Printer-friendly version

Play survey

'Beauty' on top for sixth year

For the sixth consecutive year, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was the top musical in our annual survey of most-produced titles in United States high school theatres. Another show celebrating feminine smarts over good looks, Legally Blonde the Musical, made its freshman appearance on the list, at number four.

John Cariani’s episodic comedy Almost, Maine and Shakespeare’s durable A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which have been trading places at the top of the full-length plays list for the past several years, were one and two among nonmusical works. Behind them were two titles with serious play survey credentials: Our Town, making its seventieth appearance, and the wacky Kaufman and Hart comedy You Can’t Take It With You, which has been on the top ten list in each of the seventy-five years since the rights were made available to high schools in 1939.

It was all comedy, all the time on the list of most-produced short plays, led by three perennial favorites: Jonathan Rand’s Check Please, Christopher Durang’s The Actor’s Nightmare, and Stephen Gregg’s This Is a Test.

Dramatics magazine and the International Thespian Society have conducted the production survey annually since 1938. The Thespian Society’s approximately 4,500 member schools, and in recent years, selected unaffiliated schools, are invited to participate. About 900 responses were received this year.

Musicals
1. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Linda Woolverton (MTI)
2. Guys and Dolls, by Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, and Jo Swerling (MTI)
3. Once Upon a Mattress, by Mary Rodgers, Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
4. Legally Blonde the Musical, by Laurence O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin, and Heather Hach (MTI)
5. Bye Bye Birdie, by Charles Strouse, Lee Adams, and Michael Stewart (Tams-Witmark)
6. Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine (MTI) 1
7. Grease, by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey (Samuel French)
8. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
9. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, by Clark Gesner (Tams-Witmark)
10. (tie) Footloose, by Dean Pitchford, Walter Bobbie, and Tom Snow (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
10. (tie) Little Shop of Horrors, by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (MTI)
10. (tie) Seussical, by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (MTI)

Full-length plays
1. Almost, Maine, by John Cariani (Dramatists Play Service)
2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare (public domain)
3. Our Town, by Thornton Wilder (Samuel French)
4. You Can’t Take It With You, by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart (Dramatists Play Service)
5. Twelve Angry Jurors, by Reginald Rose (Dramatic Publishing Company)2
6. (tie) The Crucible, by Arthur Miller (Dramatists Play Service)
6. (tie) Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare (public domain)
8. Harvey, by Mary Chase (Dramatists Play Service)
9. Alice in Wonderland, various adaptations
10. The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde (public domain)

Short plays
1. Check Please, by Jonathan Rand (Playscripts Inc.)
2. The Actor’s Nightmare, by Christopher Durang (Dramatists Play Service)
3. This Is a Test, by Stephen Gregg (Dramatic Publishing Company)
4. (tie) 13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview, by Ian McWethy (Playscripts Inc.)
4. (tie) It’s Not You, It’s Me, by Don Zolidis (Playscripts Inc.)
6. How to Succeed in High School Without Really Trying, by Jonathan Rand (Playscripts Inc.)
7. (tie) The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, by Don Zolidis (Playscripts Inc.)
7. (tie) Check Please: Take 2, by Jonathan Rand (Playscripts Inc.)
7. (tie) Hard Candy, by Jonathan Rand (Playscripts Inc.)
10. Sure Thing, by David Ives (Dramatists Play Service)

Notes
1. Includes productions of MTI Broadway Junior versions of this title.
2. Includes productions under the titles Twelve Angry Men and Twelve Angry Women.

—Compiled by Jhon Marshall