Great Plays?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by katerina03, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Jul 25, 2008

    Though I am a new drama teacher, my principal is hoping that my students will put on a play or 2 this coming year. I do not want to disappoint.
    Can anyone tell me some of the "best" middle school plays they have seen.
     
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  3. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I directed my first show this year. It is a HUGE job, although if I remember correctly you have 3 drama classes, so that should help - you'll have more time in the day to work on it.

    Nearly all plays, unless they specifically say otherwise or are out of copyright (Shakespeare etc.), require that you pay a licensing fee. http://www.dramatists.com/ is the link to Dramatist's Play Service; they are one of the many services that hold the licenses.

    If you are feeling really ambitious and want to do a musical, Oliver, Annie, Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan are cute for middle school kids, and many other musicals are available in "junior" editions - shorter, with easier music. See www.broadwayjr.com

    I have heard of Midsummer Night's Dream being done by middle schools. If you can get them past the language it could work well. Miracle Worker is another they might relate to.

    A quick search turns up this as well: http://tinyurl.com/5ntfw2

    Another good and cheap choice is to have students spend time writing their own plays and then put them on as a show for parents. No royalties there, and if you charge admission you can make some money to support the program.
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I think the Broadway Junior plays are really good. I did Midsummer Night's Dream with 3rd and 4th graders last year so it's TOTALLY possible.

    I will say, I am a tad jealous, because a drama position would be a dream for me- except I am a few credits shy for the endorsement.

    I have done You're a Good Man Charlie Brown and the kids and parents LOVED it... add a chorus and lots of other characters for some more characters. If you look on YouTube you will see lots of other ways teachers have done it. Just google the play. I've seen versions where they added Woodstock. You can also look through the comics and add little bits for the different characters. I made sure every kid involved had a line by finding cute little comics from the library and just inserting them into the script.

    I have done Annie as well, which can be done with 3-4 boys and TONS of girls if that is the case!
     
  5. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Last year my students rewrote & performed a Midsummer Night's Dream. It was a BLAST! They re-set it in a modern high school, modernized the language, etc. It worked beautifully, and I plan to do the same thing again this year with another Shakespeare play.
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 26, 2008

    What about a couple of one act plays? You don't need to do a full scale production every time, and with one acts, you could do one for each class, and perform them all in the same evening.
     
  7. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

  8. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Thank you all for the support!


    That is why I'm lost-I don't have a drama endorsement and I only took one theatre class in college. I have English and Social Studies endorsements. I love drama and I am sure I will be fine once I get started. Right now I am trying to figure out the basics.
     
  9. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Me too. PA doesn't even have a drama cert, it just falls under English. I took, I think, one theatre class in college, and I have been in a couple of productions. Just remember - the kids don't know that you don't know! They will believe that every word you say is gospel, even if you just pulled the info off wikipedia during your prep :) The key is to let it be a fun class (not easy, just fun) and there's so much stuff out there to work with.
     
  10. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I have been on each of the sites you all gave me. They are FABULOUS! I already have one play in mind for spring-Goldilocks on Trial. It is laugh out loud hilarious.
    Now for the holidays, I think I will take mmswm's suggestion and go with a 10-minute act for each class.
    Thanks again everyone. I will always be open to your ideas.
     
  11. slinkytoy

    slinkytoy Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Each year, at the end of the school year, our drama classes visit the sixth grade school and perform a play telling about our middle school. They have several short scenes about middle school experiences; for example one scene is about opening your locker while holding all your books. The students write the scenes themselves. They have a lot of fun with this and it helps the sixth graders feel more comfortable about moving up to the new school.
     
  12. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    I was thinking of the same idea.... rewrite & perform a play. I actually thought about the Saved By the Bell episode where they perform Snow White.

    Pick a Shakespeare play or a novel they have read/ or will read and write a play
     
  13. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2008

    bye bye birdie at my school was hilarious this year.
    The lead guy was about 4 feet tall with a cracking/pubertized voice - which make it more hilarious.
     
  14. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Aug 1, 2008

    I've seen The Music Man and the story of Aladdin done with middle schoolers. Both were great.
     

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