HighSchoolMusicalsEvery year, the folks at the Educational Theatre Association publish a list of the most performed plays and musicals in high schools around the country.

Here’s what drama clubs were up to this year (click the links to read more about the shows):

Top 10 Plays

1) Almost, Maine
2) A Midsummer Night’s Dream
3) You Can’t Take It With You
4) Noises Off
5) Twelve Angry Men
6) Alice in Wonderland (various adaptations)
7) The Crucible
8) Our Town
9) Neil Simon’s Fools
10) A Christmas Carol (various adaptations)

Top 10 Musicals

1)
 Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
2) Seussical
3) Grease
4) Into the Woods
5) Footloose
6) The Wizard of Oz (multiple adaptations)
7) You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
8) The Music Man
9) Once Upon a Mattress
10) Thoroughly Modern Millie

So, for those of us who don’t have kids, why is this important to us?

If you produce and/or invest in a Broadway play or an Off-Broadway play or musical (and sometimes in a revival), you are usually entitled to receive a percentage of the subsidiary income that the authors receive for productions in regional theaters, community theaters, and yes high schools.

And with the right show, this can be a substantial number.

In fact, the possibility of a lucrative post-Broadway life is a reason why so many (smart) Producers and investors choose certain projects.  While a show may not make it to the recoupment finish line on Broadway, the subsidiary market can often get it well beyond the profitability mark.

In film terms, the regional, community, and high school theater market is like the DVD market.

So when you are contemplating investing in a Broadway show or Off-Broadway show, or producing a Broadway or Off-Broadway show, take a look at one of these lists.  Does your show have similar characteristics (big casts, positive messages, colorful costumes)?

If so, you could have a very nice “stock and amateur” insurance policy in case your Broadway dreams turn into a nightmare.

(Click here to read a follow up story on that play at the top of the list.)

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One Response to The Top 10 Most Performed Plays & Musicals in High Schools

  1. Tom Hoefner says:

    In my twelve years directing academic theatre (high school and college), I’ve directed seven of these twenty shows: Midsummer, Crucible, Fools (which I’m really surprised to find here, honestly), Seussical, Footloose, Charlie Brown, and Millie (and as a student I was in Mattress.
    Big casts, fun music, and colorful characters, costumes, and settings still rule the day in academic theater, undoubtedly, because academic theatre directors who know their jobs are producers who are looking to please not just the kids, but the parents (lots of parts for everyone) and the administration (not too threatening, please).
    This is why there will always be a home on and off Broadway for shows that fit that bill, no matter how many “theater is art” types turn their noses up at them.

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