Hi everyone! I'm directing my elementary school's musical for the first time this year and I'm very excited to do so. I assisted with the musical last year, so I have an idea of the kids' skill levels.I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas for a musical for grades 3~5. In the past, they have done Jungle Book Jr., and a musical called Summer Camp. I had Little Mermaid Jr. in mind, but I was worried that the length or amount of songs might be tough for this age. There are kids who could perfectly fit the main roles (all 5 graders), and we have a ton of kids to fill in ensemble parts. The other concern I have is, our show isn't in the theatre but rather in our multi-purpose room which, can be equipped with stage lights, but is not a full large stage, so it would require some creativity for set creation.Does anyone have any other suggestions? Do you think for this age The Little Mermaid Jr. is a good option?
Have you thought of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice?Eventually, a film version was produced by ALW with Donny Osmond and Maria Friedman as Joseph and Narrator, with a minimum of sets...and was contemplated in the prologue as entertainment for school kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnPClWznEY4
jo said: "Have you thought of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice?Eventually, a film version was produced by ALW with Donny Osmond and Maria Friedman as Joseph and Narrator, with a minimum of sets...and was contemplated in the prologue as entertainment for school kids.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnPClWznEY4"I absolutely LOVE this show! I'm worried though that there doesn't seem to be a kids version of the show? Also, I have a strong female actress I'd love to spotlight, especially since last year a male actor was the main role.
Maybe you can check with RUG ( Really Useful Group) of ALWebber?This site may also help --https://themusicalcompany.com/show/joseph/
Thank you for the resource! Very helpful.
Thanks for the suggestion for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown! I'll look into it.I think the middle school wants to do Annie Jr. next year, so I'm trying to stay away from doing that show!
I'm looking into Giants in the Sky! Thanks for the suggestion!
It's a bit more obscure but there's Dear Edwina: https://www.mtishows.com/dear-edwina-jrAlso, I'm sure you've seen what MTI has in their junior series, but there's a lot of options here: https://www.mtishows.com/broadway-junior/shows
I think my main concern is, would a Jr. show, which is typically for middle school, be suitable for 3~5 graders to perform?
Peter PanWizard of OzOnce On This IslandBye Bye BirdieSeussical
My daughter has been in full length versions of the shows I just mentioned, at that age. And junior versions are available. I once directed the full length version of Peter Pan with grades 2 to 4.
We do JR shows all the time with elementary students at the theater I work at. They can handle the material just fine. They might not be able to do all the harmony, but the shows are short enough that they can memorize their lines, learn the melodies, and retain choreography. Little Mermaid Jr is solid. I also really like the updates they made to Aladdin Jr a couple years ago (they pull a lot from the Broadway version, including High Adventure, Babkak Omar Aladdin Kassim, and These Palace Walls). Honk Jr, Annie Jr, Frozen Jr, Mary Poppins Jr, James and the Giant Peach Jr, and Dear Edwina Jr are also very doable.I would avoid Music Man Jr, Beauty and the Beast Jr, Mulan Jr, Seussical Jr, and Alice in Wonderland Jr. The first four are longer Jr shows (closer to 90 minutes than an hour). Alice in Wonderland Jr is very hard. The songs are all quite fast and stylized and the resolution to the trial is frustratingly hard.
I work with 4th-5th graders and I actually think Music Man Jr would be a good pick. That's actually what my own elementary school did when I was in 5th grade and I found it very manageable. I played Harold Hill and had no problem memorizing lines - you just have to make sure the kids you give speaking parts to actually want to be involved and will do the work. It also has good featured ensemble roles, and can accommodate a big cast. It's also a good lesson in different types of music, singing and rhythm, and I'm assuming the goal for younger kids is not to put on a smash hit, but something to introduce them to theater and teach them about music and acting. There's also a well done movie adaptation and lots of footage of different people singing the songs for reference. Also, I'm assuming your audience will be mostly parents, and they will thank you for putting on a show they actually find interesting as opposed to sitting through 90 minutes of bad renditions of Disney movies they've already had to sit through with their kid 10 times.
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