Open Forum

Good modern plays

  • 1.  Good modern plays

    Posted 10-25-2019 07:47
    I'm looking for great modern dramas that would be good for high school. Something cutting edge. Can anyone direct me to any websites or make any suggestions? Looking for a medium sized cast or flexible cast.

    Karen Wiebe
    Drama Director
    Burlington KY

  • 2.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 10-25-2019 10:04
    Not to be a broken record, but Student Body by Frank Winters (Broadway Play Publishing). Go with the high school edition. It's very relevant and it packs a punch.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 3.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 10-25-2019 11:39
    Full length or one act? And what are your language limitations?

    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ

  • 4.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 10-26-2019 17:38
    26 Pebbles by Eric Ulloa. We did it last spring and it was a transformative experience for our cast!

    Nell] [Lynch]
    Timonium MDMaggie

  • 5.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 10-26-2019 17:59
    Hi Karen,

    This website that I am using has a lot of school plays.


    Heather Carrington
    Pinawa MB

  • 6.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 10-31-2019 03:20
    I use this one too and am really fond of the plays on it

    Lisa Coy
    New York NY

  • 7.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 10-26-2019 22:39
    One of the best cutting edge plays I've done recently is Arlene Hutton's Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry, which deals with peer pressure, sexual assault, body image, and many other relevant issues. It is written in an honest way that the students really connect with. The second play I highly recommend is Josh Adell's The Mental State, which focuses on a teenage boy's mental illness and its effect on him, his family, and the community. It culminates with him bringing a gun on campus and has some extremely important messages and talking points. My cast was able to face time with the playwright and he provided incredible insight into the characters he created.

    Nancy Moran
    Drama Instructor
    Los Altos High School
    Los Altos CA

  • 8.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 10-27-2019 12:31
    Nancy -- Thanks so much for recommending Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry, published by Dramatists Play Service. The script was commissioned by a high school especially to take to the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh in 2015 and was written by request to be "edgy."

    The commissioning high school used the production as an educational tool about teens and sexual assault, with information handed out ahead of time, talkbacks after each performance, and counselors in the lobby to support anyone who had to leave or needed to talk after. There were tables with resource materials available. Two years earlier the same director had presented 4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane, a difficult piece for even the most experience adult theatre company, as a way to talk about teen suicide, again with talkbacks and counselors. Although some parents balked at first, preferring the old comedy chestnuts and popular musicals, even the most out-spoken and critical came around and complimented the director and principal for doing something so relevant and meaningful to both the actors and the audience.

    Unlike my Holocaust play Letters to Salawhich is intended for a wide audience, Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry isn't for every school. The published version does give permission to change some of the language, however, and I'm always willing to Skype, zoom, or FaceTime with students and teachers. And although Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry was written for a specific group of ten, there is opportunity for a larger ensemble of women as a chorus.

    It was a joy to meet many of you at the conferences in Nebraska and NYC. The EdTA members are also welcome to reach out to me with questions.

    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

  • 9.  RE: Good modern plays

    Posted 11-05-2019 11:15
    Kodachrome by Adam Szymkowicz
    26 Pebbles by Eric Uloa
    Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

    More Mature:
    Dog Sees God by Bert V. Royal
    The Oregon Trail  by Bekah Brunstetter
    Let the Right One In by Jack Thorn

    Becca Lillias