Open Forum

Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

  • 1.  Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-15-2018 08:21
    There is a school in our district that is doing a particular show in October 2018. I feel like this show is absolutely perfect for our school this year as well. Our production would be in March 2019. Would it be tacky to book the same show? Our schools are in two different areas of Orlando. They are North Winter Garden. We are east Belle Isle area. It wouldn’t offend me if another school did the same thing, but I want to know what the general unwritten rule is.

    Lizzy Brannan
    Theater Teacher
    Orlando, FL

  • 2.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-15-2018 11:45
    I generally avoid doing shows that the schools right around us are doing simply because there are 4 other high schools within 5 miles of us, so I don't want to over saturate the community with one particular show.  But for schools that area bit further away from us?  It happens all the time, and my kids love it because it's fun to see how others produce the same show, the various directions it can take and such.

    Laura Steenson
    Theatre Director
    Reynolds High School
    Troutdale OR

  • 3.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-16-2018 08:01
    Okay, this is something that I think about all the time. The Phenomenon that is every school chooses the same few shows the same year. I wish there was study on this. Inevitably, despite the show being old, new, ancient or redicuolous, everyone chooses the same shows all the time. For instance, this coming summer we were going to do Legally Blonde, a show no one has done in a while, but then we were informed that a couple schools in the area were doing non other than, Legally Blonde. Same thing happened when we switched to Mary Poppins. Its crazy.

    I think there isn't necessarily an issue other than if they have advertised their show and then you pick it. If you did it at the same time without knowing, thats one thing, but its going to hurt your ticket sales, yes there might be a fun rival, but it might not be what you want.

    So my answer is, yes it is if you knew about it ahead of time. If not, its a crazy coincidence and makes for fun times.

    Dan Mellitz
    Technical Director
    St Andrews School
    Barrington, RI

  • 4.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-16-2018 08:58
    I have always worked in districts where there is only one high school but nearby districts with high schools of their own and programs of their own.  With this in mind I have tried to always get at least an email chain discussing next season's choices and build a cooperative relationship, sometimes it was nice to even have a dinner or coffee shop meet up to discuss season choices as well as help each other when needed.

    Typically, if the show is so close both in time and location the publisher won't allow rights to be given.  Keep in mind, communities don't necessarily want to see the same show twice, so if the show is chosen by another already and you choose as well and choose to do sooner - that isn't quite the nicest thing to do as it will affect the other school's ticket sales.

    Personally, I would not do the same show, especially if it is locked in.  We have often done similar shows to build community interest in continuing the story or the theme and promoting each other's works.  This can also show your students that comraderie between programs can be beneficial!

    Kimberly Wibbenmeyer
    Sullivan MO

  • 5.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-16-2018 10:22

    There are five high schools in our school district.  We, the Theatre teachers of CUHSD, agree that three (preferably four, no less than three) years be kept as a moratorium between each other's shows.  The intent of this agreement is to encourage students to be part of a supportive audience of our sister school's programs and prevent inevitable competition between us. Together, we created a shared live Google Doc of all of our seasons for the past five years and we add on to it regularly so that we always have the information we need at hand.

    Jeff Bengford
    Performing Arts Chair & Director, Westmont High School
    Campbell CA

  • 6.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-16-2018 11:26
    Ask the teacher at the other school.
    I've been approached by other schools with similar questions.
    It didn't bother me - in fact it gave us a chance to share resources.
    Depending on the show, the licensing agent may have something to say about it, too.

    Billy Houck
    Theatre Teacher
    Fremont High School
    Sunnyvale CA

  • 7.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-16-2018 13:27
    Thank you all for the help. The bottom line for us is that it IS the perfect show for our students this year and we are doing it AFTER they are - two totally different communities of people. Our Orlando district is huge. Ours is east side.
    They are north side Winter Garden. This year, after I booked Guys and Dolls, I found out that a school on the West side was doing the same! They did theirs in February and us in March. It’s sooooo difficult to not choose the same show when we are in such a large district with so many schools. It happens to me, in particular, a lot. Their show is in October this year. Ours is March. I think we will be ok. I just hate this happens so much.

    Lizzy Brannan
    Theater Teacher
    Orlando, FL

  • 8.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-17-2018 08:36
    I agree with those who have suggested that this is an opportunity to share ideas and resources.  We did Peter and the Starcatcher this fall, and so did another school in our area, in roughly the same time period.  Their director brought a bunch of students to our production, and vice versa.  It was really fascinating to see  how another school told the story.

    Eric McNaughton
    Theatre Director
    Marist School

  • 9.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-17-2018 09:24
    I worked in a school system with 50 active and excellent high school and middle school theatre programs. The surprise for us would have been that someone else wasn't doing the same show. We just rolled with it and, as others have mentioned, it was often fun to see what other groups had done with the same material. We were often able to horse trade and share production materials as well.

    Robert Smith
    VA Co-Chapter Director
    Centreville VA

  • 10.  RE: Tacky To Do Same Show As Another School???

    Posted 04-23-2018 22:25
    I agree with the roll with it approach! When we did Almost, Maine there were at least 3 other schools doing it in the same semester. It's okay!

    Arden Thomas
    Sequoyah High School
    Pasadena CA