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NPR Ed
The Most Popular High School Plays And Musicals
Elissa Nadworny
September 15, 2017

NPR Ed published the first-ever database of the most popular high school plays and musicals in the U.S. in July 2015. Today, the 2017 numbers are out, so we've updated our original story.

The brilliant script, the "really fun" music and the exciting tech and staging feats were just a few of the reasons John Minigan decided to have his students perform The Addams Family.

"A lot of the students didn't know The Addams Family TV show at all," says Minigan, the drama teacher at Weston High School, just outside Boston. The nostalgia may be more for the adults in the audience, but the show, he says, still asks an increasingly relevant question for students: "What is the American family?"

Weston High was not the only one making this selection. For the third year in a row, The Addams Family was the most popular high school musical in the United States, according to the annual survey from Dramatics magazine.

The new numbers just out also show that Mary Poppins stint on the list was short lived: it was replaced this year by The Wizard of Oz. The most-produced shows (both plays and musicals) remained the same as last year: For full-length plays, Almost, Maine, again, topped the list. That's not a surprise: The collection of two-person scenes by John Cariani has been the most popular production for high schools this decade.

It's appealing to high schools because it's adaptable, says Rebecca Skrypeck, the theater director who oversaw a production of the play at Springfield High School in Springfield, Vt.


 
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