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Comedic Melodrama for Middle School

  • 1.  Comedic Melodrama for Middle School

    Posted 27 days ago

    Hi all,


    Does anyone have any suggestions for a comedic melodrama to perform with middle school? I know there are quite a few out there, but hoping your suggestions can narrow the search. 


    Thank you!!

  • 2.  RE: Comedic Melodrama for Middle School

    Posted 26 days ago
    Pioneer Drama has some great options for you, depending on the cast size and running time you're looking for! Here are my top 5 recommendations for middle school:

    Large cast, 30 minutes:  The Paper Bag Bandit Rides Again
    Large cast, 90 minutes:  How the West Was Dun
    Large cast, 60 minutes:  Heaven Help the Po'Taters
    Smaller cast, 45 minutes:  Pony Expresso
    Smaller cast,  60 minutes:  The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt

    Hope this helps! Please feel free to contact me directly if you'd like other recommendations. :)

    Debra Fendrich
    Executive Editor

  • 3.  RE: Comedic Melodrama for Middle School

    Posted 26 days ago
    I read a lot of blurbs for melodramas a couple of years ago.  My needs were: large cast, no stereotyping of minority groups,  and plenty of interesting characters.  Gentle parody of the form was okay, but I didn't want a full blown spoof.  As it was for a festival, I also needed it to be under 40 minutes.

    Pioneer Drama had the largest selection by far.  I narrowed it down to two:  Rascals Under the Big Top, and The Paper Bag Bandit Rides Again.  We went with the latter, and it worked really well for our group.

    We had a number of pianists in our ensemble, and they wrote all the music and played live on stage.

    We also did have a motto:  "Embrace the cheese!"  It was a really fun show to work on, and great to get middle schoolers to use their whole bodies, and to make bold choices.

    Lazy Bee Scripts also had a bunch of options (but generally were either too small or too long for us).

    Kristin Hall
    Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Drama Director

  • 4.  RE: Comedic Melodrama for Middle School

    Posted 25 days ago
    Edited by Rich Horne 25 days ago
    Hi Jennifer,

    I have found a lot of useful scripts in PLAYS magazine. < > It's a very inexpensive source and they have a catalogue that includes 80 years worth of scripts. For the price of an annual subscription you can produce anything in their catalogue. Two of my students' favorites have been "The Trial of Hansel and Gretel" and "The Crystal Lake Hotel Caper", neither is exactly a melodrama but they're fun and full of stock characters. Also note these two plays are not listed in their on-line catalogue but my experience with the company has been if you send them an email requesting a pdf of a play they respond very quickly. I tried typing "melodrama" in their search window and came up with quite a few fun sounding titles. Most of their plays are shorter, usually 30 minutes or less.

    Rich Horne
    Valley Center Middle School