Matilda. In addition, there has been a great deal of specially commissioned work for young people(notably the Shell Connections series for the National Theatre), as well as some very interesting individual playwrights who have written specifically for young people, especially in Scotland (I am thinking of the work of David Grieg, for instance).
I would be grateful for any suggestions of relevant work in the field, especially that which involves the close reading of the texts in question as works of dramatic literature, rather than work that emphasises aspects of their performance history.
Best wishes - Clare