Musicals: Middle school Musicals
I'm sure i forgot some, but here's a good starting list:
Middle School Musicals
Shows I/my school have done
Singin in the Rain
West Side Story
Bye Bye Birdie
Little Shop of Horrors
Give My Regards to Broadway
Ducktails and Bobbysocks
The Wizard of Oz
Shows suggested by choralist
Annie Get Your Gun
The Sound of Music
How to Eat Like a Child
Once on this Island
Once Upon a Mattress
The Music Man
Pirates of Penzance
Broadway Jr. Shows:
Music Man Jr.
Once on This Island Jr.
Guys and Dolls Jr.
Pioneer Press shows:
Hee Haw Hayride
Beauty and the Beast
Thanks for the help,
Thank you for your replies. The original message was:
I am in search of the BEST musical for grades 4-8. Please give me
your suggestions. It's a public school group, and I want to do it
this summer. I don't want a full-fledged Broadway musical, but
rather something appropriate for the age, and of about an hour's
The replies are as follows:
Try checking out The Fabulous Fable Factory at Dramatic Publishing.
I've done several productions of this script over the years with kids
rom 2nd - 12th grade and with adults. It's very adaptable and because
it's epidsodic you can cut fables out and still achieve a unified
production. It also lends itself to adapting the major characters into
more than 1 or 2. The music is really simple and you can run with just
a piano or add on rhythm. You can use masks, creative dramatics
rehearsal techniques and inventive scenic design. It's not Shakespeare,
but a fun adaptation of Aesop's fables.
Wm. Patrick Barlow
Staff & Organizational Development Coordinator
My students (6th-8th grades) just finished doing the musical School
House Rock Live Jr. which was about 45 minutes long. We had an
absolutely wonderful experience with it. Very good for involving many
different kids. Very heavy on the music, not so heavy on the dialogue.
If you would like any more info just let me know. Good luck. (I
wouldn't mind knowing what you come up with either, I'm always looking
for good musicals).
Bay Lane Middle School
If you have not looked at any of Jill and Michael Gallina's musicals, then
I recommend you begin there. They work very well for the ages that you
will be working with and can be learned well without the difficulty of
mounting a full scale "Broadway" musical. Jill and Michael can be reached
at their website, which gives you a good deal of information about their
many musicals at jandmsongs(a)aol.com or you can look at Shawnee Press or
check with J.W.Pepper on their sites. Good Luck!
I would suggest getting a CLARUS music catalog. They have lots of revues
that are good and are not as involved as the high school musicals and not as
I have done Nickelodeon, The Clowns, All American and It's a Small World
with large elem. casts and lots of success.
If you want something more involved the Middle school used the jr. musicals
and they were great. Good luck!
May I suggest the Broadway Junior version of The Music Man? The musical is cut down in length, has CD accompaniment so no need for a pit orchestra but fuller sound than just piano, incorporates children plus others that are to be "older" and is a great story. We did this with 7th and 8th graders 2 years ago - much fun and a big success. Check out the Broadway Jr series. We are now in the midst of Fiddler on the Roof Jr.
Glee J. Crippin
I have had a lot of success with a company called Pioneer Drama Service. Do a search and check it out. I'm sure you can request a catalog. They provide a variety of plays, musicals, musicals for young audiences, seasonal, etc. Each one tells you the cast number, set requirements, etc. There is even a way to receive three musicals of your choice (script and CD) for about $20.00 which goes toward your purchase of one of their musicals.
Another is Broadway Junior which offers musicals set for that age group. I know you mentioned you didn't want a full Broadway musical. However, I'm using it for the first time this year and am very impressed with how they simplify everything for 4th-8th graders.
Hope this helps. And please feel free to forward any one's helpful hints to me. :)
St. Louis King of France School
Pre-K3 to 8th Grade
I wish you would consider my musical "Knightly Dreams". It's about three boys who want to become knights of the round table. Has a light moral lesson, fun but mostly unison music, very clever scripts with lots of "groaners". Our royalty fee for it is only $200, which includes permission to copy scripts, music, etc. We're putting it on this fall too at SHAPE military base here in Mons, Belgium. I'll send you some samples if you're interested.
Ann Kapp Andersen
I just saw a group of 5th and 6th graders perform Oliver! (I was not the director), but I was struck by how perfect the music was for their voices. There had been some cuts (Sykes stabbing his girlfriend and other parts for length) and some of the parts had been redistributed to create additional small speaking roles so that the running time was just under an hour. The kids were enthusiastic about participating, as well.
Here's a suggestion, if you have enough cash and the talent.
Hal Leonard has a series called "Broadway, Jr." and the best one of the
bunch is a version of "Annie". It is an author approved condensation of
the original show with the best music left in place.
The cost of the entire package is around $400, but for that price you
get 20 copies of the show, piano scores, activity guides, a choreography
video from John Jacobson, and a CD soundtrack of the entire show.
You also get the license to produce the show as many times as you want
to within a calendar year.
It's maybe a little out of what you're looking for, but it's really
Hope this helps.
Vinson Middle School
Check the scaled down versions of Pirates of Penzance or H.M.S. Pinafore
published by Shawnee. They are designed just for this age group and
about an hour. Mostly unison and 2 part writing, a lot of chorus, not a
lot of dialogue.
If you want something bigger, look at the Broadway Jr. series. You can
get them from J.W. Pepper and a lot of other places too. They come with
complete production packs with loads of suggestions - Music Man, Guys
and Dolls, several others. These are a bigger production, though.
Upper Perkiomen Middle School
I did OLIVER TWIST by Mary Donelly and George Strid last year and it was a hit! Less parts for girls though. I have also done:
PINOCCHIO by Leisy and Merman
LEWIS AND CLARK by... I forget, but I am sure someone else will tell you about it as it is done often.
I did the above because they had lots of parts and chorus parts as well.
Finally... for about $500 you can do anything from "Broadway Jr." These are Broadway plays that have been cut to one hour in length.
Carnival of the Animals is great fun and has great music. I did it with
Schoolhouse Rock Jr. is also great, but a bit more involved. Kids LOVE
the music and it's easy to choreograph.
I know this isn't the specific answer you want, but check out MTI's Broadway Jr line (www.broadwayjr.com) You get everything you need, and they're easy to produce. My suggestion from there would be School House Rock Live! Jr. Schoolhouse doesn't take much, if any, of a set and costumes can be jeans and bright shirts. Plus, the music is a BLAST! That's my vote on the BEST.
Another resource is Pioneer Drama Service, Inc (www.pioneerdrama.com) I have their catalog for my high school drama class, and for the most part it all seems too young for high school, but perfect for middle school. There are musicals in it, not the big broadway type if that's what you're seeking.
I hope this helps, and I owuld greatly appreciate it if you would post a compilation!
I have several that I have done with my kids. I am currently working on one by Kriske and Deleles called the Princeless Princess. It is wonderful! Do you have access to Orff Instruments or are you wanting accompaniment? It is meant for the kids to play. I prefer for my kids to do everything from composing at times, to singing, to playing the accompaniment, to choreographing the dances we do. It is very enjoyable so far.
Hope this helps!
Sumner County, Tennessee
I don't know if you are familiar with the Broadway Jr series but I have done "Bugsy Malone, jr" with 6th grade and it was a hit with the audience and the students. I highly recommend it to you.
Doug Strandell, Choral Director
Pine Island High School
Pine Island, MN
I did a musical with my 6th graders about Disney.......... It was actually a
medley of old Disney songs and then we added costumes and dance movements.
Because it was a lot of classics with a few new songs thrown in it made for
a nice program. Its not exactly a musical but you can add anything to it to
make it what you want. I hope this helps.
Reva L. Jordan
6th grade music teacher.