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Aurand Harris Edit Profile


Aurand Harris was an American playwright who wrote 36 plays for children, estimated at the time of his death in 1996 to have been performed on over 30,000 occasions.


Mr. Harris was born on July 4, 1915, in Jamesport, Missouri, United States. He was a son of George Dowe and Myrtle (Sebastian) Harris.


In 1936 he obtained Bachelorof Arts from University Kansas City and in 1939 Master of Arts from Northwestern University. Then he made a postgraduate studies at Columbia University (1947). In 1991 he obtained his Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary) from University Indiana.


During the period of 1942-1945 Mr. Harris served as the head of drama department at William Woods College, Fulton, Missouri. He began his forty-year career as an author of children’s plays in 1945, while teaching drama at William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri.

From 1946 to 1977 Aurand Harris was a drama teacher at Grace Church School, New York City. During 1958-1963 he acted as a teacher at Columbia University Teachers College, New York City, in summers. Since 1972 he became a playwright-in-residence, University of Florida, Tallahassee. In 1976-1984 Aurand Harris worked as a playwright-in-residence at University Texas, Austin. Mr. Harris was appointed playwright-in-residence at University of Kansas in 1979.

In 1982 Mr. Harris became a playwright-in-residence at California State University, Northridge, from 1981 to 1984 served as a playwright-in-residence at Young Audiences, Cleveland, and in 1985 and 1988 playwright-in-residence at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.

In 1986 he was appointed playwright-in-residence at American School Madrid, in 1988-1996 at New York University, in 1989 University of Hawaii. He was an associate summer theater at Cape May, New Jersey, 1940, Bennington, Vermont, 1947, Peaks Island, Maine, 1948, Harwich, Massachusetts, 1963-1975. Then Drama Aurand Harris worked as a teacher Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Connecticut, summer 1976.

Mr. Harris also contributed to and served as editor for the anthologies Short Plays of Theatre Classics and Plays Children Love.


  • Aurand Harris is remembered as a prolific children’s playwright and the author of the classic, Androcles and the Lion. He also co-edited a number of anthologies of plays for children and adolescents.

    Mr. Harris’ fifty-some plays have been translated into twenty languages. He has received many honors, including a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.



Fellow American Theatre Association (Chorpenning cup 1967, 85).


George Dowe Harris

Myrtle (Sebastian) Harris