Open Forum

Need a Large Ensemble Comedy or Comedy/Drama with some literary merit

  • 1.  Need a Large Ensemble Comedy or Comedy/Drama with some literary merit

    Posted 6 days ago
    It's that time of year again.  I am proud to say my high school program is bigger and better than ever.  We are looking for a play similar to what we have done in the past: a comedy or comedy/drama that has some literary merit.  Our past few shows are as follows:

    Almost, Maine
    Dearly Departed
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    Quaran-Teens (virtual play)
    She Kills Monsters (delayed from 2020, we pulled it off in May 2021!)

    I am of course perusing old threads, but I am always looking for fresh suggestions.  We try to avoid comedies penned primarily for high schools and instead look for shows that are funny but also start conversations--just like the ones above.

    Like many of you, I have many more female performers than young men.  But I do have a handful of the latter that are of great quality as well, including one standout who killed it as Chuck in SKM.

    Thanks for your help!

    ------------------------------
    K Lang
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Need a Large Ensemble Comedy or Comedy/Drama with some literary merit

    Posted 6 days ago
    We loved doing Kate Hamill's adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. With the chorus of gossips, I got my cast up to 20. You also might like something like Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, which has really cool opportunities for creative staging. I recently read Babette's Feast, and that's definitely on my to-do list for the future. Not a pure comedy, but funny and heartwarming.

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



  • 3.  RE: Need a Large Ensemble Comedy or Comedy/Drama with some literary merit

    Posted 6 days ago
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is fun and for the most part I did not cast based on gender, both my Player and Rosencrantz were female. Not only is there the obvious tie to Hamlet, but the metaphysical conversations can be great.

    ------------------------------
    Erin Philyaw
    IL
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Need a Large Ensemble Comedy or Comedy/Drama with some literary merit

    Posted 6 days ago
    I produced two Mary Zimmerman plays with teens - Metamorphosis and Arabian Nights.  Both were very successful.  Her scripts are beautifully written and accessible.  They are both ensemble pieces with lots of featured roles and opportunities for double casting if necessary.  And we had many more girls than boys.  I wouldn't classify them as comedy, but both have lighter moments, especially Arabian Nights.  They are challenging and are very theatrical and have great design potential, but can also be simple.  I insisted that if we do Metamorphosis that we have a pool.  We got permission from the school powers that be and it added so much to the production.   It was really beautiful. We staged it so that every actor had some interaction with the water so it was fair and all inclusive.  We also added a video component for the underworld, an opportunity to incorporate more participants/departments.  We commissioned an original score for Arabian Nights and that too really added to the overall effect and the period. Using existing period music would also work. Metamorphosis has one suggestive scene that might be problematic (incest), but we staged it as a dance in the pool and it worked.

    I licensed the Zimmerman pieces through her literary agent, but they were easy and accessible to work with.

    I also considered The Locker Next 2 Mine by Joanathan Dorf.  I really liked the script and envisioned a video component to that production too.  We never got around to doing it, but worth taking a look at and very relevant.

    Here is a link to production pics on our Facebook page should they help in your decision.

    ARABIAN NIGHTS:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=Laconi.Robert&set=a.10154070332958974

    METAMORPHOSIS:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=Laconi.Robert&set=a.10153079126843974

    While a lot more traditional and classic, by students have also enjoyed doing Kauffman & Hart's Man Who Came to Dinner and Royal Family.

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
    Robert Laconi
    Robert.Laconi@gmail.com







    ------------------------------
    Robert Laconi
    ------------------------------