Coach-to-Coach: Where to Find Material

presented by Greg Ernzen, Megan Schumacher, and Erin Ohrlund


To prepare to reach for the gold, we suggest interval training: sprint out of the starter’s block with our links to reliable sites with good scripts, and then settle in to go the distance with our tried-and-true techniques for developing material from other sources. We can’t wait to relay this information!


     Online sources (  lets you search based on many different categories.

      Samuel French ( has great search categories too.

      Heuer Publishing ( is based in Iowa and has search categories like “Ten Minute Monologues.”

      Stage Partners ( includes plays for “young artists,” and lets you read entire plays for free.

      Aaron Shepard ( provides many royalty-free stories and Readers Theatre scripts based on classic tales from around the world.

      Music Theatre International ( has an agreement with IHSSA and will send you music and libretti to use for Musical Theatre for $75. And you get your deposit back!


     Local library/librarian: These people are experts in literature.

      Everything from children’s literature sections to audiobooks provide a wide variety of opportunities.

      Don’t forget your school librarian, the specialist in media that appeals to teens.

     English teachers in your school: They are experts right in your neighborhood.

     Bookstores: Like librarians and English teachers, these people live in the world of literature.

     Play excerpts: A powerful scene from a full-length play can fit in the time limit for contest.

      Be sure to get permission from the publisher to use a cutting.

     Podcasts: So many different podcasts cover a variety of categories.

      TEDtalks, the Moth, Levar Burton Reads, This American Life, The Way I Heard It

     Fellow coaches: Make connections with coaches here today and in schools near you. 

      We are our best resources. Coaches are always willing to share pieces that have worked for them.

      Take a road trip and browse through your friends’ files and scripts.

     Your students!: Talk to them about their interests/experiences.  You never know where inspiration can come from.

     Write your own pieces (with your students): Ownership gets them all in!

      Start with a theme or current event.

      Create a shared document, slideshow, or site where everyone can contribute whenever inspiration strikes.


Go the distance! Don’t forget to pay royalties to the publisher for every contest you perform in: District, State, and All-State.






Help us save paper: scan and open the handout on your device instead of taking a paper copy. Use the camera on your phone. 😊