Putting on plays and musicals is a fun way for middle schoolers to work on different skills including teamwork, cooperation, and responsibility. There are many excellent short plays and musicals for middle school classes and drama clubs.
Where to Find Short Plays and Musicals for Middle School
Several publishing companies and dramatic suppliers specialize in providing scripts for educational and community theater productions. When evaluating titles, verify which age group the productions you are considering are designed for.
Many plays designated for educational and community theater use are ideal for middle school students, but others are written for younger age groups, high school students, or adults. If you can't find information about age appropriateness in a play's description, ask a representative of the publishing company for guidance.
Pioneer Drama Service
No matter what type of play you're looking for, there's a good chance that Pioneer Drama Service will have it. This company has exclusive rights to more than 700 musicals and plays, many of which are well suited for use in middle school programs. Available titles can be browsed by category, including type, length, age group of participants, season, and more. You can search the online catalog for scripts that meet your needs. The searchable database allows you to request targeted results by entering variables such as cast size, type of production, and running time.
- Anne of Green Gables: This play works well for kids of all ages and focuses on an orphan named Anne who works on a farm and has incredibly wild imagination.
- Beauty and the Beast: This play is best for kids a bit older as the beast might frighten super young children. This story focuses on a complex relationship between Belle, an avid reader and kind soul, and The Beast, a prince who was cursed into being a monster as punishment for his selfishness.
- Jack and the Magic Beans: This play works best for older children as the Giant in the story may be too scary for younger kids. In this tale, Jacks's mother becomes agitated with his purchase of beans and throws them down. Soon after they grow into a magical bean stock leading to a mystical castle in the sky where Jack faces the Giant.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: This play is ideal for older children as the content is a bit mature. In this play Tom Sawyer creates some discord in his town when he runs away and pretends to be dead.
- The Glass Slipper: This play is a creative take on Cinderella and works well for any age group in middle school.
- The Golden Goose: This play works well for kids of any age and focuses on themes such as kindness, compassion, and empathy.
If you're looking for a musical, be sure to check out the selection of musical plays and reviews carried by Clarus Music. This company carries an extensive selection of musical plays for primary and secondary school grade levels. Along with an excellent selection of short plays and musicals for middle school students, this company also has titles designed for elementary and secondary school students. Available scripts include:
- As the Pages Turn: This tongue-in-cheek play works well for kids of all ages and takes place in a library where computers, books, and magazines come to life.
- Broadway Santa: This play works great for younger and older middle school-aged children. In this play, Santa and Mrs. Claus attempt to put on their own play and impress their audience.
- Fiddler on the Roof: This popular play works best for older kids and focuses on the complexities of religion, family, and privilege.
- Phantom of the Music Room: This play works well for younger and older kids and explores a mysterious, piano-playing character in the school music room.
Heuer Publishing carries an extensive selection of play scripts designed to be used in school and community theater productions. The company carries titles in several genres, many of which are appropriate for middle school productions.
- The Polar Bear Prince: This play focuses on the adventures of several silly characters including a troll queen and princess carrot toes. This works well for kids of all ages.
- Short Scenes and Monologues for Middle School Actors: This play works well for middle school students ages 11 to 14 and focuses on issues that young adolescents commonly face.
- The Velveteen Rabbit: This is a classic and sweet story about a boy and his stuffed animal rabbit who becomes a real rabbit. This play has content suitable for all ages.
- The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. This play works well for older kids as there are some scary aspects to the story. The tale follows Alice, a young girl down a rabbit hole and into a strange and adventure filled land.
If you're looking for contemporary short plays and musicals for middle school students, be sure to look at the titles available from YouthPlays.com. This company carries both previously published works and new manuscripts that have been stage tested. Available manuscripts include:
- Dodge: This play is perfect for younger and older kids alike and focuses on a battle between the elves and the gnomes in a mystical land.
- From Shakespeare with Love: This play explores some of Shakespeare's most famous characters and deals with the themes of love and revenge. This play is suitable for middle schoolers of any age.
- Prince Ugly: This play works well for kids of all ages and focuses on a prince who is cursed into being so ugly that he frightens away others.
- The Adventures of Little Red Robinhood: This play is a funny take on Little Red Riding Hood and Robinhood and works well for children ages 12 and up.
- The Beggar Prince: This play is about a prince who is forced to marry an impoverished beggar in order to learn about empathy and compassion. It works well for kids 12 years old and older.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Middle School Plays
If you're going to be involved in selecting and staging a middle school play, remember that choosing a script isn't the only important decision. Before finalizing script selection, think about just how easy or difficult the titles you are considering will be to stage. Think about the expense and work involved with creating the sets and decorations, making the costumes, and other relevant factors when evaluating suitable options for middle school productions. Select a title that will be fun and educational for everyone involved, but that can also be staged without a great deal of effort or unnecessary cost.