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ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

  • 1.  ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 17 days ago

    Hi all,
    My name is Dac Cederberg, I'm a brand new baby High School Drama Teacher. I have been working on selecting our fall show, and I would love your recommendations on scripts to read and consider! It's taking a lot of my time to sort through all the "chaffe" out there. Your suggestions of the "good stuff" would be immensely helpful. Here are some of the criteria I'm looking for (all of these elements are negotiable; feel free to suggest anything you think is good!):
    Comedic
    Light
    Fun
    Crowd Pleaser
    Cheap
    Straight play
    Technically Simple
    Full-length
    Mature (not vulgar, but not childish) humor

    One final note: I gotta say, I'm not really looking for a Don Zolidis/Tim Kelly/Jonathan Rand type "high school play". No shade at all to those guys (they're awesome!) but I would prefer something that has been done professionally in the past.

    Thank you so much for your help! 



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    Dac Cederberg
    Longmont High School
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  • 2.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 17 days ago
    Try The Mouse that Roared or The Birds (Walter Kerr adaptation). I also found The 39 Steps with an expanded cast a huge crowd pleaser. I saw it off Broadway- deliberately low tech but creative!

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    Elisabeth Ledwell
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  • 3.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 15 days ago
    Thanks for the suggestions! I will read them!

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    Dac Cederberg
    Longmont High School
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  • 4.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 17 days ago

    You might look at Harvey by Mary Chase … it's a title that older community members will know … I did it years ago and it brought it a nice crowd. Cocktails with Mimi is also by her and and is cute also  


    Also … some Neil Simon titles like Proposals or Rumors might work … well written … simple sets and not too inappropriate for high School. 


    I've also looked at George Kaufman's You Can't Take it With You and Look Who's Coming to Dinner … both on my "to do" list at some point

    Best of luck with your new program !



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    Toni Thomas
    English Teacher, Theatre Director
    Ogemaw Heights High School
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  • 5.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 15 days ago
    Fantastic suggestions, Toni. I will check them all out. Thanks!

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    Dac Cederberg
    Longmont High School
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  • 6.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 17 days ago
    Following!  I am a baby too when it comes to straight plays, I have been swept away with musicals for my seasons, and soon, I will be dramatically shrinking in cast size, so back to a smaller cast show for me. The 39 Steps is my all time favorite! We had a lot of fun with it, and I would love to find more like it. Oh, and I recently read The Real Inspector Hound, that one would probably be a worth while read for you too!

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    Analiese Hamm
    ECHS Drama Director
    Echols County High School
    Statenville
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  • 7.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 15 days ago
    I hope this helps you as much as it has me, Analiese! I will read the Hound play ;)

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    Dac Cederberg
    Longmont High School
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  • 8.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 17 days ago
    The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood by Mary Lynn Dobson fits your criteria.  Fun show!

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    Christina Lang
    Dallas Christian School
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  • 9.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 16 days ago
    Edited by Ginger Latimer 16 days ago
    you might look at THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR  by Nicolai Gogol, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher.
    A political satire  for sure. ridiculous and pointed. Cast of maybe 20.... Super relevent for today.
    There was a great production of this at the Guthrie Theatre. You can probably find pics and reviews. I did it with my high school actors few years ago. Loved it.

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    Ginger Latimer
    Performing Arts Chair/ Theatre Director
    Madera South High School  CA
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  • 10.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 15 days ago
    Woah, Gogol? I love it! I will check it out! Thanks Ginger :)

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    Dac Cederberg
    Longmont High School
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  • 11.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 16 days ago
    I will second The 39 Steps. I also really love Clue, but the technical aspect may be a bit too much (amazing show and it'll draw a crowd for sure). I'm also wondering if The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adley Guirgis could fit the bill - it's got a great combo of comedy, drama, and "make them think" messaging, with a large-ish cast and wonderful character work. Set is simple and stationary. The Odd Couple is always a favorite, and Moon Over Buffalo has a stationary set with lots of physical comedy and is a blast. Tartuffe is another one that could easily be brought into the 20th century for a simpler set. If you're worried about the difficult dialogue in verse, you can always cut and shorten it a bit!

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    Karen Ruth
    Head Theatre Director
    Coppell High School
    Coppell, TX
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  • 12.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 15 days ago
    Awesome Karen, thanks! 39 Steps is now at the top of my "to read" list :)  Actually, Clue was my first thought- but the licensing ended up being outside of our budget. Still, I would love to do it some day!

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    Dac Cederberg
    Longmont High School
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  • 13.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 16 days ago
    I like a lot of Ken Ludwig plays. We had a ton of fun with The Three Musketeers a couple years ago. Baskerville - a Sherlock Holmes Mystery is also a blast (suggests 5 actors, may be done with more). The 39 Steps also ticks many of your boxes (suggests 4 actors, could be done with more). You might also consider The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised).

    Best wishes,
    Rob





  • 14.  RE: ISO Comedic, crowd pleaser, full length plays to read! [Help!]

    Posted 15 days ago
    I just wanna say, thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! I feel much better :) Now off to read!

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    Dac Cederberg
    Longmont High School
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