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Seven TYA Plays to Produce This School Year

By On The Stage

If you’re looking for fun and familiar plays for your TYA students, we’ve got you covered.    

Our script partner, Stage Rights, makes it easy by offering these plays in an Education School Bundle with one price for up to six performances.  

Here are seven TYA plays that your students will love watching and performing.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

Playwright: Mark Landon Smith

Run Time: 90 min

Cast Size: 9F, 1M, Ensemble, Flexible

Category: Play

Genre: Comedy - TYA

Synopsis: Smith's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland follows the restless birthday girl, Alice, as she chases a busy bunny and ends up in its fantastical world, encountering the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the mercurial Queen of Hearts.

Other details: Students will love this magical show full of adventure, curiosity, madness, coming of age, and, of course, unbirthdays.

Teacher’s Note: This familiar story with a unique twist is the perfect play for teachers to enhance their Reading/Literature unit, and it’s a tale students of all ages already love. 

 

THE GRIMM WORLD

Playwrights: Adam Neubauer & Samantha Levenshus

Run Time: 75 min

Cast Size: 6F, 6M, Ensemble

Category: Play

Genre: Comedy - TYA

Synopsis: Enter the familiar world of “Once Upon a Time,” as a chipper minstrel takes you on a journey of epic proportions. In a magical forest we find Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Frog Prince all working their way toward their own happy endings. Their tales collide at a breakneck pace, keeping these age-old stories feeling fresh for the 21st century. 

Other details: Fantasy, Performance, Storytelling, Classic Adaptations, Devilishly funny and brimming with wit, The Grimm World is family-friendly entertainment that promises to bring out the kid in everyone.

Teacher’s Note: Student actors will delight in the familiar cast of characters, as this one play is multiple fairy tales in one. The Grimm World is also a nice segue to generate interest in the original stories as a springboard into a reading unit or the culmination of one. It could also be used as an example for young writers to create their own fairy tale mashup.    

 

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Playwright: Mark Landon Smith

Run Time: 1 hr

Cast Size: 4F, 4M, Ensemble (Flexible)

Category: Play

Genre: Comedy - TYA

Synopsis: Fallout from a satellite probe shot to Venus returns to Earth carrying a mysterious radiation that transforms the unburied dead into flesh-eating zombies. Seven people trapped in an isolated farmhouse, held hostage by ravenous ghouls with an attitude, begin to turn on each other as the rather nonthreatening dead encroach. A gripping, fun-filled play that brings all the fright of the cult classic to life with a twist making it appropriate for all audiences. This blend of campy horror laced with humor envelops the audience in the action and unfolds into a shocking theatrical ending.

Other details: Based on the cult classic film by George A. Romero, this zombie-thon is a delightfully skewed send-up of one of the most beloved science fiction genres of all time. 

Teacher’s Note: Students actors and audiences alike will love the blend of zombie horror and comedy, and there is a fun opportunity to play with zombie makeup.  

 

PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE

Playwright: Mark Landon Smith

Run Time: 65 min

Cast Size: 5F, 9M, Ensemble (Flexible)

Category: Play

Genre: Comedy - TYA

Synopsis: Packing B-Movie thrills into 65 hair-raising minutes, the story goes something like this: visiting space soldiers use a magic-electro-space-ray-gun to resurrect a recently deceased (and perfectly ghoulish) human couple, putting ‘Plan 9’ into action. The aliens must stop mankind from developing ‘Solaramite,’ a substance that could set off a chain reaction of cosmic explosions that would destroy the entire universe. 

Other details: With notes for doubling, this play can also be produced with a large cast. 

Teacher’s Note: Students will have fun with this alien/zombie mashup, and it also provides creative opportunities for costumes, makeup, and props. 

 

SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS

Playwright: Mark Landon Smith

Run Time: 65 min

Cast Size: 4F, 6M

Category: Play

Genre: Comedy - TYA

Synopsis: The children of Mars are in trouble! Too much Earth television has made Martian kids everywhere distracted and withdrawn. The leaders have had enough and consult with an 800-year-old Martian sage for an answer— the response? Kidnap Santa and force him to set up a toy factory on Mars. It’s up to young Betty and Billy to help Santa escape back to planet Earth in time to save Christmas, but not before they bring laughter, joy, and the Christmas spirit to the children of Mars. 

Other details: This play allows for both small and large cast sizes. 

Teacher’s Note: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is the perfect selection for directors who love Halloween/Sci-Fi but need a holiday show. There are fun costuming opportunities as well. Actors and audiences alike will enjoy the mix of sci-fi, Christmas cheer, and slapstick. 

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY SCHOOL

Playwright: Mark Landon Smith

Run Time: 60 min

Cast Size: Kids - 5F, 7M; Adults – 3F, 1M, 1 Flexible

Category: Play

Genre: Comedy - TYA

Synopsis: At the prestigious Sherlock Holmes Mystery School, the best and brightest children are taught to master the craft of sleuthing. On the verge of being expelled, underperforming Lewis Lamps is tasked with finding a mystery to solve in order to pass his final exam. Lewis, with the help of his classmates, sets out to uncover the circumstances behind the disappearance of a professor. 

Other details: Part “Harry Potter,” part “Scooby Doo,” the kids are the heroes in this fast paced comedy.

Teacher’s Note: Students will love this comedic caper meets coming of age story set in the halls of a school for the best and brightest children.  

 

THE JUNGLE BOOK

Playwright: Briandaniel Oglesby

Category: Drama - TYA

Genre: Coming of Age

Run Time: 75 min

Cast Size: 5F, 6M (Flexible)

Other details: Baloo, the bear, narrates this new take on the beloved children's story featuring masks, puppets, and contemporary elements.

Synopsis: This living storybook adaptation of The Jungle Book follows Mowgli as he struggles to fit in, find his family, and contend with Kaa and Sheer Khan. With the help of his besties, Baloo and Bagheera, Mowgli's search comes to a happy conclusion.

Teacher’s Note: A great tie-in to units on animals, geography, world cultures and comparing how this new adaptation (complete with cell phones!) differs from the original story. Students will love dressing up in animal costumes with makeup or masks and performing with puppets for a school production. 

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