Year to year, the casting needs of a theatre company change. Students come and go, and theatre companies fluctuate from 40 to four performers. This list of plays and musicals rounds up shows with flexible casting demands. They can generally be expanded to fit the needs of a large cast, or might have doubling, where multiple roles in one show are played by the same actor. Explore Concord Theatricals’ flexible shows below!
Because each of the titles below can be adapted to work with a larger or smaller group than what’s listed (i.e., 5f, 5m), these casting counters are a suggestion. Take a look at the cast list for each title on the Concord Theatricals website to get a sense for how doubling or expandable casting could work for your particular group.
The 1940s Radio Hour by Walton Jones (US)
(Full-Length Musical / 5f, 10m, Flexible Casting)
Set during a live 1942 broadcast of The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade, this marvelously theatrical and nostalgic show features a panoply of lovable characters, including a harassed producer, a drunk lead singer, a fame-hungry delivery boy, a beleaguered second banana, and a trumpet-playing sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.
26 Pebbles by Eric Ulloa (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 2m, Flexible Casting)
Similar in style to The Laramie Project, 26 Pebbles is a heartbreaking and riveting docudrama. Playwright Eric Ulloa conducted interviews with members of the community in Newtown and crafted them into an exploration of gun violence and a small town shaken by a horrific event. There’s plenty of room in this play for an ensemble to help set the scene as each of the principal characters share their stories.
35mm: A Musical Exhibition by Ryan Scott Oliver (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical / 2f, 3m, Flexible Casting)
Can a picture inspire a song or fifteen? In 35mm, each photo creates a unique song, moments frozen in time; a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening. A stunning new multimedia musical which explores a groundbreaking new concept in musical theatre. Featuring several moments where individual singers can sing to the rafters, in addition to strong group numbers, this title’s songs can be broken up so that solos are shared by many performers.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing, conceived by Walter Bobbie (US/UK)
(Musical Revue, Comedy / 3f, 2m, Flexible Casting)
Taste and imagination, the two key ingredients for a first-rate revue, abound in this fresh take on the Rodgers & Hammerstein canon, conceived by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie. The grand, sweeping music of Rodgers & Hammerstein is perfectly suited to being uplifted by ornamental dancing or dynamic choral support.
CATS by Andrew Lloyd Webber (US)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 11m + Ensemble, Flexible Casting)
The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year—the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life. In this show, everybody’s got a part, everybody can do a number, and performance groups can go mad with costumes, sets and choreography. Also available in a Young Actors Edition!
Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope by Micki Grant (US)
(Musical Revue, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 6m, Flexible Casting)
This dynamic mix of rock, pop, calypso and ballads – a Tony nominee for Best Musical – celebrates and explores the African American experience through vibrant song and dance. Micki Grant’s textured musical arrangements give opportunities to vocalists at many skill levels, and leaves lots of room for choreographic interpretation by a large (or small) ensemble.
First Date by Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 3m,, Flexible Casting)
When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. This title has room for an additional ensemble, and Concord Theatricals also licenses a version of this musical for a smaller group — First Date (5 Actor Version) (US/UK).
for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 7f, Flexible Casting)
Capturing the brutal, tender and dramatic lives of contemporary Black women, for colored girls… offers a transformative, riveting evening of provocative dance, music and poetry. Each character gets to share her story in the spotlight, and there’s much room for dynamic group movement — and the seven characters can be split up further for larger ensembles.
Fugitive Songs by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen (US/UK)
(Musical Revue, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 3m, Flexible Casting)
Award-winning songwriters Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen’s Fugitive Songs is a 19-song journey across America, featuring a multi-ethnic ensemble between the ages of 20 and 40. Featuring solos, duets, small- and large-group numbers, this adaptable song cycle is perfect for schools, community theatres, and fringe groups. Conceived as half-musical/half-hootenanny, Fugitive Songs spotlights people on the run: a disgruntled Subway sandwich employee, a jilted ex-cheerleader, a pair of Patty Hearst fanatics, a s
toner forced to rob a convenience store against his will, and many others.
Greater Tuna by Jaston Williams, Ed Howard and Joe Sears (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2m or f, Flexible Casting)
What do Arles Struvie, Thurston Wheelis, Aunt Pearl, Petey Fisk, Phineas Blye, and Rev. Spikes have in common? In this hilarious send-up of small-town morals and mores, they are all among the upstanding citizens of Tuna, Texas’ third-smallest town. Concord Theatricals also licenses several other Tuna plays with flexible casting requirements, including A Tuna Christmas (US) and Deep in the Heart of Tuna (US).
Hair by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt McDermot (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 4f, 5m, Flexible Casting)
The American tribal love rock musical Hair celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory. Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, Hair remains relevant as ever as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world. While Hair features principal roles, a central “character” in the musical is the “tribe,” a highly-involved ensemble of bohemians living in their summer of love.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts (US/UK)
(Musical Revue, Comedy / 2f, 2m, Flexible Casting)
This celebration of the mating game takes on the truths and myths behind that contemporary conundrum know as “the relationship.” Though a series of songs and sketches, Act I explores the journey from dating and waiting to love and marriage, while Act II reveals the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, trips in the family car and pick-up techniques of the geriatric set.
Kodachrome by Adam Szymkowicz (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 2m + Ensemble, Flexible Casting)
Welcome to Colchester, a small town where everybody knows each other and the pace of life allows the pursuit of love to take up as much space as it needs. Our tour guide is Suzanne, the town photographer, who lets us peek into her neighbors’ lives to catch glimpses of romance in all its stages of development. Written with doubling in mind, the community of Colchester can be represented by a large group of talented actors.
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire by Caryl Churchill (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 2f, 4m, Flexible Casting)
Caryl Churchill’s drama, set during the English Civil War, tells the story of the men and women who went into battle for the soul of England. Passionate, moving and provocative, it speaks of the revolution we never had and the legacy it left behind. The sense of social upheaval can be amplified when troupes choose to use a larger group of revolutionaries.
Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood by Adam Szymkowicz (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 4m, 6 any gender, Flexible Casting)
A gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale. Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble?
Monstersongs by Rob Rokicki (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 5f, 5m, 4 any gender, Flexible Casting)
Something wicked this way rocks! Monstersongs puts audiences in a synthesized world of graphic novels, rock musicals, live performance and new technology. Following the journey of a child who opens a portal into the psyches of often misunderstood creatures, Monstersongs flips the switch on the monster narrative, inviting audiences to explore the humanity that binds us all.
Nine (Ensemble Version) by Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / Flexible Casting)
This new Ensemble version of the spectacular musical adaptation of Fellini’s 8½ features an updated score and flexible casting. Celebrated but impetuous film director Guido Contini, succumbing to the pressures of filming his latest film epic, suffers a midlife crisis. One by one, women from his past and present haunt and encourage him until he finally learns to grow up.
Now. Here. This. (Flexible Version) by Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell and Jeff Bowen (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / Any gender, Flexible Casting)
This edition of Bell, Blackwell and Bowen’s contemporary musical has been designed for theaters, schools, institutions and programs that want to increase cast size and/or use an ensemble. The piece follows the evolution and adventures of a group of friends as they journey through time, from the present to the past and back again. Tackling life’s big questions, the group attempt to step directly into that elusive “present moment.”
Nunsense: the Mega-Musical Version by Dan Goggin (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 9f, 2m, 5m or f, Flexible Casting)
All the fun of the original Nunsense (US/UK) has been super-sized. This award-winning show is the perfect large ca
st musical comedy. Starring the original’s five nuns alongside five new characters and a large chorus, this piece is boiling over with fun and frolic.
Private Peaceful (Ensemble Version) by Michael Morpurgo and Simon Reade (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5f, 14m, Flexible Casting)
This play tells the moving story of a young soldier, killed by firing squad in the First World War. As he awaits his execution, he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in rural Devon, from his first days at school to the rosiest romance of his young life. This adaptation of the work is for larger ensemble casts — Concord Theatricals also licenses a version for one actor (US/UK), as well as a version for a smaller ensemble (US/UK).
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Satire/Political Satire / Flexible Casting)
A wildly experimental and inventive new play that does not behave. Playwright Alice Birch has threaded together a grouping of vignettes that ask how to revolutionize language, relationships, work and life in general while tearing at the seams of conformity.
Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 3m, 1 girl, 3 boys, Flexible Casting)
Based on the classic bestselling novel by Sue Townsend, this critically acclaimed West End musical brings Britain’s best-loved spotty teenager’s story to life for a new generation of theatregoers. Adrian Mole, a 13¾ year-old misunderstood intellectual, lives with dysfunctional parents, ungrateful elders and a growing debt to school bully Barry Kent.
The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow, from the novel by John Buchan (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 1f, 1m, 2 any gender, Flexible Casting)
Blending a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel and Monty Python gives you The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre. This two-time Tony Award-winning treat is brimming with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters played by a cast of four (or more), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance! Also available are an abridged (US/UK) and even more abridged (US/UK) version of the play, both of which substantially reduce the play’s running time.
The Amish Project (Ensemble) by Jessica Dickey (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 3m, Flexible Casting)
The Amish Project is a fictional exploration of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting in an Amish community and the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake. Originally produced as a one-woman play (US/UK), the piece has now been adapted for an ensemble cast.
The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less by Jay Hopkins, John Hunter and Homer (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 3m, Flexible Casting)
On a simple stage, with the clock ticking in front of everyone’s eyes, the cast speeds through all of Greek Mythology. Every silly decision, absurd destiny and goofy character is presented with lightning-bolt speed with hysterical results as the clock is stopped with only seconds to spare. With so many characters to play, this piece can be done with an expandable cast or ensemble.
The Jungle Book by Tracey Power and Rudyard Kipling (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 3m, Flexible Casting)
Tracey Power’s lively, youthful and ultimately powerful adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling classic tells the story of a boy abandoned in the jungle who finds his place among a community of animals. The play can be performed with a cast of as few as five actors or many, many more.
The Lightning Thief by Joe Tracz and Rob Rokicki, adapted from the book by Rick Riordan (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7 any gender, Flexible Casting)
When teenager Percy Jackson discovers he’s a demigod, he and his friends embark on an epic journey to find Zeus’ missing lightning bolt and prevent a war among the gods. This dynamic musical can be performed by a cast of seven, with each playing multiple roles, or the roles can be broken down further, accommodating a cast of up to 30 or more.
The SpongeBob Musical by Stephen Hillenburg, Kyle Jarrow, Tina Landau and Various Musical Artists (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 16 any gender, Flexible Casting)
SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope see
ms lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. With six principal characters and a massive ensemble that can be doubled (or not), this lovable musical can be performed by casts of all sizes!
Titanic – Ensemble Version by Peter Stone, Maury Yeston and Ian Weinberger (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 6f, 14m, Flexible Casting)
This clever adaptation of Yeston and Stone’s sweeping, dynamic musical only calls for a cast of 20, and an orchestra of six, to tell the gripping story of the ocean liner’s maiden voyage and tragic demise.
What to Send Up When It Goes Down by Aleshea Harris (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 4m, Flexible Casting)
What to Send Up When It Goes Down is a community ritual created in response to the deaths of Black people as a result of racialized violence. As lines between characters and actors — as well as observers and observed — blur, a dizzying series of vignettes builds to a climactic moment in which performance and reality collide, highlighting the absurdity of anti-Blackness in our society. The all-Black cast can be scaled up or down, depending on performance group needs.
Header Image: 2003 Roundabout Theatre Company production of Nine (Joan Marcus).