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Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MFA: Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating

Directing Professor

Ruth Sanderson


When working in the theatre, it isn’t uncommon to find oneself both in front of the stage and behind the scenes. Theatre can provide one with vast experience as a writer, performer, director, or producer. The same can be said for picture book writer/illustrators wearing several creative hats as a writer, director, casting director as well as set and costume designer. Picture books can be “living books,” just like live theatre, it is storytelling material that unfolds before the audience’s very eyes. Many picture book creators have seen a connection between theatre and children’s literature from Maurice Sendak to Brian Selznick. In Reading Picture Books with Children, Megan Dowd Lambert writes that “illustrators draw parallels between the picture book form and theatre, essentially viewing picture books as what artist, Will Hillenbrand, calls ‘the theatre of the lap.” The metaphor of “the theatre of the lap” describes the process of bringing theatre experience as a playwright, illustrator, director or performer to the art of writing and illustrating picture books. Creating The Diary of Igor the Piano Pug reflects my theatrical experience incorporated into the creative process of writing and illustrating this picture book.