The 10 Most-Produced High School Plays and Musicals of 2020–2021

Education News   The 10 Most-Produced High School Plays and Musicals of 2020–2021
 
See which works topped the list in an unusual year that saw many schools streaming in place of live performances.
Original Broadway cast of The Addams Family (l-r): Adam Riegler, Jackie Hoffman, Bebe Neuwirth, Nathan Lane, Kevin Chamberlin, Krysta Rodriguez and Zachary James.
Original Broadway cast of The Addams Family (l-r): Adam Riegler, Jackie Hoffman, Bebe Neuwirth, Nathan Lane, Kevin Chamberlin, Krysta Rodriguez and Zachary James. Joan Marcus

The Educational Theatre Association has unveiled its list of the most produced plays, musicals, and short plays in U.S. high schools during the 2020–2021 school year, the result of a survey that has been conducted annually since 1938.

The Addams Family again leads the musicals list, taking the top spot for the third year in a row ahead of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Theory of Relativity, both newly in the top 10. The stage adaptation of the film Clue was the top play after achieving the same in 2019–2020, followed by Almost, Maine and It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Playwrights Don Zolidis and Jonathan Rand continue to dominate the most-produced short plays, with Rand's Check Please again in the number one spot.

Though the availability of vaccines has returned a semblance of normalcy to some theatre departments, this year's list still reflects the challenges that COVID-19 created for school theatre, with works trending towards smaller casts and shows that more easily lend themselves to streaming productions.

READ: The 20 Plays and Musicals Most Produced for Streaming in 2020-2021

EdTA's philanthropic arm, the Educational Theatre Foundation, has established a relief fund for schools affected by COVID-19. The Thespian Relief Fund will award grants to help school theatre programs continue despite revenue and district budget losses in the 2020-2021 school year. More information about making donations and applying for grants can be found at EducationalTheatreFoundation.org.

Take a look at the complete list of the most-produced shows at high schools in the 2020-2021 school year:

FULL-LENGTH MUSICALS:
1. The Addams Family (Andrew Lippa, Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice), Theatrical Rights Worldwide
2. You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Clark Gesner, Michael Mayer, Andrew Lippa), Concord Theatricals
3. The Theory of Relativity (Neil Bartram, Brian Hill), Music Theatre International
4. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rebecca Feldman, Jay Reiss, William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin), MTI
5. Little Women (Jason Howland, Mindi Dickstein, Allan Knee), MTI
6. Godspell (John Michael Tebelak, Stephen Schwartz), MTI
7. (tie) Disney's High School Musical (David Simpatico, Bryan Louiselle, Faye Greenberg, David N. Lawrence, Greg Cham, Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray Cham, Andrew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Adam Watts, Jamie Houston, Andy Dodd), MTI
7. (tie) Little Shop of Horrors (Howard Ashman, Alan Menken), MTI
9. (tie) Bright Star (Steve Martin, Edie Brickell), Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW)
9. (tie) Into the Woods (Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine), MTI
9. (tie) Disney's The Little Mermaid (Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater, Doug Wright), MTI

FULL-LENGTH PLAYS:
1. Clue (Jonathan Lynn, Sandy Rustin, Hunter Foster, Eric Price), Broadway Licensing
2. Almost, Maine (John Cariani), Dramatists Play Service
3. It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Joe Landry), Playscripts
4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare), public domain
5. She Kills Monsters (Qui Nguyen), CT
6. A Christmas Carol (Various), Various
7. The Laramie Project (Moises Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project), Dramatists Play Service (DPS)
8. The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon (Don Zolidis), Playscripts
9. Alice in Wonderland (Various), Various
10. (tie) Our Town (Thornton Wilder), CT
10. (tie) Peter and the Starcatcher (Wayne Barker, Rick Elice), MTI
10. (tie) Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic (Matt Cox), CT
10. (tie) Radium Girls (D.W. Gregory), Dramatic Publishing (DP)
10. (tie) Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare), public domain
10. (tie.) Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play (Joe Landry), Playscripts

SHORT PLAYS:
1. Check Please (Jonathan Rand), Playscripts
2. Help Desk: A Stay-at-Home Play (Don Zolidis), Playscripts
3. (tie) 10 Ways to Survive Life in a Quarantine (One-Act): A Stay-at-Home Play (Don Zolidis), Playscripts
3. (tie) The Internet is Distract—Oh Look a Kitten! (Ian McWethy), Playscripts
5. Bad Auditions by Bad Actors (Ian McWethy), Playscripts
6. The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon (One-Act) (Don Zolidis), Playscripts
7. (tie) Game of Tiaras (One-Act) (Don Zolidis), Playscripts
7. (tie) Our Place (Terry Wayne Gabbard), DP
7. (tie) Scenes From a Quarantine (Lindsay Price), Theatrefolk
7. (tie) The Audition (Don Zolidis), Playscripts
7. (tie) This is a Test (Stephen Gregg), DP

For more on the 2020-2021 survey, visit SchoolTheatre.org.

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