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July 28, 2023

K-12 Theatre Season Planning: Let’s Learn!


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It’s almost back-to-school season, and you know what that means… time for students – and teachers – to learn! And what better way to learn than through the art of live theatre? As you’re planning your next school theatre season, take a look at these amazing Concord Theatricals plays and musicals, handily organized into categories focused on learning. No matter what you hope to learn this season, you’re sure to find some great ideas in this list!

Here’s a brief table of contents:

    1. Let’s Learn Exciting CHOREOGRAPHY
    2. Let’s Learn CLASSIC PLAYS
    3. Let’s Learn the Art of COMEDY
    4. Let’s Learn to Prepare for COMPETITION
    5. Let’s Learn COSTUME DESIGN
    6. Let’s Learn to Work as an ENSEMBLE
    7. Let’s Learn HISTORY
    8. Let’s Learn LITERATURE
    9. Let’s Learn SET DESIGN
    10. Let’s Learn to SING in a Variety of Styles

1. Let’s Learn Exciting CHOREOGRAPHY

Get your bodies moving in a wide variety of dance styles, including tap, jazz, old-school rock ‘n’ roll and traditional Broadway dance… plus Latin styles from Merengue to Reggaeton.

42nd Street by Harry Warren, Al Dubin, Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble and Bradford Ropes (Also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)

A Chorus Line: Teen Edition by Michael Bennett, James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban (Original Edition also available) 
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 9f, 10m)

Anything Goes (2022 Revision) by Cole Porter, P.G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Timothy Crouse and John Weidman (Also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 4m +Ensemble)

Chicago: Teen Edition by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 10f, 9m)

Footloose by Tom Snow, Dean Pitchford, Walter Bobbie, Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman (Also available in a 90-Minute Version and Youth Edition) 
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 8m +Ensemble)

Grease: School Version by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey (Original Version also available)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 8f, 9m +Ensemble)

In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 6m +Ensemble)

Sweet Charity by Neil Simon, Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields, Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 4m +Ensemble)

2. Let’s Learn CLASSIC PLAYS

These classics from the Great Theatrical Canon range from heartbreaking family dramas to chilling mysteries to raucous comedies. Some are ancient, some are new, and some – like Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo – contain more than one great play in their story!

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 7m, 1 boy)

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express adapted by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 5f, 5m)

August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 5m)

Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 4m)

Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 4m)

Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Eric Bentley (also available in translation by David Hare)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5f, 18m)

Our Town by Thornton Wilder
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 7f, 17m)

The Beggar’s Opera (Jeffries/Knight) by John Gay, Charles Jeffries and Jerry Knight
(Short Play, Comedy / 7f, 8m)

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Bentley, trans.) by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Eric Bentley
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 14f, 39m, 4 any gender)

The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 7f, 9m)

The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 7f, 7m) 

The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie
(Full-Length Play, Melodrama / 3f, 5m)

The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 5m)

Three Sisters (George) by Madeleine George, adapted from Anton Chekhov
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5f, 8m)

 

The Marvel Spotlight Series: Mirror of Most Value: A Ms. Marvel Play, Hammered: A Thor & Loki Play and Squirrel Girl Goes to College: A Squirrel Girl Play

3. Let’s Learn the Art of COMEDY

Comedy is possibly the world’s favorite art form, and every good actor must learn to master it. Hone your comedic skills by presenting one of these riotous laugh-fests, either traditional or contemporary.

Black Comedy by Peter Shaffer
(Short Play, Comedy / 3f, 5m)

Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 5f, 2m)

Done to Death by Fred Carmichael
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 8f, 8m)

Fools by Neil Simon
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3f, 7m)

Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3f, 5m)

Ken Ludwig’s Midsummer/Jersey by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 10f, 5m)

Ken Ludwig’s Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 6m)

Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 5f, 3m)

Nice Work If You Can Get It: Teen Edition by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin and Joe DiPietro (Original Version also available)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 5m)

Rumors by Neil Simon
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 5f, 5m)

See How They Run by Philip King
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3f, 6m)

The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow and John Buchan (also available in Abridged and Even More Abridged versions)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 1f, 1m, 2 any gender)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 6f, 4m, 9 girls, 8 boys)

The Odd Couple by Neil Simon (also available in a Female Version)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 6m)

The Plot, Like Gravy, Thickens by Billy Wayne St. John
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 9f, 5m)

4. Let’s Learn to Prepare for COMPETITION

Have a competition coming up? Here’s a broad selection of short pieces to rehearse for presentation on the big day.

21 Chump Street by Lin-Manuel Miranda
(Short Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 1f, 5m)

Anti-Social by Don Zolidis
(Collection, Comedy / Flexible Cast Size)

Antic Spring by Robert Nail
(Short Play, Comedy / 3f, 3m)

Any Body for Tea? by C.B. Gilford
(Short Play, Comedy / 6f, 3m)

Fairy Tale Courtroom by Dana Proulx
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 2m, 21 any gender)

Final Dress Rehearsal by Jack Frakes
(Short Play, Comedy / 13f)

Good-Bye to the Clown by Ernest Kinoy
(Short Play, Comedy / 3f, 3m)

Hammered: A Thor & Loki Play (Marvel Spotlight) by Christian Borle
(Short Play, Comedy / 6f, 9m, 5 any gender)

Mirror of Most Value: A Ms. Marvel Play (Marvel Spotlight) by Masi Asare
(Short Play, Comedy / 8f, 4m, 10 any gender)

Once Upon a Playground by Jack Frakes
(Short Play, Comedy / 8f, 2m)

Squirrel Girl Goes to College: A Squirrel Girl Play (Marvel Spotlight) by Karen Zacarías
(Short Play, Comedy / 3f, 1m, 14 any gender)

The Fifteen Minute Hamlet by Tom Stoppard
(Short Play, Comedy / 2f, 4m)

The Ugly Duckling by A.A. Milne
(Short Play, Comedy / 3f, 4m)

Voices (Lortz) by Richard Lortz
(Short Play, Drama / 3f, 2m)

 

2016 Playwrights Realm production of The Wolves (Daniel Velasquez)

5. Let’s Learn COSTUME DESIGN

Gorgeous gowns and tuxes, slinky feline body suits, playful period designs and colorful creations of unlimited imagination… these shows will provide your costume team with plenty of inspiration!

A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie, adapted by Leslie Darbon
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 7f, 5m)

Anastasia: The Musical by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 4f, 5m, 1 girl +Ensemble)

CATS: Young Actors Edition by Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot (Original Version also available)
(Short Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 24 any gender)

Dreamgirls by Tom Eyen, Henry Krieger and Michael Bennett
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 4f, 4m +Ensemble)

Heathers The Musical: Teen Edition by Kevin Murphy, Laurence O’Keefe and Daniel Waters
(Full-Length Musical, Dark Comedy / Flexible Cast Size) 

Hello, Dolly! by Michael Stewart, Jerry Herman and Thornton Wilder
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 4m +Ensemble)

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn by Irving Berlin, Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 3m, 1 boy +Ensemble)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 1m, 17 any gender)

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn and Michael Friedman
(Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy / 5f, 3m)

Once Upon a Mattress by Mary Rodgers, Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 7m +Ensemble)

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway Version) by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and Douglas Carter Beane (also available in Original, Enchanted or Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 4m +Ensemble)

She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition by Qui Nguyen (Original Version also available)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 3m)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Broadway Revival Version) by Rupert Holmes
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 7m +Ensemble)

The SpongeBob Musical by Stephen Hillenburg, Kyle Jarrow, Tina Landau, Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., David Bowie, Tom Kenny, Andy Paley and Tom Kitt (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 16 any gender)

The Wiz by William F. Brown, Charlie Smalls and L. Frank Baum
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 6m, 4m any gender)

6. Let’s Learn to Work as an ENSEMBLE

Teamwork is the key to any successful theatre program. Here’s a variety of plays and musicals that will encourage your cast and crew to work together in harmony.

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz, Bill Melendez, Lee Mendelson and Eric Schaeffer 
(Short Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 5f, 5m, 1 any gender +Ensemble)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 8m)

Clue: The Musical by Peter DePietro, Galen Blum, Wayne Barker, Vinnie Martucci and Tom Chiodo
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 5m)

Dreamland by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 4m, 18 any gender)

Greater Tuna by Jaston Williams, Ed Howard and Joe Sears
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2m or f)

Homeroom The Musical by Andrea Green and Selma Tolins Kaufman
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 8f, 6m +Ensemble)

How To Eat Like a Child by Delia Ephron, John Forster and Judith Kahan
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 30 any gender, Flexible Cast Size)

Kodachrome by Adam Szymkowicz (also available in a One-Act Version)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 2m)

Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood: Teen Edition by Adam Szymkowicz
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 4m, 6 any gender)

Middletown by Will Eno
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 6m)

Play On! by Rick Abbot
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 7f, 3m)

Puffs (Two-Act for Young Wizards) by Matt Cox (also available in One-Act for Young Wizards, original One-Act Edition or Two-Act Edition)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 5f, 5m, 1 any gender, Flexible Casting)

Snoopy!!! (Original) by Charles M. Schulz, Larry Grossman, Hal Hackady, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw and Michael L. Grace (London Version and The World According to Snoopy also available)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 3m, 1 any gender +Ensemble)

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 10f)

Twelfth Night by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 7m +Ensemble)

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised) by Charles M. Schulz, Clark Gesner, Michael Mayer and Andrew Lippa (Original Version also available)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 2f, 4m +Ensemble)

 

2022 Mayflower Theatre production of The Lightning Thief (Stuart Marti)

7. Let’s Learn HISTORY

These plays and musicals capture real-world events, both the small moments and the seismic occurrences, and bring them to life onstage. Encourage your actors to learn more about the world by researching the stories explored in these compelling stage works.

26 Pebbles by Eric Ulloa
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 2m)

A Piece of My Heart by Shirley Lauro
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 6f, 1m)

Anatomy of Gray by Jim Leonard Jr.
(Full-Length Play, Drama  /  5f, 4m)

Cabaret (1998 Version) by Joe Masteroff, John Van Druten, Christopher Isherwood, John Kander and Fred Ebb (Original 1966 Version and Revised 1987 Version also available)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 8f, 8m)

Decision Height by Meredith Dayna Levy
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 9f)

Defying Gravity by Jane Anderson
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4f, 3m)

Elephant’s Graveyard (One-Act Version) by George Brant
(Short Play, Drama / 3f, 10m)

Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 7m)

The Cover of Life by R.T. Robinson
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 1m)

The Diviners by Jim Leonard Jr.
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5f, 6m)

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 2f, 6m)

8. Let’s Learn LITERATURE

Here’s a category to make your English department happy! These plays and musicals are all adapted from works of literature, from Greek classics to contemporary youth fiction. Spark an interest in reading – in your cast and in your audience – by presenting a great show based on a great book.

Aesop’s (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables by Kim Esop-Wylie
(Short Play, Comedy / 8 any gender)

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2f, 5m)

James and the Giant Peach by David Wood and Roald Dahl
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 4m)

Ken Ludwig’s The Three Musketeers by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4f, 8m)

Ken Ludwig’s Treasure Island by Ken Ludwig and Robert Louis Stevenson
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2f, 9m)

Lost Girl by Kimberly Belflower
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 6m)

Shakespeare in Love (High School Edition) by Lee Hall, Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 18m)

The Canterville Ghost (Kelly) by Tim Kelly and Oscar Wilde
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 14f, 6m)

The Good Doctor by Neil Simon
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 3m)

The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less by Jay Hopkins and John Hunter
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 3m) 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by John Heimbuch, Jon Ferguson and Washington Irving
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 10 any gender)

The Lightning Thief by Joe Tracz, Rob Rokicki and Rick Riordan
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7 any gender +Ensemble)

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Susan Nanus
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 19 any gender)

Tuck Everlasting by Claudia Shear, Tim Federle, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen and Natalie Babbitt (also available in Theatre for Young Audiences Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 6m, 1 girl +Ensemble)

 

2015 5th Avenue Theatre production of Jasper in Deadland (Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

9. Let’s Learn SET DESIGN

Some are whimsical and filled with magic, some are dark and filled with dread. Two are set on a boat, and one requires some strategically placed doors for hilariously rapid-fire stage business. These plays and musicals will undoubtedly inspire your set design team to create their most impressive work.

Alice in Wonderland (Duffield) by Lewis Carroll and Brainerd Duffield (LeGallienne and Friebus Version also available)
(Full-Length Play / 20 any gender)

Amélie: Teen Edition by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messé and Nathan Tysen
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 7m, 1 girl +Ensemble)

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas by Irving Berlin, David Ives and Paul Blake
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 6m, 1 girl +Ensemble)

Jasper in Deadland by Hunter Foster and Ryan Scott Oliver
(Full-Length Musical, Dark Comedy / 4f, 5m)

Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 4m)

Noises Off by Michael Frayn
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 5m)

The Secret Garden by Marsha Norman, Lucy Simon and Frances Hodgson Burnett
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 10f, 12m, 1 girl, 1 boy +Ensemble)

The Wizard of Oz: Youth Edition by L. Frank Baum, Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg and Herbert Stothart (RSC Version also available)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 5m, 16 any gender)

Titanic by Peter Stone and Maury Yeston (Also available in a flexible cast-sized Ensemble Version)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 14f, 23m)

Yo, Vikings! by Sam Willmott and Marcus Stevens
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 8m +Ensemble)

10. Let’s Learn to SING in a Variety of Styles

There’s more than one way to sing in a musical, and these shows feature music of all styles. Inspire your cast to sing in a new form – from operetta, traditional Broadway and early rock ‘n’ roll to bluegrass, modern rock and contemporary musical theatre.

Be More Chill by Joe Iconis, Joe Tracz and Ned Vizzini
(Full Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 6m +Ensemble)

Bye Bye Birdie by Michael Stewart, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 5m +Ensemble)

Carrie: The Musical by Michael Gore, Dean Pitchford, Lawrence D. Cohen and Stephen King
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 5f, 2m +Ensemble)

Crazy For You® by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin and Ken Ludwig (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 4m +Ensemble)

Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun by Irving Berlin, Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields and Peter Stone
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 6m, 2 girls, 1 boy +Ensemble)

Kiss Me, Kate (Revised 1999) by Cole Porter, Sam Spewack and Bella Spewack
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 7m +Ensemble)

Punk Rock Girl by Joe Iconis, Rob Rokicki and various composer/lyricists
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 4m + Ensemble)

Rock of Ages: Teen Edition by Chris D’Arienzo (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 11f, 9m, 10 any gender)

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 6m +Ensemble)

School of Rock (Lloyd Webber) by Mike White, Julian Fellowes, Glenn Slater and Andrew Lloyd Webber
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 9m, 6 girls, 5 boys)

The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe and Gaston Leroux
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 4f, 6m +Ensemble)

The Sound Of Music by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (also available in a Youth Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 4m, 5 girls, 2 boys +Ensemble)

The Spitfire Grill by James Valcq, Fred Alley and Lee David Zlotoff
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 4f, 3m)

Zombie Prom by John Dempsey, Dana P. Rowe, Mac Tumminelli and Hugh M. Murphy (also available in a one-hour Atomic Edition)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 5m)


Header Image: 2017 Broadway production of The SpongeBob Musical