Sunday, May 13, 2007


I got my projected class lists for next year and my Advanced Drama class is, well, booming. I'll have about 65 kids in it, which they are splitting into two periods.

Here's the problem - this is the class that traditionally does the fall play (the one that did "Much Ado" last November), and I usually find one that allows each kid have a speaking part. But 65 kids?

So, I'm looking for suggestions - should I stick with one play, or try to direct two simultaneously (one per class)? Can I still do Shakespeare? Any ideas on a play I can cut for 60-some-odd speaking parts?

Talk to me, people!



At 12:15 AM, Blogger Emily said...

Can you double cast and run the show for twice as many weeks?

Yes, you can still do Shakespeare.

Plays I did in high school with large casts: Midsummer, Marathon 33, Playing for Time (A. Miller), An evening of Neil Simon (scene selections). My director in high school consistently has 70+ kids in production classes. She has great success with children's theatre musicals (her most recent: 101 Dalmoations, very little music, short show).

Let me think on this and I will continue to get back to you.

At 1:42 AM, Blogger David Quinn said...

I'd go with the double-cast idea, as well. Especially since you can have a set of actors playing the same role (say, standing behind one another in rehearsal, feeding in)....

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Holbrook said...

If I were you, I wouldn't try to do a single production with 60+ kids. Any show that actually has 60 speaking parts probably isn't a good show, and you won't enjoy working on it. Double-casting or doing two different shows shounds like a lot of work, but it sounds like just as much work to do a monster show with 60 kids.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Sandi said...

Back when I did High School drama, I once tried the double casting idea, but abandoned it in favor of a two-show idea. One class (the larger of the two) did the Big Honking Production, and the other did the One Act for the local arts Festival. (They also did backup tech work for the other show.)

The kids in the Big Show started out being all snobby, but it later morphed into the One Act kids having the most fun and actually winning something at the city festival. Since their show was short and portable, we ending up taking it on the road, and doing it at elementary schools.

I had fun with this system, and it wasn't particularly stressful, and both shows worked well. We were on block schedule, so I had an hour and a half to rehearse each show.

At 8:35 PM, Blogger chitarita said...

We actually double-cast the school musical each year (that's how I get away with 130 kids on stage in that show). That could work well given the rehearsing over 2 different periods thing.

I can usually get permission for two evening shows for the fall play, which was a fight to begin with.

Given that, then, what Shakespeare plays would you suggest? I've done Midsummer and Much Ado. What do you all think about tragedies v. comedies (bear in mind it's junior high)?

And, btw Emily, I was in "Playing for Time" in college. Terrific fun (no, seriously. I was a Nazi and we had an awesome time), but totally not appropriate for my kids. Alas.

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Holbrook said...

My kids liked Macbeth a lot, and I think it's still accessable for younger kids. It's easy to follow, at least.


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