Every year, studies are done to see what schools are producing in their theatre departments, and year to year, there are many plays that regularly top the charts. Some of the most popular Music and Drama you might be played during your time. But, every year, there are also some surprises. Let’s look at the trends for plays over the years.
2019-2020 School Year
As the current school year is not over yet, we will start by looking at the previous year. According to Playbill.com, for the 2017-2018 school year, the top full-length drama has been performed by “Almost, Men” by John Carini and the top musical Alan Menken Music, was “Beauty and the Beast.” Apparently, “Nearly Main” is a steady trend topping the chart for more than three years in a row. “Beauty and the Beast” is new to the top spot but has been a regular presence in the top ten.
What else was a top choice according to playbill.com? For full-length plays, these plays round out the top five:
- “Almost, main”
- “a Midsummer Night’s Dream”
- “Peter and the Starcatcher”
- “Alice in Wonderland”
- “Our city”
In the music category, “Beauty and the Beast” reached the top, edging out last year’s favourite. According to the top five Playbill.com options are:
- “Beauty and the Beast”
- “The Addams Family”
- “the little Mermaid”
- “in forest”
In July 2015, NPR released a report that went up, looking at trends in school plays over the past few decades. Only two plays stood the test of time, coming in the top five most popular plays every decade since the 1940s: “You Can’t Take It With You” and “Our City.”
Back in 2011–2012, according to a post on the Education Week blog, the most produced school plays for ten years contained some surprises. This list was the result of a survey carried out every year by the journal Drama, published by the Educational Theater Association.
Almost, Maine is a recent play by John Cariani, first developed in the Cape Cod Theater Project in 2004 and Portland Stage Company in Maine in 2004. It opened Off-Broadway in 2005-2006 and is about a fictional Maine city dweller who is almost It is said that the northern lights falling in and because of love must have been floating over them in the sky.
Twelve was later turned into a 1957 film adaptation starring Henry Fonda written by angry man Reginald Rose. It has a liberal defence about the American jury system and provides a good cast for schools to cast many actors in important roles.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a common production by Shakespeare, often in middle schools. It is a comedy that features a woodland sprite and confused lovers falling prey to the mantra. The production can make creative costumes for woodland creatures.
Our town is a three-act drama written in 1938 by Thornton Wilder by a three-act Grover Corners who enacted a metaphor about birth, death, and moments in between.
You Can’t Take It With You is a Pulitzer Prize performed by George S. Kauffman and Moss Hart in three acts first performed in 1936. It’s about a seemingly eccentric family who are decidedly subjective and who may just be saner than conformists. The winning drama has many awkward moments with sparkling dialogue around them, and play.
The Crucible is a 1953 game about the Salem witch trials in the colonial era that is by Arthur Miller and also a commentary on the witch hunts during McCarthyism in the 1950s.
Shore Off as the actor is a fierce sex comedy stage set by Michael Frain, about a one-play within a play and production in 1982, and sees the audience endure the gum they bring to play from different perspectives…
Arsenic and Old Les is a centuries-old comic favourite by Joseph Kesselring, about a man working with his crazy relatives who appear harmless but are actually quite deadly.
The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde once performed 100 years ago that is still a play written over love for its funny elements and funny dialogue. Stage sets and costumes can also be colourful and Victorian in style.
The Laramie Project is about the 1998 murder by the Moises Kauffman / Tectonic Theater Project by Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming.
The controversy around school plays
A survey of teachers referenced in public high school drama The Education Week blog showed that 19% of teachers were challenged about their choices about who to play and that the Laramie project plays the most frequently challenged The given was in the middle. As a result, 38% of the time, the game that the teachers had chosen was ultimately not produced.
While some private school drama teachers have more leverage than public school teachers about what they produce, they don’t always get carte blanche, either. Schools often produce crowd-pleasers rather than more provocative dramas, and these shows attract more parents and young children, but that there are interesting plays that are particularly good for high school students and that in private Creating thought-provoking and recalls can be beneficial for school audiences can benefit, especially if parents are only asked to bring older children to production.