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With the pressure on to produce meaningful educational experiences that students and patrons can stream online, it may seem that artistry is out the window. Not so! Check out these 10 titles and get inspired about planning your co-curricular production.
And because every title is available from YouthPLAYS for online performance, your school theatre transition from traditional production to online streaming is easy as done!
Cast size: 10F, 3M (plus extras; 13-20 possible)
Other details: 45-55 minutes. Suitable for middle school and older. Premiered at M.S. 51 (Brooklyn, NY).
Playwright: Hollie Michaels
Synopsis: After 13-year-old Elsie Davis loses her family farm to the bank and her brother to the dust storms, she joins family and friends on a forced journey along Route 66 in search of a better life in California. Together they must survive unimaginable hardships and overcome theft, illness and unsympathetic authorities. But when at last they arrive in the Golden State, it may not be the promised land they had hoped for….
Cast size: 14-50 any gender
Other details: 45-50 minutes. Suitable for middle school and older actors, and audiences of all ages.
Playwright: Ed Shockley
Synopsis: A fast-paced ensemble work exploring the varied accounts of the historic events in Boston Commons that transformed a collection of colonies into a democratic nation.
Cast size: 13-18F 5-12M (18-30 possible)
Other Details: 50-55 minutes. Premiered at William Alexander Middle School (Brooklyn, NY) and subsequently toured to the Gordonstoun School in Elgin, Scotland.
Playwright: John P. McEneny
Synopsis: As the Spanish Flu epidemic carves its way through Albany, New York, teenage Alice McMahon’s world will never be the same.
Cast Size: 5-15+F 4-15+M (9-30+ possible)
Other Details: 90-100 minutes. A contemporary lyrical re-imagining based on Sophocles’ Antigone. Suitable for high school and older performers and middle school and older audiences. Premiered at African American Shakespeare Company (San Francisco, CA), director Rhodessa Jones.
Playwright: Nambi E. Kelley
Synopsis: Using hip hop poetry, dance, and and dialogue that pulses with the voice of our cities, this reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone tells the story of the ill-fated Xtigone and her quest for her community’s truth.
Cast size: 5-17+F 3-15+M (10-20+ possible)
Other details: 70-80 minutes. Suitable for high school and older. Premiered at Rio Hondo College (Whittier, CA).
Playwright: Diana Burbano
Synopsis: Thia Stockmann, a bright young medical student, has discovered her hometown’s water supply has been poisoned. Her data, her personality, and her determination offend first her family, then the town council. then the community. As her friends and allies buckle under pressure, Thia refuses to run from doing what It right, even It that means becoming “an enemy of the people.”
Cast size: 4F, 4M, 2+ any gender (10-12+ performers possible)
Other details: 90-100 minutes. Suitable for high school and older performers, and middle school and older audiences. Heartland premiered at MiraCosta College Theatre (Oceanside, CA) on November 14, 2008. Winner, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest. Winner, Long Beach Playhouse New Works Festival.
Playwrights: Lojo Simon & Anita Yellin Simons
Synopsis: Based on real stories, Heartland reveals the stunning truth about the internment of German Americans during World War II and the devastating effect American immigration policies had on their families.
Play with Music
Cast size: 6F, 2M, 14+ any gender (8-20+ possible)
Other details: 95-105 min. Suitable for middle school and older performers, and audiences of all ages. Premiered at Children’s Theater of Madison (Madison, WI).
Playwright: Marie Kohler
Synopsis: In the once beautiful Limberlost Swamp, 14-year-old Elnora longs to attend high school, despite her mother’s resistance. With the help of friends, Elnora collects butterflies and moths to work her way through school…but will she win her mother’s heart?
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
Cast Size: 6-11F, 9-11M, 3-20+ any gender (16-50+ performers possible)
Other Details: 70-80 minutes. Suitable for high school and older performers, and middle school and older audiences. Premiered at Aquinas College (Grand Rapids, MI).
Playwright: Randy Wyatt
Synopsis: Spies, pirates, bronze sentients, vampires, star-crossed lovers, intrigue and marvels abound in this free adaptation of twelve minor Jules Verne novels, dipped deep in gonzo steampunkery.
Cast Size: 5F, 4M, 1+ any gender (10-40+ performers possible)
Other Details: 30-40 minutes. Premiered at Timber Creek High School Thespians (Orlando, FL) in 2014.
Playwright: Elizabeth Brendel Horn
Synopsis: Following the brutal murder of her father at the hands of her mother, Elektra is trapped, in body and mind, as she contemplates revenge and contends with the voices in her head.
Cast Size: 2 gender-flexible performers
Other Details: 30-40 minutes. Suitable for high school and older performers, and middle school and older audiences. Premiered at Boone High School Theatre (Orlando, FL).
Playwright: Rose Helsinger
Synopsis: After witnessing 9/11 from his window, a young man withdraws into his apartment, imagining an outside world ravaged by a Martian attack—can his sister bring him back before it’s too late?
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