13 the musical for middle school

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August 22, 2011
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Here's my 2nd try at posting this!I'm thinking about putting on 13 with my middle school students this year. Ironically (unfortunately) I think the show may inappropriate (language, themes) to be put on at a public school. Anyone have any thoughts on this , or how to "clean" up the show?Also, I saw the show on Broadway, and realize there was a good deal of material cut from the version that is available for production. Is it possible to make the same cuts? It seems to make sense that if the creators made these cuts for a more successful show, that they intended to keep these cuts for successful future productions. I know shows are to be performed as written, but it seems these cuts would enhance the show. Any ideas?
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August 23, 2011
HI Arthur. My (private K-12) community teaching theater just produced 13 in its entirety. We have never done anything quite so edgy or full of inuendo. I have been building trust with my audience for years and my kids (and myself) were ready to do something new and fresh. Most importantly, I had the band and the vocalists to pull off this tasty piece of work - thank God! It was this year or forget about it... I went back and forth with the idea of editing, but in my estimation, if you edit anything on the fence - you remove the plot entirely. My take, was to play the material as written in an endearing and innocent way and issue a warning among ticket buyers with a PG-13 label. Cheeky as I am, I do believe that the warning boosted ticket sales...and I love a Hollywood ending - but, alas...there were those who came away with their feathers a little ruffled. Haters beware - the rest of us enjoyed a bit of genious wrapped in a sweet little tortillia of middle school life - and we laughed until the cows came home. (I say - good news! Don't bury your head in the sand - and if you listen to 1 Katy Perry song (love her!) we are not introducing new information to the scene.) The kids and my families were thrilled at the opportunity to tell this funny - real life - story of coming of age in the age of now. The music is brilliant and the energy is flourecent and contagious. I am so glad I made the opportunity to honor 13 in its entirety. I LOVE it! I think editing would feel wrong, public (certainly Catholic) middle school may not be the optimal venue. But, a concert of songs may be perfect. God knows we wouldn't want to admit that anyone considers "the tounge" in middle school! :/