Eight MTI Musicals and One Play Make EdTA’s List of Most-Performed Musicals and Plays by High Schools

Eight MTI Musicals and One Play Make EdTA’s List of Most-Performed Musicals and Plays by High Schools

Another year has quickly come and gone, and with that comes the annual survey published by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). Conducted every year since 1938, EdTA’s annual survey of the plays and musicals most frequently produced in America’s high schools shows what resonates with teens, their teachers, families, and communities. And in the 2020-2021 school year, COVID-19 and related public health protocols clearly influenced which works were staged. 

Of course, we have the return of some fan favorites, such as The Little Mermaid, Into the Woods and Little Shop of Horrors, but MTI is also proud to welcome a few more of our own as newcomers to the list. The Theory of Relativity, a story about connection in what can sometimes feel like a time of hopelessness written by Brian Hill and Neil Bartram is one such new addition.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Godspell, and Disney's High School Musical, all extremely popular in school years before made a strong showing in the 2020-2021 season. From “Day by Day” to “Get’cha Head in the Game” each of these shows contain classic numbers that are sure to please all ages.

“In a year that has been so challenging for everyone involved in live theater, it is gratifying to see results of the hard work undertaken by MTI and our customers to find innovative ways to bring musical theatre to audiences both live and remote,” says MTI President and CEO Drew Cohen. “MTI is proud to represent many of the most-performed shows and remains committed to offering the finest catalogue of shows, providing the resources and innovative solutions our customers want, and delivering the highest level of customer service possible.”

And of course, we cannot forget to mention one play represented by MTI remained on the top 10 list this year: Peter and the Starcatcher, the origin story of the legend of Peter Pan which was previously featured on this 2019-2020 list.

MTI’s musicals also made up the majority of shows in “Playbill’s Top 20 Plays and Musicals Most Produced for Streaming in 2020-2021” when the list was announced this past May. With 17 of the top 20 shows, which included the aforementioned The Theory of Relativity, MTI’s rich catalogue with streaming options helped make theatre possible for thousands of organizations during challenging times.

Below are the lists for the 2020-2021 school year, congratulations to all!

Musicals 2020-2021

  1. The Addams Family – book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (TRW)

  2. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz; book, music, and lyrics by Clark Gesner; additional dialogue by Michael Mayer; additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (Concord Theatricals)

  3. The Theory of Relativity – music and lyrics by Neil Bartram, book by Brian Hill (MTI)

  4. The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee – conceived by Rebecca Feldman, additional material by Jay Reiss, music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin (MTI)

  5. Little Women – music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, book by Allan Knee, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott (MTI)

  6. Godspell – book by John Michael Tebelak, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, conceived and originally directed by John Michael Tebelak, based on The Gospel According to St. Matthew (MTI)

  7. (tie) Disney’s High School Musical – book by David Simpatico; songs by Bryan Louiselle, Faye Greenberg, David N. Lawrence, Greg Cham, Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray Cham, Andrew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Adam Watts, Jamie Houston, and Andy Dodd; music adapted, arranged, and produced by Bryan Louiselle; based on a Disney Channel Original Movie written by Peter Barsocchini (MTI)
    (tie) Little Shop of Horrors– book by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, based on the film by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffith (MTI)

  1. (tie) Bright Star – music, book, and story by Steve Martin; music, lyrics, and story by Edie Brickell (TRW)
    (tie) Into the Woods – book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (MTI)
    (tie) Disney’s The Little Mermaid – music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, book by Doug Wright, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film produced by Howard Ashman and John Musker and written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (MTI)

Most-Produced Plays 2020-2021 

    1. Clue – adapted from the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, written by Sandy Rustin, additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price, based on the Paramount Pictures motion picture based on the Hasbro board game Clue (Broadway Licensing)

    2. Almost, Maine – by John Cariani (DPS)

    3. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play – based on the story The Greatest Giftby Philip Van Doren Stern, adapted by Joe Landry (Playscripts)

    4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – by William Shakespeare (public domain)

    5. She Kills Monsters – by Qui Nguyen (Concord Theatricals)

    6. A Christmas Carol – various authors (various licensing agencies)

    7. The Laramie Project – by Moises Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project (DPS)

    8. The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon – by Don Zolidis (Playscripts)

    9. Alice in Wonderland – various authors (various licensing agencies)

    10. Our Town <– by Thornton Wilder (Concord Theatricals) 
      (tie) Peter and the Starcatcher – a play by Rick Elice, music by Wayne Barker, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (MTI) 
      (tie) Puffs – by Matt Cox (Concord Theatricals) 
      (tie) Radium Girls – by W. Gregory (Dramatic Publishing)
      (tie) Twelfth Night– by William Shakespeare (public domain)
      (tie) Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play– by Joe Landry (Playscripts)