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High School Productions Showcasing Female Playwrights 

Photo credit Anna Shvets Pexels.

It is a simple fact that plays written by male playwrights are being produced in high school theatre programs more often than shows written by female playwrights. The reasons for this are varied and may be a result of several factors.

To help explore options that might diversify your library of playscripts, here is a list that highlights female playwrights worth considering as you plan your next theatrical season. 

The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Brevoort
Start prepping those Scottish accents now … it may be the most lighthearted efforts of the whole production! This is a heartbreaking story loosely based on the real-life efforts of an American woman searching the Scottish countryside for her son’s remains after the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 flight over Lockerbie in 1988. The gripping story and the palpable grief make this one of the most challenging and rewarding plays for high school.  
Licensed by Dramatists Play Service.  

Love of a Pig by Leslie Caveny 
Here’s a classic unlucky-in-love story for your strongest female actor. The script’s language is sharp with plenty of modern humor. The set is simple, and costuming is minimal. Audiences laugh out loud at the hilarity. Caveny also wrote for the TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Be mindful that the story content is best suited for audiences of teens and older. 
Licensed by Concord Theatricals 

Night of January 16th by Ayn Rand 
This play tells the story of a murder trial with a twist. The jury is selected from the audience, and they get to decide whether the defendant, Karen Andre, is guilty or not. Obviously, each jury’s decision changes the end of the play. This variable element, which can change the outcome from one show to the next, keeps your cast alert. Audiences are excited by being involved, too. The entire play takes place in the courtroom. (One set, no scene changes!) There are plenty of parts for many different witnesses. The two main roles are the lawyer who are on stage for the whole show.  
Licensed by Concord Theatricals 

Antigone in Munich by Claudia Haas 
This full-length play was produced on the main stage at the International Thespian Festival 2023! The story is about Sophie Scholl who was a member of the White Rose Society in Germany. The society encouraged passive resistance against the Nazi regime. The play tells her powerful coming-of-age saga from Hitler Youth to witness to activist. 
Licensed by Your Stage Partners 

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 
The play’s title is taken from the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, which asks, “What happens to a dream deferred?/Does it dry up/like a raisin in the sun?” Lorraine Hansberry was the first Black female playwright to have a play performed on Broadway, and this is her best-known work. It highlights the lives of Black Americans in Chicago living under racial segregation.
Licensed by Concord Theatricals  

Meet Me at the Gates, Marcus James by Donna Hoke 
When Marcus James, a Black, gay high school student, finds a pink noose hanging in his locker, he refuses to be the target of racism and homophobia. He defiantly wears the noose around his neck. School administrators would love to sweep the incident under the rug and focus on the upcoming sports championship. Their solution: feign concern and set the target on Marcus. As the threat to Marcus increases, he finds that sticking to his convictions may just win him some unlikely allies in his ongoing fight for acceptance. 
Licensed by YouthPLAYS

Patty Craft is a regular contributor to the Educational Theatre Association. 

 

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