NPR

The Most Popular High School Plays And Musicals

Beauty and the Beast and Almost, Maine topped the list of most popular high school plays and musicals, according to Dramatics magazine's rankings. The magazine has been publishing its list since 1938.
The NPR Ed team analyzed more than 100 pages of data from old issues of Dramatics magazine. Source: LA Johnson

NPR Ed published the first-ever database of the most popular high school plays and musicals in the U.S. in July 2015. Today, the 2018 numbers are out, so we've updated our original story.

Grease is out and Annie is in, according to the new high school theater rankings from Dramatics magazine. The top spot for musicals went to Beauty and the Beast, a show that's been hanging around the top 10 list for the last two decades (since the rights for schools were released). It's familiar, says Coul Hill, the theater teacher at Skyview High School in Billings, Montana. His school staged the show this spring, along with schools all over the country in places like Fort Dodge, Iowa, Northbridge, Mass., and Adairsville, Georgia.

The most-produced shows (both plays and musicals) remained the same as last, again, topped the list. That's not a surprise: The collection of two-person scenes by John Cariani has been the most popular production for high schools this decade.

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