Open Forum

Need Suggestions-Comedy

  • 1.  Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-10-2019 15:49
    My students have put on a good three-year run with Almost, Maine, Dearly Departed, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  The latter just closed on Saturday and was extremely well received and our most successful to date.

    What should I look at for next year?  Looking for comedies that have some literary merit like those above.  I am not interested in plays written for high schools.  Something of similar cast size would be ideal.

    Your suggestions are appreciated.

    K Lang
    Ticonderoga NY

  • 2.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 07:16
    This calls for a larger cast, but one of my favorites is The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux. A fantasy / satire published in 1943 and set in "the spring of next year", it has a contemporary feel: a group of corrupt men discover there is oil underneath Paris and plan to raze the city. Their plot is overheard by a local eccentric (the title character) who devises her own scheme get rid of them. There are lots of great characters and a fun set challenge in Act II. My kids had a great time doing it a couple years ago.

    Elizabeth Wotherspoon
    FHS Drama Director
    Fairfield IA

  • 3.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 08:44
    If your up for a tragi-comedy, consider Durrenmatt's The Visit.  Definitely has literary merit, and not written for high school, but I have directed it with high schoolers, and they loved it.  Someone else also mentioned it recently in another thread.

    Kristin Hall
    Drama Director
    Lincoln Public Schools
    Arlington MA

  • 4.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 09:48
    The Curious Savage by John Patrick

    Holly Thompson
    Worthington OH

  • 5.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 11:03
    Maybe the Importance of Being Earnest? 5M, 4W.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 6.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 11:42
    Consider She Kills Monsters (3m, 6w). More women than men, always a plus. Literary merit: C+, but the play, while not written for high school, speaks to high school students, Lots of humor and pathos and girls sword fighting.

    Caution: There is a fair amount of profanity (PG13), but if you did Cuckoos Nest you should be okay. There are gay themes, including a mild make-out moment between two girls.

    Description from Samuel French: "A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly's Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly's refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all."

    Hals- und Beinbruch

    James Van Leishout
    Olympia WA

  • 7.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 12:50
    Maybe a classical text? Greek (Lysistrata), Italian (The Servant of Two Masters), Shakespeare (any), Moliere (any)? What about a children's show like Charlotte's Web? Or an adventure like The Three Musketeers?

  • 8.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 17:04
    Thanks for the suggestions, all.  I will add that something contemporary is my preference.  I know I did not say musical, but I think Sister Act would be great considering my cast.  However, the recorded music looks like almost 1K.  That would be a deterrent, but worth considering.

    K Lang
    Ticonderoga NY

  • 9.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-11-2019 20:37
    Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    All in the Timing
    The Curious Savage
    The Importance of Being Earnest

    Lizzy Brannan
    Theatre/Musical Theater/ Tech Theatre Teacher
    Orlando, FL

  • 10.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-12-2019 08:34
    Edited by John Perry 04-13-2019 09:47
    I'm a big fan of The Birds by Don Zolidis, adapted from the Aristophanes. It's a great adaptation, lots of parts that can be cast f/m, and some good costume challenges. My kids loved it and we sold out. Don's The Frogs also has some great actor challenges!  We premiered The Frogs at Atherton High School.
    She Kills Monsters, by Qui Nguyen is great, too but I would only do the "adult" script. The Young Adventurers version changes the plot is ways I didn't like. You might look at Qui Nguyen's other works, too.

    John Perry
    Retired Theatre Teacher

  • 11.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-12-2019 10:33
    Edited by Ginny Butsch 04-16-2019 11:06
    ​I agree with The Madwoman of Chaillot. There are a couple of absurd comedies by John Mortimer from the '70's which haven't gotten much play lately--The One Way Pendulum in which all of the characters a bit nuts. And from the same era, there is Live Like Pigs by John Arden. And what about a Moliere adaptation? The Hypochondriac by George Freek runs about an hour, which might be a bit shorter than you want--but if you paired it with another shortish adaptation . . .

    I'm glad to see you reaching out for more literary plays. I think high school drama can sometimes do double duty.

    Jean Klein
    Playwright/Founder HaveScripts/BlueMoonPlays
    Playwriting Teacher in MFA program, Wilkes University]
    Virginia BeachVA

  • 12.  RE: Need Suggestions-Comedy

    Posted 04-14-2019 13:28
    May I suggest taking a look at "JOAN" -- a modern retelling of the story of Joan of Arc with a lot of comedic elements.  More info and script here.

    Donna Kaz
    New York NY