Open Forum

Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

  • 1.  Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-15-2021 08:19


    Good morning friends and colleagues,

    I'm in the process of choosing our shows for next season, banking on the idea that life will be normal enough for live and in-person performances at a greater capacity (masked or unmasked, I'll take it!). I'm trying to think of a show to do in the Fall that will allow us to make back some of the money we lost this year. We do a non-musical, full-length play in the Fall, typically. I teach in a community that is not as supportive of the arts as I would like, so I want to know which shows you've done that have brought in the masses, were less expensive to produce, and still fun for all involved. Right now, I'm leaning towards a Shakespeare (Free and fun, at least for me!). But I want to hear which non-musical plays you've sold out, and tell me about your ticket pricing, too! 

    Thanks!

    Cherie Ducote Firmin

    Mandeville High School Talented Theatre Teacher

    St. Tammany Parish Public School System

    (work)985-626-5225 (fax)985-626-5298

    www.stpsb.org | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    #stppsleads

     

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  • 2.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-15-2021 16:49
    I did THE CRUCIBLE and it was really successful.  At our school, Junior's study the CRUCIBLE so it gave us a big tie-in.  It has a classic feel to it without being Shakespeare and it gave my students some really meaty roles to sink their teeth into.  With everything going on out in the world at the moment, the "hysteria" of 1690 Salem rings very relevantly to our modern times.

    This year, although it was online, CLUE was also a hit.  Again, group dynamics, and it would be so much more fun to do it on the stage!

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents!  Hope it helps.

    ------------------------------
    E. Denise Royal
    Theater Director
    Desert Edge High School
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 07:26
      |   view attached
    Letters to Sala, a true Holocaust story with a large ensemble cast of mostly women, has been produced at over 150 school and community theatres in the past decade. Teachers, parents and students have expressed how much it's meant to the actors to perform this story, which is set in both the past and the near present. Many schools have connected with Jewish community centers and brought in speakers. Sala's daughter Ann Kirschner and I are usually available for a zoom meeting with the cast.
    The play is very flexible; the set requires nothing more than three playing areas. When I directed it at the University of the South I used two tables, six chairs and a bench, along with some projections (which are available). Some designers have built realistic sets and others have been beautifully abstract. There are about 25 speaking roles, five men and the rest women, which can be doubled or not; the play can be produced with as few as 12 actors or as many as you like for group scenes by adding soldiers and people in the camps. One school presented it with, I think, 36 actors. I have especially enjoyed seeing photos of productions with diverse casting and encourage directors to let the range of ethnicities seen on stage reflect their school and community.

    In honor of last week's Days of Remembrance I'm attaching an updated manuscript copy of the script for your perusal (and for anyone else interested). The play is licensed by Dramatist Play Service and streaming rights are available. Since the story is based on Ann Kirschner's book Sala's Gift, some schools have used that as assigned reading material for their English and/or history classes in conjunction with performances of the play.

    Earlier this year I had the privilege of directing As It Is In Heaven at Rollins College, the actors masked and mic'd, with an audience at 22% capacity (we also recorded and streamed it). It was thrilling to be back doing live theatre again and I hope everyone gets that opportunity again soon!

    Many thanks for all the hard work you do. I was thinking last week about how much my high school drama teacher and Thespian Society membership gave to me and wondered what my life would have been like if I had not had the chance to discover and explore my passion for theatre.




    ------------------------------
    Arlene Hutton, playwright
    Letters to Sala
    I Dream Before I Take the Stand
    Kissed the Girls & Made Them Cry
    As It Is In Heaven
    Susie Sits Shiva (EdTA commission)

    faculty, The Barrow Group, NYC
    arlene@barrowgroup.org
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)



  • 4.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 10:27
    Thank you so much! This has been on my list for a while now, just been waiting for the right group of actors. I appreciate your kind words, and I appreciate your contribution to the theatre. Without great work, we wouldn't be able to properly train our young performers.
    Best,
    Cherie

    ------------------------------
    Cherie Ducote Firmin
    Mandeville High School Talented Theatre Teacher
    MHS Drama Club Sponsor
    La. State Thespian Co-Chapter Director
    St. Tammany Parish Public School System
    Cherie.Firmin@stpsb.org
    985.626.5225]
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-17-2021 14:19

    Dracula.  Plus we did a full scale haunted house and Spooky carnival with the show.  We had almost full houses every night. 

     

    Kelly M. Thomas

    Department of Theatre

    Dr. Ralph H. Poteet High School

    3300 Poteet Drive

    Mesquite, Texas 75150

    972-882-5300

    Kthomas@mesquiteisd.org

     

     






  • 6.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 07:42
    I found this amazing cut version of Romeo and Juliet online.  It held the substance of the original show, with much of the original dialogue, but had six narrators to help tell the story.  We spent our money on a fight choreographer who taught my whole cast how to sword fight, then choreographed our fights.  It was one of the best shows I've ever done!  And our freshmen read the play in class, so their teachers offered them a handful of bonus points for attending, which definitely helped my audience size and profits!!  I wish I had a link for you, but I'd go the Shakespeare route - like you said, FREE.  Good luck!

    ------------------------------
    Amber Hugus
    Seneca Valley High School
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 08:23

    This is exactly what I was thinking of doing! Can you point me in the direction of the cut version you found?


    Cherie Ducote Firmin

    Mandeville High School Talented Theatre Teacher

    St. Tammany Parish Public School System

    (work)985-626-5225 (fax)985-626-5298

    www.stpsb.org | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    #stppsleads

     

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  • 8.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 08:34

    Unfortunately, the website is no longer in service!!!  I did the show in 2013 and the teacher who did the cuts must not be teaching anymore. 

    If you want to look around yourself this was the original website.  I tried googling her name and her name with Romeo and Juliet, but I didn't find anything.

    www.cherigarner.com/rjscript/html

     

    I'd scan my script for you, but it is a mess with stage directions and our own cuts and additions!!

     






  • 9.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 08:38


    No worries. You've given me some ideas. Thanks!


    Cherie Ducote Firmin

    Mandeville High School Talented Theatre Teacher

    St. Tammany Parish Public School System

    (work)985-626-5225 (fax)985-626-5298

    www.stpsb.org | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    #stppsleads

     

    STPPS adhere to the equal opportunity provisions of federal and civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

     

    Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.






    STPPS adheres to the equal opportunity provisions of federal and civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

    Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.






  • 10.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 08:39

    Actually, if you want it, I'll scan it.  Just warning you it's a mess.

     






  • 11.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 09:13

    Thanks so much, but I don't want you to have to go through the trouble. That's too much work!


    Cherie Ducote Firmin

    Mandeville High School Talented Theatre Teacher

    St. Tammany Parish Public School System

    (work)985-626-5225 (fax)985-626-5298

    www.stpsb.org | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    #stppsleads

     

    STPPS adhere to the equal opportunity provisions of federal and civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

     

    Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.






    STPPS adheres to the equal opportunity provisions of federal and civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

    Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.






  • 12.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 09:57

    I promise this took all of two seconds to send through our copier.

    Maybe you can print it and go to town with the white out on my notes haha!
    Also, we added a character because I had one boy that didn't have a part.  So all of his scenes are at the end.  You can see in my notes where it says "see new script".

    Good luck!

     






  • 13.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-17-2021 07:59
    Hi Amber,

    Could you send it to me as well? Knewbanks@powayusd.com - I would so appreciate it!

    Thanks!
    Katie Newbanks

    ------------------------------
    Katie Newbanks
    Drama Teacher
    Bernardo Heights Middle School
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 12 days ago
    I would love a copy too, please!!!
    llatham@herricksk12.org
    Thank you!

    ------------------------------
    Laura Latham
    Teacher
    Herricks High School
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 14 days ago
    I would really appreciate a copy as well. SLURIE@LBSCHOOLS.NET

    ------------------------------
    Samantha McCarthy-Lurie
    California Educational Theatre Association
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 13 days ago
    I'd like a copy as well if possible.

    Katelyn Lick
    Artistic Director
    STARS Charter School






  • 17.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi all!

    Here is my cutting of the show.  We got pretty good feedback at one-act and overall feedback throughout the run is this cutting kept the heart of the show.  Let me know if you have input or questions.  R&J One-Act Cutting - Joel King

    ------------------------------
    Joel King
    Woodstock GA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 11:19
    'Romeo & Juliet': TV Review
    Josh O'Connor and Jessie Buckley play Shakespeare's tragic lovers, torn asunder by a bitter feud, in this National Theatre production reconceived for the screen and airing on PBS.


    "Working from an adaptation by Emily Burns that whittles the action down to a fleet 90 minutes, Godwin and his superlative company of actors inject uncommon urgency into the play, along with stirring depth of feeling."

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/romeo-juliet-tv-review





    ------------------------------
    Michael McDonough
    Asst VP Amateur Licensing
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 12:07

    Thanks so much!


    Cherie Ducote Firmin

    Mandeville High School Talented Theatre Teacher

    St. Tammany Parish Public School System

    (work)985-626-5225 (fax)985-626-5298

    www.stpsb.org | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    #stppsleads

     

    STPPS adhere to the equal opportunity provisions of federal and civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

     

    Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.






    STPPS adheres to the equal opportunity provisions of federal and civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

    Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.






  • 20.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 29 days ago
    You might also look at Postcards from Shakespeare on Theatrefolk, and How to Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play by @Don Zolidis (StagePartners). The latter was my first choice, but my students preferred his Greek Mythology Olympiaganza.​​

    ------------------------------
    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 25 days ago
    Probably the most successful show I had was the original script of Peter Pan.  It is now royalty free, but a donation to the hospital is appreciated.  It played to packed houses every night in my small theatre.





  • 22.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 27 days ago
      |   view attached
    I saw this thread and thought I'd be helpful.  I've attached my cutting from 2 years ago for our 55 minute festival show.  Feel free to go back and add or adjust as needed!

    ------------------------------
    Joel King
    Woodstock GA
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)



  • 23.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 09:22
    I teach / direct in a small town in rural South Dakota. Our ticket prices are $5. While we've never sold out a show that's not a musical, the closest we came was with Don Zolidis's The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered (https://www.playscripts.com/play/2304). I still have staff members who talk about that show and it was 5 years ago!

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Scherer
    Teacher
    Spearfish High School
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 10 days ago
    What age range did you have in your cast? How "controversial" is the script?  I am in a conservative area and have a hard time with getting scripts approved.

    ------------------------------
    Crystal Hill
    Drama Club Adviser
    Clyde Senior High School
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 11:00
    The Crucible, by far, has been the most financially successful non-musical show that I have directed in the past 20-so years. I think for two reasons:  1.) At the time, our junior English curriculum included the play, and 2.) the cast (& crew) size was on the large size (at least for our school).

    I also think that Clue On Stage would have been another big money-maker (though it was cancelled last year just hours before opening night). However, our online pre-sale of tickets was great, but I also heard more buzz and interest about this show throughout the school day from students & staff. Plus, we had kids participating in a passing period scavenger hunt for the hidden Clue characters & such. Students who found these clues got 2 free tickets, and every kid that came to me with a found clue was not a kid that I knew (so, a non-theatre kid). I think this show can probably draw a pretty good crowd on the title alone.

    Break a leg in whatever you choose! :)

    ------------------------------
    Susan Nieten
    Theatre Teacher, Spring Play Director,
    & Thespian Troupe Director
    at Noblesville High School (Noblesville, IN)

    Twitter: @mrsnieten
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 04-16-2021 16:52
    I had good houses for "The Boys Next Door" by Tom Griffin.  Caveats: it is a male-weighted cast, and your community standards may have to deal with some brief, very brief profanity.  Opening night was pretty lean, but when word got out about the content and quality of the play, the house fattened up considerably.

    ------------------------------
    Rodney James
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 24 days ago
    Charlotte's Web was our most financially successful non-musical, I believe.  I assume it's because it's a family show, and it's a very well known book that is still taught in a lot of elementary schools.  We used the Joseph Robinette non-musical version from Dramatic Publishing.

    ------------------------------
    Laura Steenson
    Theatre Director
    Reynolds High School
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 23 days ago
    We also do a non musical in the fall. The sell outs were Moon over Buffalo, Peter Pan, A Wrinkle in Time,  basically if you can find a good adaptation of a book the students read in class or a fairy tale that Disney has done you are golden. We also did The Crucible. I am not sure I would want to do that one right now ... I think people are looking for fun. Fame through dramatic publishing is also a good one. The hard part today is finding something that has name recognition for students and parents.

    Good luck.
    Cathy@

    ------------------------------
    Cathy Archer
    EdTA Member or Troupe Director
    Rutland High School
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 11 days ago
    A Christmas Carol, The Crucible, Diary of Anne Frank, and the Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe- those have been our biggest crowds.
    Also, Our Town did a decent crowd as well (and is a simple set as there really isn't one!)

    ------------------------------
    Brandy Brewer
    Teacher
    Brookland High School
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 10 days ago
    Two plays stand out. The first was "Winnie the Pooh." Children's theatre is a real draw in our community. It's also the only play we have held over! We were in very mercenary mode at the time, preparing to tour to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so we even sold leftover show posters, autographed, for a buck apiece.
    The other was "Ken Ludwig's Midsummer/Jersey", but perhaps because it was the world premiere, and due to his involvement, we got amazing press (like a color half page photo above the fold of the Arts section of the Washington Post) that certainly helped -- and yes, we had pulled out all the stops to make it a show so terrific that he'd be proud of it.
    My best show ever was Mary Zimmerman's "Metamorphoses," complete with pool and...don't get me started...everything!! We won the CAPPIE for best show (and 9 other awards) that year....but we never did sell out...
    So...my advice - children's theatre! We typically price just below movie prices, but cheaper for children's theatre, to bring in the whole family.

    ------------------------------
    Douglas "Chip" Rome
    Theatre Consultant
    Educational Stages
    Burke VA
    http://EducationalStages.com
    https://bit.ly/RWTEOview
    https://bit.ly/eTeachTech
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Most financially successful non-musical play you've ever done!

    Posted 8 days ago
    If looking to fill the seats, it's unfortunate, but choose something they know.  We have a running joke of "do you only watch re-runs?"  Children's shows, especially if you put a few elementary in the show are always a hit, Alice in Wonderland was fun, and creative.  If you have the guys The Outsiders .   

    ------------------------------
    Kendra Knoblock
    Teacher - Director
    Romeo High School
    ------------------------------