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Play Survey

Play Survey results: A female student stands before a large chalice and sings with her hands in the air in a production of The Addams Family

Top Musicals and Plays Produced in Schools

As the leading organization for educational theatre — we’re present in roughly 5,000 schools — EdTA member schools set the standard for what’s popular in high school theatre. Since 1938, our annual Play Survey has identified the most-produced musicals and plays on high school stages.  Over the decades, the Play Survey has both highlighted the enduring popularity of classic works and reflected issues in the wider world. Explore Play Survey results from the most recent school year and beyond. 

2022-23 Play Survey

Highlights

Results

Top 10 Full-Length Musicals

1. The Addams Family – by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, and Andrew Lippa (TRW) (TRW)

2. Mamma Mia! – by Catherine Johnson, Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus (MTI)

3. Into the Woods – by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine (MTI)

4. Little Shop of Horrors – by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (MTI)

5. (tie) Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Linda Woolverton (MTI)

5. (tie) Disney’s The Little Mermaid – by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater, and Doug Wright (MTI)

7. The SpongeBob Musical – by Kyle Jarrow, Tina Landau, and various composers (Concord Theatricals)

8. Chicago: Teen Edition – by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Bob Fosse (Concord Theatricals)

9. Legally Blonde: The Musical – by Heather Hach, Laurence O’Keefe, and Nell Benjamin (MTI)

10. Mean Girls: High School Version – by Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond, and Nell Benjamin (MTI)

Top 10 Full-Length Plays

1. Clue – by Jonathan Lynn, Hunter Foster, Eric Price, and Sandy Rustin (Broadway Licensing)

2. Puffs – by Matt Cox (Concord Theatricals)

3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – by William Shakespeare (public domain)

4. (tie) The Play That Goes Wrong – by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields (Broadway Licensing)

4. (tie) Radium Girls – by D.W. Gregory (Dramatic Publishing)

6. Almost, Maine – by John Cariani (Broadway Licensing)

7. (tie) Peter and the Starcatcher – by Rick Elice and Wayne Barker (MTI)

7. (tie) She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition – by Qui Nguyen (Concord Theatricals)

9. Alice in Wonderland – by Lewis Carroll (various licencing agencies)

10. 12 Angry Jurors – by Reginald Rose, adapted by Sherman L. Sergel (Dramatic Publishing)

Top 10 Short Musicals

1. Disney’s Frozen JR. – by Kristin Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, and Jennifer Lee (MTI)

2. Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical JR. – by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin (MTI)

3. Disney’s Newsies JR. – by Harvey Fierstein, Alan Menken, and Jack Feldman (MTI)

4. Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. – by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (MTI)

5. Annie JR. – by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan (MTI)

6. Disney’s High School Musical JR. – by David Simpatico and various composers (MTI)

7. (tie) Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR. – by Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater, Alan Menken, and Doug Wright (MTI)

7. (tie) Shrek: The Musical JR.by David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori (MTI)

9. The Addams Family Young@Part – by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, and Andrew Lippa (TRW)

10. (tie) Disney’s The Lion King JR. – by Elton John, Tim Rice, Will Van Dyke, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Roger Allers, and Irene Mecchi (MTI)

10. (tie) Seussical JR. – Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Eric Idle (MTI)

Top 10 Short Plays

1. (tie) 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse – by Don Zolidis (Broadway Licensing)

1. (tie) Check Please – by Jonathan Rand (Broadway Licensing)

3. The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon (One-Act) – by Don Zolidis (Broadway Licensing)

4. Bad Auditions by Bad Actors – by Ian McWethy (Broadway Licensing)

5. The One-Act Play Disaster – by Don Zolidis (Broadway Licensing)

6. Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind – by Greg Allen (Broadway Licensing)

7. 13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview – by Ian McWethy (Broadway Licensing)

8. (tie) Our Place – by Terry Wayne Gabbard (Dramatic Publishing)

8. (tie) Tracks – by Peter Tarsi (Dramatic Publishing)

10. (tie) 15 Reasons Not to Be in a Play – by Alan Haehnel (Broadway Licensing)

10. (tie) Game of Tiaras (One-Act) – by Don Zolidis (Broadway Licensing)

10. (tie) The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza (One-Act) – by Don Zolidis (Broadway Licensing)

10. (tie) The 9 Worst Breakups of All Time – by Ian McWethy (Broadway Licensing)

Note: Above rankings reflect survey respondents’ answers and have not been confirmed with actual licensing data.

The High School Theatre Market

High school productions attract roughly the same size audience as Broadway touring companies and regional theatres combined. 

Total Number of Performances by Respondent Schools
22,874 performances
Average Audience Size per School Annually
1,967 people

+229 from 2021-22

Average Number of Performances per School Annually
0

+1 from 2021-22

Total 2022-23 Audience for Surveyed Schools
Million
0

Decades of Data

Want to dig deeper? NPR analyzed and compiled decades of EdTA’s Play Survey results originally published in Dramatics magazine 

Play Survey News

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