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School play - Ideas/advice PLEASE

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by adambattey, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. adambattey

    adambattey Member

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    Hi guys,

    I am currently pulling my hair out (as are the rest of the department here at the school where I work) trying to think of a musical that we can perform in march next year.

    Does anyone know of a list of what musicals are available for performance (licences etc) so that we can look through it and see if anything jumps out? Or can anyone suggest anything that can be performed by around 160 12-14year olds?

    Stressness!!

    Cheers in advance!

    Adam
     
  2. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    For starters, check out this site.

    It is a {pretty much} complete listing of all of the musicals available from all of the licensing companies. Most of those companies have some form of show selector where you can choose information based on different factors that pertain to your group.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Nearly every musical... or at least every MAJOR musical... can be rented from one of these three companies:

    Tams Witmark Music Library

    Musical Theater International

    Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization

    160 kids? Most musicals top out around 30-40 cast members. I'm sure there are low grade cheesy musicals out there for casts that large but you just won't find quality known scripts that work that large. Schools often take a major show and stretch them by adding lots of extras... but 160? Even if you broke them into two groups and double casted the show you would still have far too many. No matter what you do you aren't going to have more than half a dozen kids with significant roles and then 150 extras. As far as I'm concerned that's nuts. What's the value to being extra number 153 in a show? Have you considered telling people "no try again next year"? Are you in a school where you are being told you have to do a musical with everyone?

    The only thing I can think of is if you did Wizard of Oz and have 20 munchkins, 20 crows, 20 jitter bugs, 20 flying monkeys, 20 emerald city extras, and the rest as extras on the witch's castle staff... but as a former high school teacher it doesn't make sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  4. Cashwalker

    Cashwalker Member

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    In 6th grade, the entire grade did Annie Get Your Gun.... Everyone started on stage for the opening number, and then whoever wasn't a real cast member sat in front of the stage on riser steps facing the audience to sing chorus.... There were two Franks, two Annies, two Buffalo Bills, two Sitting Bulls, and a couple other major roles, one for each act. Total grade size was around 150. It wasn't much fun for us sitting on the risers... probably a large contribution to my not wanting to be "in the light".
     
  5. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with this. If you MUST do a musical, then you MUST split your group up. And then preferably split those groups again. Then you're looking manageable.

    Can you share your situation? You may want to look into doing two different shows (a musical and a play? two plays? two musicals?)
     
  6. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    Oddly enough, in my highschool anyone who auditioned for the spring musical got in. Average around 150-170 kids, grades 9-12. Mostly they just casted the leads, then used everyone else as dancers/extras, breaking them down into different dance groups and such.

    Shows I know they have done in the past five years...Footloose, Kiss Me Kate, Bells are Ringing, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Copacabana.

    Its possible, but I didn't really like that they casted that many.
     
  7. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Most schools replace props with actors, for example, instead of a tree, you have a person in a tree costume. Instead of a light as a prop, you have a person wearing a lap shade with a torch taped to there head.Yey for high schools. The curtain call takes up half the show as every lobster and couch as to take a bow, but, in the end, you get everyone into whatever musical you are doing :p
    Plus more people will do tech if they can't be an actor.

    Nick
     
  8. adambattey

    adambattey Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys....and I'm glad it's not just me who thinks that this is all a bit rediculous! I'm new here and apparently this is the norm and has been for the past 5 years! Every kid who auditions gets a part - a practice I really don't like. They have done Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Bugsey Malone, Footloose, and Return to the Forbidden Planet (which in the script has a cast of 8!!) and they have HUGE chorus's and named chorus to give the kids a bit of identity. There is a lot of the 125 chorus flooding onto the stage for each production number decending like a plage of neon locust to stand and mime or dance totally out of time!

    Given the numbers, The Wizard of Oz was my initial thought but who listens to the techie in a situation like this?!? Ha ha ha! The producers would be able to have a lot of different groups...but apparently the content may be offensive...not as offencive as 100 kids who can't sing I reckon!!

    We do have to do a musical [apparently] and it must be inclusive for all Year 8 and 9 students. The Year 10's are currently doing a Midsummer Nights Dream [...Don't even get me started on that one!!! :wall: ]

    Anywho! Cheers for replying! Hope you're all peachy!

    Adam
     
  9. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    That's why its vitally important that you make sure your Audio guys learn only to Mic the people that can sing. That way no one's ears bleed.
    Nick
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    This is a situation that screams for Double Casting!

    I know ! You can do High School Musical ! With a cast of thousands ! :rolleyes:


    < Van runs and hides>
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    What's offensive about Wizard of Oz? I directed it about 10 years ago... can't think of anything offensive.

    It's racist toward green people? Flying Monkey animal activists will protest? Perhaps offensive to those who don't have a brain?
     
  12. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Time for one of my favorite graphics.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    From Oz Populism Theory :
    [​IMG]
     
  14. adambattey

    adambattey Member

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    Ha ha ha! I may have to hurt people if we start talking HSM!!!
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah I guess I vaguely remember reading something about that long ago. It takes a history lesson longer than the show for most of us to understand why it could be offensive in 2009. Is that really why you aren't doing it?

    Sorry, I come from one of the most liberal states in the US. Then I taught in a poor urban public school where everyone was on welfare and no one cared what happened. I had students not cut a joke about being "master of your own domain" from a scene (which I told them to cut by the way) and I didn't get in trouble for it. As long as my students weren't stoned or packing weapons, the administration didn't care what happened in the theater. We had two girls get in a fight and one of the moms came down to the school and beat up the security guard who broke up the fight (mother and daughter were hauled off in matching police cars). The actor playing the Cowardly Lion stole a crowbar from my shop and left campus to try to kill his drug dealer... he didn't have the money to pay his bill and figured murder was his best option. Somebody killed a guy and dumped his body on the school's football field. There were drive by shootings at the bus stop across the street from the school. You can see how a parable about populism was not on anyone's radar as possibly offensive at my high school.
     
  16. kmabbey

    kmabbey Member

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    well, I have to admit 90 is the most I have ever worked with in one cast. But shows that lend themselves to many different chorus/dancing groupings are Honk, Starmites (banshees coming from every entrance! and live trees) and yep, hate to admit High School Musical. What is wrong with double casting? Seems like the basics of where to look for musical scripts has been covered for you.
    cheers
     
  17. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    The only problem that I see with double casting, is double rehearsals. Even with double casting, it seems that the cast will be abnormally large and difficult to manage. I agree that it appears to be the best solution to a bad situation, but that's like putting a band-aid on a severed limb.

    Is it possible to set out the season and have auditions once per year? That way you could divide the 160 odd students into multiple productions and still give everyone a roll. It might give you the opportunity to convince some people to work on the tech side of things as well. It's all part of the production.
     
  18. Grommet

    Grommet Member

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    my high school did a show that could have been performed with 6-10 and we did it with 40. There were lots of kick lines involved.

    There was an elementry school show that has a cast of 70. But they some how have a parent who writes the scripts for their yearly show.
     

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