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Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-06 16:44:23


Hey y'all. So I'm directing this year's school musical at my little brother's Middle School this year and need advice. Which shows do you think would be best for Middle Schoolers? Please consider their age (11-14), their attention span, (not big), and appropriateness. I am thinking about the following:

HOW TO SUCCEED
SEUSSICAL
SHREK
ANNIE
INTO THE WOODS
URINETOWN
HARISPRAY
AVENUE Q: SCHOOL EDITION
ELF

Also open to any suggestions. Any/all USEFULL responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Middle School Show Question
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-11-06 16:50:27


Is there a Urinetown JR? I saw it at a High school and parents were outraged.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-06 16:51:01


Oh. Really? I've never seen it, a friend of mine suggested it.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by JRybka 2012-11-06 16:53:53


Seussical would be good.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by PetitPapillon 2012-11-06 16:55:21


I agree, Seussical is probably your best bet out of those.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-06 16:57:15


I agree that Seussical is great, but it's practically all music. Most students at this school won't be able to sit through 1.5 hours of singing.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by tazber 2012-11-06 17:09:38


I would recommend Hair School Edition.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by ggersten 2012-11-06 17:14:18


You didn't say how big a cast you wanted/could have/must have.

HOW TO SUCCEED No. Not appropriate and not relatable.
SEUSSICAL Best bet.
SHREK Is this even available?
ANNIE Ego issues.
INTO THE WOODS School Edition that cuts Act 2 could be good.
URINETOWN No.
HARISPRAY Possible.
AVENUE Q: SCHOOL EDITION Don't think so.
ELF Is this even available?

Other "popular" Middle School shows around here: Guys and Dolls, Jr.; Once on this Island, Jr.;
Fiddler has a large cast.
Anything Goes can have a large cast.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by temms 2012-11-06 17:28:37


MTI, the licensing house, offers one-hour versions of several of those titles, specifically designed for performance by Middle Schoolers. I strongly encourage you to check out the titles they offer. Seussical, Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods, and Annie are all available as well as a number of Disney titles.

Music is put into keys that are more friendly for adolescent voices, and the shows are smartly cut down. I've attached the link below.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-06 17:39:12


ggersten, MTI does liscense SHREK and ELF.
I don't know the cast size. Last year we did The Wizard of Oz, and had 22 people audition. We only used Dorothy, Scarecrow, Lion, Tinman, Wizard, Glinda, Witch of the West, and 2 Munchkins. (Toto was a stuffed dog). So essentially only 9 people of the 22 got parts. I can't predict how many will audition this year.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by dramamama611 2012-11-06 20:02:25


The Jrs are a great thing for new directors and young casts. Shrek would be a technical nightmare.

Seussical is a wonderful show for middle graders. I don't love the show, but I loved working on it and so did the kids. (Middle Graders)

The Jr version is (imho) far superior to the full length.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by ggersten 2012-11-07 13:00:25


The MTI site says Shrek is not available until June 2013 and ELF is "restricted".
But, I'm more concerned that you seem to want to restrict your cast size. 22 auditioned for Oz and you cast only 9? That seems counterproductive to an educational experience. With all of the opportunities for munchkins, monkeys, jitterbugs...
(FWIW, I'm with dramamama611 - go with Seussical)

Have fun with whatever you choose - and do check back in and tell us what you chose.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-11-07 13:52:49


They let another student direct the school musical?

Middle School Show Question
Posted by trentsketch 2012-11-07 14:02:54


Seussical is a good choice. I also had a really great experience over the summer music directing middle school kids in a production of The Music Man Jr. Honestly, I'd lean towards one of the 60 minute Jr. shows rather than the 90 minute shows. It'll be easier on you and the kids will have less down time during rehearsal.

At that age, they just want a chance to perform. Choose a show you think they can handle that you enjoy and then sell them on how great it is as you go.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-11-07 14:06:18


No offense but you're picking a musical and you aren't familiar with the musicals you are considering? How can you possibly make a decision?

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-11-07 14:08:32


Probably because it's not true

Middle School Show Question
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-11-07 14:41:35


Hairspray.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Wilmingtom 2012-11-07 14:45:28


R&H has very good student versions of STATE FAIR, OKLAHOMA!, THE KING AND I, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS and CINDERELLA.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-07 16:37:08


Joe, most of these have been suggestions from other people.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Wynbish 2012-11-07 16:51:33


You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Snoopy
Best Little Whorehouse

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Wilmingtom 2012-11-07 17:04:40


...Goes Public.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by JRybka1611 2012-11-07 17:06:55


I still think you should do the amazing off Broadway musical about politics. "Let My People Come" --

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-11-07 17:13:25


So you cast only nine people in a show last year and you're considering all these large cast shows? Do you have enough African-American students for Hairspray? Are you sure you're not just making all this up?

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-07 18:30:55


^^^

Yea, I'm sure I'm not making this up. The school is 40% black. We have had a high interest level this year, with lots of students asking for audition dates and what the show will be.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Wynbish 2012-11-07 18:33:10


... Are you really sure? Really?

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-07 18:42:16


Are you sure?

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Jon 2012-11-07 19:08:08


Once On this Island - either the regular or Jr. version. Cast can be as small as 11, or can be large. Can be all black, mixed, or (please God no) all white.

Middle School Show Question
Posted by Quiche2 2012-11-07 19:25:31


Thanks Jon, I'll look into that.