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contemporary drama for high school

  • 1.  contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 06-11-2024 12:29

    Hi Folks! I'm looking for a juicy contemporary drama that touches on some relevant, preferably social justice-oriented, themes. Prefer a cast size of ~10ish with, of course, plenty of female roles. Radium Girls, Almost, Maine and The Wolves are off the table (we've either done them or other local theatres have recently done them.) Thanks for your ideas!

    Anneka Fagundes

  • 2.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 06-11-2024 15:03

    Hi Anneka,

    I just read AMERICA IN ONE ROOM a comedy/drama by Jason Odell Williams.  It's based a a real event that took place in 2019 when the America in One Room convention was held. It brought a selection of Americans from all over the country together to talk about a range of political and social issues.  It's not a polemic taking any side - and there are more sides than left and right.  Instead it focuses on the relationships between the characters, the ways they connect (or not), and dealing with each other as people not abstractions.  I really liked it.  Calls for 5 women and 4 men.  

    I'm sure there are others, but that one's stayed in my head for the last several weeks.

    Max Kaplan

    Max Kaplan

  • 3.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 06-12-2024 10:43
    Here are a few contemporary dramas that touch on an issue that we’ve done:

    The Laramie Project - Moises Kaufman and tectonic theater project
    Roe by Lisa Loomer
    This is about Roe v Wade. One of my fav plays of all time.
    The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime (we’re doing it this year)
    I’ve always wanted to do Blood at the Root by Dominique Morisseau but I don’t have the actors for that play. This is a smaller cast but it could have an ensemble.
    A few good men by Aaron Sorken
    This has everything you need except it is almost an all male-presenting cast

    Good luck in your search. Im always looking for these sorts of shows as well.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 4.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 06-12-2024 21:58

     How about "Sweat" by Lynn Nottage? It's a contemporary drama that tackles social justice issues, specifically focusing on the struggles of factory workers. The cast size is around 9-10, with notable female roles. It's a compellin

    Avery Jones

  • 5.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 06-13-2024 06:39

    Look at Water by the Spoonful. 
    very contemporary but possibly too many triggers for you

    John (Jerf) Friedenberg
    Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus
    Associate Teaching Professor

  • 6.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 06-14-2024 08:12

    Pride's Crossing by Tina Howe is a lovely piece. She Kills Monsters is excellent as well

    David Harrington

  • 7.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 06-14-2024 02:37

    Check out Sweat by Lynn Nottage. It tackles economic struggle and racial tensions in a small town. With around 9 characters, it fits your criteria well.

    Avery Jones

  • 8.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 30 days ago

    I can highly recommend this new play by Dani Stoller. It's a collection of vignettes-in the vein of Almost Maine. It is in the process of being published, but the playwright and her agent are open to productions before publication.

    Girlhood: The 21st Annual Sarah Metzger Memorial Play for Round House Theatre. A patch of land beneath an abandoned overpass serves as a common, yet sacred, ground for a group of teenage girls as they navigate adolescence. Identity, sexuality, and their unique upbringings all play a part in how they transition from childhood to young adulthood and figure out what comes next. Girlhood explores the dreams, fears, humor, and heartache of coming of age in an intimate series of vignettes, commissioned for the Round House Theatre Teen Performance Company. 
    Content note: Girlhood is an honest portrayal of the issues and challenges of growing up in our society, and as such includes frank discussion of sexual activity, assault, and bullying, among other topics.

    For more information, please visit:


    Rosalind Flynn
    Head of the M.A. in Theatre Education
    Director, The High School Drama Institute
    The Catholic University of America
    Washington, DC

  • 9.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 29 days ago

    Dance Nation might work for you.

    Cora Turlish

  • 10.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 26 days ago

    My full length play, Feeble-Minded White Trash, might appeal to you. Here's a synopsis: During the late 1920s in rural southern Virginia, Hattie Clawson, an illiterate laundress with three illegitimate children, one of them Black, hasn't heard of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes or his majority opinion in the landmark case, Buck vs. Bell. But she will feel the impact of the court's decision when the Commonwealth of Virginia insists she have an involuntary sterilization and severs her parental rights. What will she and her children do to survive in a society preoccupied with race and class? Will the stigma ever go away? All told, 33 states allowed forced sterilization as an outcome of the eugenics movement that swept our country during the 20th century; 65,000 Americans were affected, 85% of them were women. Cast of 20: 10w, 10m; with doubling, the cast may be reduced to 8.  Susan Middaugh, Baltimore, Dramatists' Guild and the New Play Exchange 

    Susan Middaugh
    Dramatists Guild of America

  • 11.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 26 days ago

    There are some really good suggestions here:

    "You Cannot Undo This Action" in particular may be a good fit.

    Brendan Conheady

  • 12.  RE: contemporary drama for high school

    Posted 22 days ago

    Hi Anneka (and anyone else reading along) - I have a couple of plays written specifically for high-schoolers, so all roles are age appropriate, no gray hairspray required. I'm a member of the Dramatists Guild, and have titles with Playscripts and Next Stage Press, etc., but the piece I'd like to put in your path is Techies, which won the Texas Network Theaters Prize for Playwriting two years ago, and tracks a group of stage crew kids as they prepare to mount Miller's The Crucible, and things get rocky when one of their own is accused of harassment. Plenty of flexibility in casting, more female roles than male, some options for non-binary. Plenty of room for some laughs along the way. Techies has had three productions so far, all of which were well received. Currently shopping it to publishers. Feel free to drop me a line, and my best to you in your search!

    Mark Rigney