Open Forum

Contemporary Large Cast Plays

  • 1.  Contemporary Large Cast Plays

    Posted 01-28-2019 17:17
    Hi There,

    I am looking ahead for next year's play (9-12th grade) and wanted to reach out for suggestions. I would like to direct something contemporary/modern with about 15-20 characters, preferably comedic. I am directing Almost, Maine now and the students are really liking it. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

    All the best,


    Jordan Fox
    Theater Faculty
    Los Angeles CA

  • 2.  RE: Contemporary Large Cast Plays

    Posted 01-29-2019 08:30
    Don Zolidis has dozens and dozens of plays for high school students many of them large casts and generally all comedic. We went to grad school together and he's fantastic. You should check him out!

    Jason Williams

  • 3.  RE: Contemporary Large Cast Plays

    Posted 01-30-2019 01:47
    Have you looked at the works of Mary Zimmerman? While not outright comedies, her work always has comic elements.
    I've done 'Secret in the Wings' and 'Metamorphoses', and have had my eye on 'The Arabian Nights' as well. Challenging work for High School students, but both the ensemble and audiences have loved her work.

    Tom Schulz

  • 4.  RE: Contemporary Large Cast Plays

    Posted 02-12-2019 12:10
    The two other responses so far are funny, since I'll be echoing both. I keep returing to reading Mary Zimmerman scripts. Though I haven't done one, I really want to. And speaking of Don Zolidis, I finally did one of his shows this fall and everyone loved it. We did Nooses Off, his spoof on both Noises Off and an Agatha Christie parlor murder mystery. I teach at a Christian school and Noises Off was simply off the table, sadly. I tend to avoid most written-for-teens plays since I just feel they are pandering and trying to hard, but this one was genuinely funny...and more important to me was how hard it was to pull off well. During Act 2, when we see backstage and everything is going off the rails, the ability for the actors to track what is happening in the Onstage and Backstage spaces is really tricky. The cues are cutting both directions and the thing has to be perfectly choreographed to feel like chaos while running like a Swiss watch. (As a bonus, this brilliant props girl made, in secret, a full-sized and very dangerous looking swordfish that looked amazing being flopped along at high speed during one of the fight/chase sequences. I need to send Don a photo of that. :-)  Great show to work on and students and audiences loved it.

    Steven Slaughter
    Rosslyn Academy
    Nairobi, Kenya

    "Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts." - W Berry

  • 5.  RE: Contemporary Large Cast Plays

    Posted 02-12-2019 13:16
    Zimmerman's Metamorphoses is great! We were able to get permission from her agent to cut the Myrrah myth, which was good in a high school setting. We looked at her Arabian Nights a couple of years ago but ended up going with the Dominic Cooke RSC version instead. All three scripts offer flexible casting, vignettes that can be separated for easier rehearsals, and opportunities for simple and creative staging.

    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Fishersville VA