The Top 10 Most Performed Plays & Musicals in High Schools (Updated 2018).

Every 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

 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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Did you enjoy this post? Check out the most recent version of this list on my post The Most Licensed Plays & Musicals of 2015-2016!

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How to make all of your staffers into sellers.

If you’ve ever done community theater, you know that the majority of the tickets are purchased by friends and family of the people on stage.

When I did community theater, we were actually given stacks of tickets, and told to sell them to our friends and family.

It was an instant audience.

The smartest community and high school theaters chose bigger shows, knowing that the more cast members in the show, the more peeps (and parents) in the house.

Well, just because you’ve climbed the ladder of professionalism all the way to Broadway, doesn’t mean this scenario ceases to exist.  Friends and family buy tickets to Broadway shows too, and those tickets are sold mostly by the cast and crews.  Unlike smaller theatrical productions, which only run for a handful of performances, Broadway shows exhaust the friends and family audience pretty quickly.

But . . .

What if we could take this natural pattern and use it to turn the casts and crews of our shows into our sales force?

This is a perfect example of what I call “Fan-The-Flame” marketing.  If you see something is working on its own, it’s your job to blow on it . . . and blow it up.

So, how can we make this concept burn hotter?  What about this . . .

What’s the most common question you get when you meet someone new?  “What do you do?”  Right?  Now imagine you’re an actor in a Broadway show.  You can bet that the person you just met is going to be pretty excited to talk to you.  And odds are, if you tried, you could probably convert a ticket sale to your show right there on the spot . . . if you had the right tools . . . and the right motivation.

What if your show or institution adopted a sales commission strategy for all their employees on a show by show basis.  I don’t care if you’re the marketing director, the concessionaire, an actor, or a parking attendant.  Sell a ticket?  Make $1, $5 or even as high as $10.

You make more money. Your employees make more money.  No risk.

Everyone is happy.

Might you lose a few bucks by paying commission on orders that your employees probably would have put in anyway?  Maybe . . . but I guarantee that’ll quickly pay that loss back back with the motivated personnel you just put out on the streets . . . at no additional cost to you (it’s commission only).

You won’t get 100% participation from your employees..  And most will sell just a few, because as much as everyone says they want to make more money, the truth is, many don’t want to do extra work.  But I’d bet you’ll find at least one person that sells like Crazy Eddie.

Your employees should already be the greatest brand ambassadors you have.

So why not turn every single one of them into the greatest sales people you have?