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Musicals that are or aren't appropriate for high schools 
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Supporting Player
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Think again. These days, the average teenager is exposed to much more than you might assume.


Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:06 pm
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Chorus Member
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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Aida
All Shook Up
Cabaret*
Camelot
Chicago*
A Chorus Line
Company
Damn Yankees
Evita*
Footloose
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Gypsy*
Hair*
Hairspray
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Into the Woods
Jekyll and Hyde
Jesus Christ Superstar*
Kiss Me Kate*
Les Miserables
Little Shop of Horrors
My Fair Lady
Oklahoma!
Oliver!
Once Upon a Mattress
The Producers*
Ragtime
Rent**
South Pacific
Sweeney Todd*
Urinetown
West Side Story


Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:17 pm
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The problem with Rent in high school isn't that students don't understand it, it's that many school boards and some parents don't want to acknowledge that they do. I just don't think it would be worth all the hassle to put on, especially if it's only the student edition. It seems that most high schools that do Rent only do it to push the envelope or capture on its popularity and they end up doing a crappy job or it causes such a ruckus it gets canceled by the principal or school board before they even get a chance to perform.


Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:24 pm
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SmallTownIngenue wrote:
The problem with Rent in high school isn't that students don't understand it, it's that many school boards and some parents don't want to acknowledge that they do. I just don't think it would be worth all the hassle to put on, especially if it's only the student edition. It seems that most high schools that do Rent only do it to push the envelope or capture on its popularity and they end up doing a crappy job or it causes such a ruckus it gets canceled by the principal or school board before they even get a chance to perform.


Well, our school has got the rights to the complete version of Rent. Since we live in Norway we are going to mildly change some of the heavy sexual references in La Vie Boheme, other than that everything will be kept inn. We have also been told that if we go to Audition we must expect that we might have to make-out with another boy or girl, seeing that most of us are willing to do it, we might get sexual tension between Maureen and Joanne.


Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:37 am
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Tony Winner
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High-baritonne wrote:
Well, our school has got the rights to the complete version of Rent. Since we live in Norway we are going to mildly change some of the heavy sexual references in La Vie Boheme, other than that everything will be kept inn.


Why would you have to do this? You and Hans have spent much time on here questioning the uptight morals of us silly Americans, and yet when it comes time to act on your moral superiority, you cave. Could it be that there are things which even Norwegians can find objectionable in a school production?

School musicals are not professional productions. They are not amateur/community theatre productions. The purpose of school musicals is NOT to put on the most amazing productions. The purpose is to TEACH. 99.9% of high-schoolers lack the talent and maturity level to deal with the issues as presented in the shows (Note: I am not saying that they are immature, simply that the are not capable of presenting the issue as it is written in the show.) As far as I am concerned, the ONLY reason that schools perform "controversial" shows is for the controversy. There is a reason that the same old shows are performed over and over again at the high-school level. It's because they are good teaching pieces.


Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:29 am
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scottinkc wrote:
High-baritonne wrote:
Well, our school has got the rights to the complete version of Rent. Since we live in Norway we are going to mildly change some of the heavy sexual references in La Vie Boheme, other than that everything will be kept inn.


Why would you have to do this? You and Hans have spent much time on here questioning the uptight morals of us silly Americans, and yet when it comes time to act on your moral superiority, you cave. Could it be that there are things which even Norwegians can find objectionable in a school production?

School musicals are not professional productions. They are not amateur/community theatre productions. The purpose of school musicals is NOT to put on the most amazing productions. The purpose is to TEACH. 99.9% of high-schoolers lack the talent and maturity level to deal with the issues as presented in the shows (Note: I am not saying that they are immature, simply that the are not capable of presenting the issue as it is written in the show.) As far as I am concerned, the ONLY reason that schools perform "controversial" shows is for the controversy. There is a reason that the same old shows are performed over and over again at the high-school level. It's because they are good teaching pieces.


Well, the reason why we are changing them is that most of us doesn't know what sodomy is, then why should we be toasting to it? We are also changing some of the other references that are not common knowledge in Norway, so I don't see how your point is valid. In Norway we have freedom of speech to the extent where we almost can harass and mock without consequence, which is one of our nations biggest problems!


Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:22 am
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scottinkc wrote:
School musicals are not professional productions. They are not amateur/community theatre productions. The purpose of school musicals is NOT to put on the most amazing productions. The purpose is to TEACH. 99.9% of high-schoolers lack the talent and maturity level to deal with the issues as presented in the shows (Note: I am not saying that they are immature, simply that the are not capable of presenting the issue as it is written in the show.) As far as I am concerned, the ONLY reason that schools perform "controversial" shows is for the controversy. There is a reason that the same old shows are performed over and over again at the high-school level. It's because they are good teaching pieces.


I couldn't agree more. Also, high school musicals have to be somewhat family friendly because a large portion of the audience is made up of cast and crew family members, which can include conservative parents, grandparents, young siblings, etc. If I was a director, I wouldn't want to risk losing my built-in audience by choosing a controversial and polarizing show, especially since many high school theater departments have such small budgets and rely on ticket sales.


Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:22 pm
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Well, we don't have to think about budget too much, seeing that we get extra money support from the government because of our school's history of "excellence in Musical Theatre". Thus why we can do Rent and make a great production, seeing we have the people to do it, which we do, so I don't see any reason why a High School then shouldn't be able to do it?


Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:00 pm
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High-baritonne wrote:
Well, we don't have to think about budget too much, seeing that we get extra money support from the government because of our school's history of "excellence in Musical Theatre". Thus why we can do Rent and make a great production, seeing we have the people to do it, which we do, so I don't see any reason why a High School then shouldn't be able to do it?


Well that's a different story, but for most American public high schools, it wouldn't fly. Your school is a rare exception (and you are in a much different, less conservative country), I'm talking about the majority. Even great theater and music programs don't get proper funding here. You are lucky.


Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:07 pm
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So, if you got the money and resources, then go for it, but if you are poor, then you have to sacrifice the art? Is it really that capitalistic?


Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:15 pm
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High-baritonne wrote:
So, if you got the money and resources, then go for it, but if you are poor, then you have to sacrifice the art? Is it really that capitalistic?


IMO, I think that's cutting corners.


Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:33 pm
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High-baritonne wrote:
So, if you got the money and resources, then go for it, but if you are poor, then you have to sacrifice the art? Is it really that capitalistic?


Pretty much.

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