Susan Doremus/Educational Theater Association
The Educational Theater Association released its top 10 lists of plays and musicals performed in high schools during the 2022-2023 school year. More than 2,300 public and private high school teachers across the United States participated.
The Addams family topping the list of full-length musicals, followed by Oh mama!
The play no. 1 was Trace, followed by You puff. By Disney Frozen JR held first place among short musicals.
AND 10 ways to survive the zombie apocalypse tied with Check, please for the most popular short film.
You can see the full list Here.
THE EDTA she calls the survey a « snapshot » of both what is popular among high school drama departments and the « educational climate. » 85% of respondents reported that they are « at least somewhat concerned about censorship » and 67% said « censorship issues » are affecting their selections for next year.
Changing tastes and values reflected in the Gaming Survey
EdTA executive director Jennifer Katona believes The Addams familyNetflix’s popularity « has a lot to do with our students’ love for the Netflix show Wednesday. » Another success of this year: The SpongeBob Musical. “It has a lot of music from a lot of different lyricists and musicians, so the students in the schools are really enjoying it too. »
This is the first year Mean Girls: High School Version was licensed to schools and leapt to tenth place among full-length musicals. It helps that the musical based on the popular Tina Fey film hit Broadway not too long ago and that the cast is largely female. High school drama programs often attract more girls than boys.
The annual Play Survey began in 1938. NPR’s Education Desk conducted an eye-opening analysis of how high school plays have tracked the survey’s 85-year history.
Our city, For example, it was consistently in the top 10 « by decade » shows, from the 1940s through the 1910s. In the last two polls, Thornton Wilder’s timeless classic took tenth place, but this year it didn’t make the list. Katona says high school drama departments are « diversifying their repertoires. »
“The schools have really made an effort to bring in different playwrights and have a diverse representation of voices on their stages,” she says.
Hindered due to censorship issues
With school boards and local governments canceling theater productions and banning books, the EdTA survey also found drama teachers are nervous.
Educational Theater Association
« Teachers know they have to be smart about what they’re putting on their stages, » says Katona, « They’re making choices that will enable them to maintain their theater schedules. » She adds, « The theater has always been a safe space for many of our students. »
Danny Issa teaches theater at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Virginia. As he says, while he always involves students in the show selection process, he also makes sure school officials are well aware of content that some may find inappropriate.
« The arts in general are always in such a precarious position. Will we get funding? Will we make it through another season? » Issa reflects. « Just a single complaint from a parent can cause a show to be pulled. » This includes losing « all the money you put into a production ».
However, Issa’s concerns didn’t stop him – and many other high school drama teachers – from staging Almost, Maine, a play about love and relationships that includes gay characters.
High School Theater Programs Are ‘Recovering From Pandemic’
Culture wars aside, the Play Survey found that, on average, attendance is increasing and theater programs are increasing output.
“The average audience size of all performances in a school season increased 13% from last year to 1,967,” EdTA writes in a statement.
“Coming out of the pandemic, I think everyone was really excited to be able to see the theater again,” says Issa.
The Washington-Liberty High School Musical — The prom — sold more than $10,000 in tickets, up $4,000 from last year’s musical, according to Issa.
Almost, Maine he did well too. « We ended up opening our balcony into the auditorium,” Issa says. “Just because of the large number of people who showed up for the closing night.”