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From the Desk of Licensing: K-12 Edition

From the Desk of Licensing: K-12 Edition

Featuring four fantastic plays for a complete season, this edition comes to you from:

Name: Rosemary Bucher
Title: Educational Theatre Licensing Coordinator
Personal Note: Hello, Educators! I work specifically with schools and youth organizations, helping them plan and license their productions. My colleague Sarah Weber and I talk to teaching artists throughout the US and Canada every day, and consistently discuss their desire for shows with scalable casts, ensemble-building opportunities, and curriculum tie-ins. This season, we’re recommending the following titles, which challenge students of all ages while setting their directors up for a successful (and flexible!) season.

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Begets: Fall of a High School Ronin

Who wrote it?

Qui Nguyen

Why do I know that playwright?

A master at translating martial arts to the stage, Qui is also Artistic Director of Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company. His hit play She Kills Monsters has been a favorite for competitions, schools, and youth theatres since its premiere in 2011.

So, what's this play about?

Geeky Emi Edwards embarks on a quest to vanquish corruption and tricky cliques at her high school. But as she rights these wrongs, can she navigate her own desire for popularity?

Why should I do it?

With built-in doubling, expandable casting, loads of stage combat, witty banter, fab opportunities for design, students and teachers are sure to fall in love with Emi and her action-packed world!

Can I cut this title for competition?

Please submit a cutting proposal with your license request, and we’ll be happy to see. We’ve received competition approval for this title in the past. Here’s our guide to competition cuttings!

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them?

Mean Girls meets geek culture, featuring fabulous stage combat. An incredible piece to teach students about world-building and fight choreography, while discussing common teen issues.

 

Jasper in Deadland

Who wrote it?

Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster

Why do I know that creative team?

Lucille Lortel Award Nominee and Jonathan Larson Grant recipient Ryan Scott Oliver has captivated audiences around the world with his work, including 35mm: A Musical Exhibition and his recent album Three Points of Concept. He’s a genius at musical storytelling, and his songs have been a mainstay in cabarets and auditions for years.

 Actor, writer, and director Hunter Foster is the Artistic Director for the Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse. You may know him from his work as a performer in Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown, Hands On a Hardbody, The Bridges of Madison County, and more.   

So, what's this play about?

This incredible pop-rock musical is a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. 16-year-old Jasper journeys into the Afterlife to rescue his recently deceased best friend, Agnes.  But in this version of the hereafter – known as “Deadland,” a hybrid of mythology, religion, and superstition – the dead forget life itself.  Can Jasper bring his best friend back from Deadland, or will he join her there forever?

Why should I do it?

Jasper in Deadland is a modern twist on a classic tale, with endless opportunities for creative and set design. It only takes one listen to become obsessed with the music! Because there’s built-in doubling and expandable casting, all performers can have solos.

Can I cut this title for competition?

Please submit a cutting proposal with your license request, and we’ll be happy to see. Here’s our guide to competition cuttings!

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them?

A teenage boy takes a journey through the afterlife to save his best friend, connecting mythology with a pop-rock score. It’s a great way to teach an old story in a new way, and both rehearsal and performance tracks are available!

The Lost Girl (or First Chair)

Who wrote it?

Lauren Yee

Why do I know that playwright/creative team?

New Dramatists Playwright and MacDowell fellow Lauren Yee has made waves with her plays The Great Leap, Cambodian Rock Band, Hookman, King of the Yees, and more!

So, what's this play about?

Students, teachers, and parents get caught up in a music department’s politics when the first violinist in a high school orchestra disappears without a trace and the director must find a replacement.

Why should I do it?

Written specifically for teens, this bittersweet short play is a dream for competitions. Gender changes, doubling, and additional ensemble cast are pre-approved, which means this can work for any casting pool.

Can I cut this title for competition?

Since it’s already a short play, The Lost Girl is ideal for competitions!

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them?

Who knew a short play about loss and shock could be so funny? Lauren Yee’s work starts discussions about communities, competition, and dreaming, all while giving 11+ performers time in the spotlight.

Old Money

Who wrote it?

Wendy Wasserstein

Why do I know that playwright/creative team?

Wendy Wasserstein was a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright whose work (including The Heidi Chronicles and The Sisters Rosensweig) continues to be produced throughout the world.

So, what's this play about?

Fluidly jumping between dinner parties in the same NYC mansion at the beginning and end of the 20th Century, this Edith Wharton-style commentary on materialism stars a cast of eccentric characters all fighting for relevance and recognition.

Why should I do it?

Using one room in both the 1920s and 1990s, this witty story on provides opportunities for curriculum tie-ins and historical research. Smaller casts can be challenged with presenting different characters in one setting.

Can I cut this title for competition?

Please submit a cutting proposal with your license request, and we’ll be happy to see. Here’s our guide to competition cuttings!

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them?

One set, scalable cast, multiple decades!

Okay, I have to read these plays. Where can I get the scripts?

Click any of the titles above to go directly to their show page. Or, you can search for them at samuelfrench.com!

I'm also pretty sure I'm going to want to license it - but I may have a few questions first. Who do I contact?

Reach out to your licensing representative directly and check out our Season Planning Guide for Schools.

 

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