Seeking uncomplicated play for middle-school drama club
March 22, 2015 9:39 AM   Subscribe

I am helping with the middle school play this year, and the play we picked was a PITA due to complicated staging, complicated sets, and too many parts. We want to plan better for next year. What are some good plays for 12-13-year-olds?

Many of our students are learning English, and most of those who volunteer to act have a good handle on it but maybe don't have comfort with complicated language. Most have never acted before. We can't expect any funding, so we need to be able to put on any play without majorly complicated costumes or sets. We may have trouble getting permission to build anything weight-bearing-- so stairs, for example, can't be a plot point (we also don't have any experienced carpenters or a budget.)

I am able to rewrite to add/remove characters or elide plot points-- we usually get a lot of stage crew and crowd scene volunteers, but not so many for speaking parts. Nobody working on this is able to coach singing, so a musical is probably out. We already do an improv event earlier in the year, so we're looking to also do a script. We can repeat plays every 3 years. And, ideally, it would be great if this were something kids thought was fun!
posted by blnkfrnk to Education (3 answers total)
When I was in 6th grade, our middle school drama team won a state one act play competition doing Once Upon a Shoe. I know it says musical, but trust me, none of us did any proper singing. We treated the songs like nursery rhymes, with just a bit of oomph on cadence and rhythm.

It worked well because the number of kids is totally adaptable. Our costumes were just a bunch of crazy stuff we kids put together ourselves (bright colors, wild patterns...we were coming out of the 90s so we had a lot of sartorial options) and we busied ourselves onstage doing things we were already good at. (Some kids played cards, other kids skipped rope, I walked on stilts.)

It was great for a small budget, large cast, and a low number of kids capable of pulling off individual speaking roles.
posted by phunniemee at 9:48 AM on March 22, 2015

My middle school does simple plays purchased from this site. It has a good search function for kids' stuff- you can filter by number of cast members, length and genre-and they're totally fine. They're strctured for easy segmented rehearsals, verrrry simple sets (noted in the description of the play) and no main leads/a lot of very small speaking parts. Last year they did Attack of the Zombies (silly, pointless) and this year Myths, Busted (slightly educational, silly). They went over just fine with a middle school audience.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:39 AM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap might work.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:36 PM on March 22, 2015

« Older Help me get a permanent wrinkle out of a sweater   |   Help me make an enjoyable Opera Mix! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.