How To Choose Your High School Musical

How To Choose Your High School Musical

It's an all too common occurrence: Final bows are taken and the curtains fall after another successful production on your high school stage. The last piece of glow tape is pulled off the freshly struck set and while you are still reeling from the rush of applause adrenaline - it hits you...this empty stage is your new blank page. How do you follow-up your most recent theatrical hit with another engaging, moving, and audience-loving encore?

While this state of unknowing is certainly daunting, the excitement felt can far outweigh any growing anxieties. The possibilities of stories to tell and audiences to inspire have you primed and ready for your next successful venture. The empty stage is your soon-to-be masterpiece, so take a step back, a deep breath, and get ready to begin your next adventure.

Deciding what show to produce involves a multitude of elements to consider, including cast size and experience, the allotted budget, access to sets, props and costumes, and your performance venue.

Ultimately, you know what best suits your high school’s needs and what will fill those auditorium seats. Check out the dropdown menus below to view some shows to consider when choosing your next high school musical.

Timeless Favorites

These Golden Era Musicals are just that: Golden. These timeless and award-winning stories continue to charm audiences from generation to generation.

The Music Man
This family friendly musical has it all. Packed with humor, heart and 76 Trombones, The Music Man has been delighting audiences since 1957. December 19, 2017 also marks the 60th Anniversary of The Music Man opening on Broadway. 

Featuring a large cast, captivating music, starring roles for both a male and a female performer, and enough hilarious supporting characters to fill a few boy bands, The Music Man is sure to be a success on your high school stage. 

Guys and Dolls

Luck be a lady tonight! You'll have all the luck you need with this classic 1950's Frank Loesser musical.

Considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy, this eccentric romance features a large ensemble cast and an unforgettable score. Taking you everywhere from a fanciful New York City, to the hot Havana nights. You can place your bets that this musical will be a hit! 

She Loves Me
This charming, Tony Award winning classic by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick has enchanted audiences for decades. She Loves Me is the romantic tale to be told time and time again.

With fantastic roles for both female and male performers, a sweeping score, and hilarious book, your audience is sure to fall in love She Loves Me

Fiddler on the Roof
Bock and Harnick's perennial favorite has been enthralling audiences for decades with its universal themes of change, tradition, loss and love.

The tale of Tevye and his family in a rapidly changing Czarist Russia is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Featuring a large cast and a star turn for your Tevye, you'll have audiences wanting this musical to be the newest Tradition on your stage.

How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Climbing the corporate ladder has never been so fun - or funny!  This Tony and Pulitzer Prize award-winning musical features a laugh-out-loud book and score that will have your audience clamoring for more.

Packed with unforgettable characters that your students will delight in portraying, producing How to Succeed... is sure to be a success.

The Lerner and Loewe Collection
The collaboration of librettist-lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe defined wit and glamour in the golden era of the Broadway and Hollywood musical. The duo were winners of multiple Oscars, Tonys, Golden Globe and Olivier Awards.

With such classics as My Fair Lady, Camelot, Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon, the recently acquired collection of Lerner and Loewe musicals are sure to fill the seats with eager audience members.

With sweeping scores, timeless characters, and large ensemble casts featuring great roles for both female and male performers, your actors will welcome the chance to tackle these classic shows. 

Small Budget - Big Reward

You don't need a huge production to have a huge success.


Disaster! The Musical
Reap all the disastrous benefits of producing this guaranteed crowd pleaser! From the comedic genius of Broadway aficionado Seth Rudetsky, and featuring a score mega-hits from the 1970s, Disaster! The Musical runs the gamut of almost every disaster film ever created - and hilarity ensues!

Students will delight in digging in to these hilarious characters that will have audiences rolling with laughter. With a flexible cast size and many featured roles, Disaster! The Musical will shine on even the smallest budget. The only true disaster would be to not produce this gem of musical.  

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Life is pandemonium for these student orthographers! The hilarious and poignant Spelling Bee proves that winning isn't everything...and neither is needing a huge budget to produce a hit.

Audiences and actors alike will revel in the quick-witted book and side-splitting score. You'll love the contemporary, school-like setting - making costumes and sets a breeze when it comes to producing this gem of a musical... not to mention the riotous opportunities for audience participation. 

Relatability goes a long way...and few things are more relatable than the hopes, dreams, and everyday challenges of the American working man and woman. Working tells these stories through beautiful songs and scenes, written by some of the most beloved book writers and composers of our time.

There are two versions of Working available, the original and the 2012 Revised Version (featuring new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia and James Taylor). Its contemporary setting makes costumes and sets extremely accessible. Working offers the perfect opportunity to tell these stories...stories everyone can relate to. 

first took the world by storm in 1971 and has yet to slow down. The first hit of now world renowned composer and lyricist, Stephen Schwartz, Godspell tells the parables and teachings of Jesus through song, dance, and incredibly fun onstage antics.

Students will love the music, with influences ranging from pop/rock to vaudevillian. Conceptually, the world is your oyster - the stories are there to be told - offering you the incredible opportunity to tell them without having to break the bank on expensive production value. 

The Fantasticks
'Try to Remember' a longer running musical... The original production of The Fantasticks ran Off-Broadway for over 40 years and has continued to charm regional audiences ever since.

The gorgeous musical, written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, features minimal costumes, a small band, and no defined set, making producing The Fantasticks a perfect show to bring to your high school stage.

Songs for a New World
Jason Robert Brown's stunning collection of songs weave together seamlessly in this extremely gratifying musical, sharing stories that connect us all.

Featuring a small, powerhouse cast and band, and minimal design, this show is sure to astound your audience with its force through its simplicity. 

Moby Dick The Musical
This re-telling of Herman Melville's classic holds the best of both worlds, a contemporary setting and the beloved novel. A tale within a tale about the great white whale, Moby Dick the Musical offers a laugh-out-loud opportunity for you and your students.

The hilarious story of an all-girls academy and their desire to save their school by staging a musicalized version of Moby Dick, will have the audience rolling in the aisles. Featuring a cast of mostly females who work with what's on hand to save their school, this cult-classic is sure to be a non-budget-breaking hit.   

Sure Fire Hits

Teacher tested, student approved. These High School favorites are destined to be a hit on your stage. 

Elf The Musical

Thinking about a holiday show? Look no further than Elf The Musical! This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney's Aladdin on Broadway), with a book by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan (AnnieThe ProducersHairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).

Into The Woods
Into the Woods
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapines's beloved musical takes our favorite fairytales, puts them in a blender, and serves it to the audience with wit, humor, and poignancy.

From Little Red to Rapunzel, Into the Woods has been delighting audiences since it opened on Broadway in 1987. Considered a contemporary-classic, this timeless show boasts a large ensemble cast with multiple featured roles and a script and score so packed with action, the audience will want to return to the woods again and again. 

Thoroughly Modern Millie
The Roaring 20s have never felt so fresh! Thoroughly Modern Millie took Broadway by storm, and made a bona fide star out of Sutton Foster. Bring it to your high school stage and you'll have everyone in attendance doing the Charleston.

With new music by Jeanine Tesori, new lyrics by Dick Scanlan and based on the beloved film starring Julie Andrews, Thoroughly Modern Millie has become a favorite for the high school stage. This fantastic Tony Winning show highlights a large ensemble, and many featured roles for female performers.

Shrek The Musical
Let your freak flag fly in this incredibly fun, funny and surprisingly touching musical - celebrating the magic of just being yourself.

Based on the successful film, Shrek the Musical is jam packed with all your favorite characters and features numerous roles for your student actors - all set to the charismatic score by Jeanine Tesori and a hilarious book by David Lindsay-Abaire.  

Try to stop the beat. You can't. Hairspray's beat has been going non-stop since this Tony winning Broadway Musical surged into the spotlight.

Inspired by John Waters' cult-classic - Hairspray the Musical was later adapted into another feature film and featured in 2016 on NBC's Hairspray Live! The uplifting message, paired with the infectious script and score make Hairspray impossible to ignore and a guaranteed hit on your stage. 

Legally Blonde
Based on the wildly successful film starring Reese Witherspoon as everyone's favorite law student, Legally Blonde the Musical is a non-stop thrill ride that will have your audience seeing pink!

With a large female cast and a hilarious variety of featured roles - not to mention the magnetic script and score - Legally Blonde is a no-brainer when it comes to producing your next production.

Little Shop of Horrors

The show that put Alan Menken and Howard Ashman on the map! This ferociously fun romp in sci-fi musical comedy has been tickling audiences for years. 

Regardless of your budget - this show is sure to terrify and delight on your high school stage.

Xanadu is a moving, electrifying, Tony-nominated tale of endless fun that will keep audiences in stitches while the original legendary, chart-topping tunes lift them out of their seats. With a small cast and limited design needs, this is a perfect choice for high schools looking to have a bonafide 80s blast. 

Xanadu follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, California in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first ROLLER DISCO!

The Disney Musicals Collection
Whether you are swimming under the sea, flying high over London with an umbrella, or swinging through the jungle - Disney Musicals are sure to enchant your entire audience.

Disney musicals represent some of the most iconic and popular shows in the MTI catalogue with each one guaranteed to create a magical theatrical evening.

Disney Channel Onstage

Bring these Disney Channels hits from the screen to your stage!

Camp Rock The Musical

Mitchie and her friends arrive at Camp Rock, ready to spend another summer jamming out and having the time of their lives. But the new, flashy Camp Star across the lake now threatens Camp Rock's very existence.

A classic story of rivalry and power, Disney's Camp Rock The Musical features a large ensemble cast with many featured roles and will fire up your stage with over a dozen energetic songs, including "This Is Me," "Can't Back Down," "It's On" and "We Rock."

Freaky Friday One-Act Edition

When an uber-organized mother and her spontaneous teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right.

Based on the beloved 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, Freaky Friday One-Act Edition features a book by Bridget Carpenter - the co-executive producer and writer on the beloved TV hits, "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood" - and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey - the Pulitzer Prize-winning composers of Next to Normal.

High School Musical One-Act Edition

Disney Channel's smash hit movie musical comes to life on your stage in Disney's High School Musical One-Act Edition! Troy, Gabriella and the students of East High must deal with issues of first love, friends, and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities.

Its large cast size and upbeat numbers make it the ideal show for high school productions and will be the highlight of your season!

Read and listen to these Disney One-Acts for free!

Coming Soon in Spring 2020 - Disney's Descendants The Musical

Tailor-Made for Teens

Give your students the chance to play roles created especially for teen performers.

Bring it On
High School hierarchy takes center stage in this bitingly brisk and motivating musical. With a score by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Next To Normal's Tom Kitt, Bring it On will have the whole school on its feet cheering for your production. 

Get the whole school involved by encouraging the athletics and cheer departments to audition - filling out this dynamic ensemble cast, and potentially finding an unknown star in the process. 

Band Geeks
Celebrating the geek in us all - Band Geeks packs a punch and pays homage to the millions who have ever pounded the half-time pavement for those brief moments of glory. 

A fun ensemble cast joins together to help save the fighting Beaver's Marching Band - don't get lost in the brass and bring Band Geeks, or the expanded cast version to your stage. Don't miss out on the incredible outreach opportunity to include your school's marching band in this energetic musical. 

Do You Wanna Dance?
Everything is grooving in Snaphappy, OH - until a new 'dance tax' stops its citizens in their tracks. 

Created specicfically for high school performers, and using an incredible song catolog of pop hits of the recent decades, the resounding answer when you ask, "Do You Wanna Dance?" will be "YES!"

Hello! My Baby
The Greatest hits of Irving Berlin, The Gershwins, Eubie Blake and more set the score for this infectious, turn-of-the-century "New-Fashioned Musical."

Written specifically with young performers in mind, Hello! My Baby is a perfect choice for high schools or theatre academies. There are tons of featured roles, classic songs and rousing dance numbers creating an infectious toe-tapping, hum-along musical.

Wonderland High
Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland gets a contemporary high school makeover in this wild adapatation of the classic book.

Filled with wit, puns and punchlines and rounded out by a delightful score - Wonderland High is sure to excite your student performers and audience.

Some phenomenons enter the world of popular culture and their impact reverberates for decades. Fame is no exception - stretching its influence across every media platform, from stage to screen to television, touching generations of audience members.

Set in the New York High School of the Performing Arts, Fame the Musical features a dynamic cast with the drive to light up the sky with their names. This uplifting and moving musical offers performers the chance to tackle serious issues on stage and your audience will delight in the catchy score featuring the Oscar winning title number.  

The geeks shall inherit the earth! This fun, funky, and geeky new musical made a quite the splash on London's West End when it premiered in 2013. Set in 1971, this pop/rock inspired score and hilarious book will have both actors and audiences cheering for the underdog.

Loserville is sure to make a lasting impression as your next high school hit.   

Pushing Boundaries

Push the boundaries of actors and audiences with these edgy musicals. 

The Theory of Relativity

Featuring a unique collection of songs, scenes and monologues, The Theory of Relativity introduces a compelling array of characters experiencing the joys and heartbreaks, the liaisons and losses, the inevitability and the wonder of human connection.

Filled with fun, nuance and an overarching understanding that there may be more to human connection than the seeming randomness that abounds - this contemporary musical drama is the perfect show to unite your school community.


Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown's dramatic re-telling of Atlanta at the turn of the century and murder that shocked the world - all amid a background of religious and racial intolerance and social injustice, may seem an interesting choice to stage for your high school - but the beauty of this daring and innovative musical is universal. 

Use this historical re-telling to spark conversations and communication amongst your students and community - and utilize the power of learning from history to create a better and more understanding tomorrow. 

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson 
The seventh president of the United States gets the Rock and Roll treatment you never knew he needed! This highly stylized re-telling of Andrew Jackson's life is sure to rock the house and possibly ruffle some feathers - all for the red, white and blue!

Utilize the factual context to connect and educate student actors. Use their newfound love of rocking out historical style to engage the audience in this actor-driven, fourth-wall breaking, rocking show.

Caroline, or Change
Change comes in many forms - social change, political change, change from a dollar. Caroline, or Change tells of them all in 1963 Louisiana amid of a backdrop of a vastly changing America. 

Set to a gorgeous score by Jeanine Tesori and a touching book by Tony Kushner, Caroline, or Change offers actors and audiences a chance to be moved by this incredible story. Headed by a tour-de-force lead female character, supported by an ever-present ensemble, Caroline, or Change, is sure to leave all those who embrace it changed for the better. 

Violet has finally saved enough money to have a miracle-minister cure her long-scarred face - but she will soon discover much more will be cured in her attempt to fix physical imperfection.

With a moving score by Jeanine Tesori and book/lyrics by Brian Crawley, Violet takes the audience on a heroic journey with the title character protagonist, and is sure to take your breath away. 

School Editions

Incredible shows in our catalog, adapted specifically for the high school stage and high school performers.  

Avenue Q School Edition

Filled with gut-busting humor and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention puppets, Avenue Q is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favorite for audiences everywhere.

Because the original Avenue Q has some content elements that have previously made it a difficult choice for some high school productions, MTI worked with the Avenue Q authors to create an adaptation that maintains the dramatic (and comedic) intention and integrity of the piece, while editing it to make it more appropriate for high school audiences and performers.

Les Miserables School Edition
Les Misérables School Edition
Adapted for high school performers, Les Misérables School Edition features one of the most memorable scores of all time and some of the most memorable characters to ever grace your stage.

Epic, grand and uplifting, Les Misérables School Edition packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world. The sung-through piece is ideal for a cast of exceptional singers and overflows with melodies that are already standards.

Miss Saigon School Edition
A tragedy of passion and beauty, Miss Saigon is one of the most stunning theatrical spectacles of all time... and has been adapted for high school performers in Miss Saigon School Edition.

MTI worked closely with Miss Saigon's creators to ensure this lightly edited adaptation stays true to intent of the original piece while becoming appropriate for high school performers.

Ragtime School Edition
Ragtime School Edition has become a favorite of schools across the country and a valuable teaching tool with which educators can discuss such issues as class and prejudice, social conditions, immigration and the history of America itself.

The show's many characters offer opportunities for many performers, and the vocal arrangements are slightly rearranged for student voices.

Rent School Edition
Rent School Edition is exuberant, passionate and joyous. Schools will love the freedom and flexibility that this show offers; minimal costuming and sets are required.

This adaptation has been carefully done, working with the Larson estate to retain the dramatic intent of the groundbreaking rock musical, and consists of minimal changes to language and the removal of one song ("Contact") to make it possible for many schools to perform this piece.

Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street School Edition
Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical), for its Broadway premiere and has now been adapted for high school performers. 

This School Edition has been masterfully adapted, working directly with Mr. Sondheim to retain the dark wit and grand scope of the original work, with a few lyric and key changes to facilitate high school productions.

West Side Story School Edition
From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. With additional resources for students and directors, West Side Story School Edition makes the iconic musical more accessible and meaningful for high school performers.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to 1950s New York City as two young, idealistic lovers, Tony and Maria, find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the "American" Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks.

Hopefully the above shows inspire some ideas for your next onstage adventure. For even more options, check out and browse our various collections.

Using the filter feature on show list main page is also a great way to narrow down some options when choosing the next hit on your stage - with filters including style, cast size, and more. 

How To Choose Your High School Musical

And as always, your licensing reps are here to help along any step of the way. Shoot them an email or give them a call.  

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