15 Best Musicals for Community Theater – Theater Love

Selecting the perfect musicals for neighborhood theater could be surprisingly difficult. These native productions entice actors of all ability ranges — and that’s a part of the enjoyable!

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Along with casting, administrators and theater boards want to contemplate components like budgets, timing, and accessible theater areas.

As you’re researching musicals for neighborhood theater, select exhibits which are:

  • Acquainted sufficient to draw an viewers
  • Acceptable to your native expertise pool
  • Accessible for licensing
  • Appropriate to your theater

Need extra on how one can choose a musical? Scroll to the underside for suggestions. In any other case, on to the musicals!

Prime picture courtesy of Coachmen76 beneath CC BY-SA 3.0

1. The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music is beloved, and for good purpose — the songs are lovely, it’s uplifting (you recognize, aside from the Nazis), and everybody loves it. What does that imply to your theater? Ticket gross sales! This can be a nice present to showcase a robust feminine singer. Don’t fear if she’s not an uber-soprano; the stage model of The Sound of Music is significantly lower-pitched than the film with Julie Andrews. Plus, there are many enjoyable components for your whole common neighborhood theater actors. This one has a number of youngsters with a number of stage time, so be sure you have sufficient younger performers to select from.

Why it’s the Greatest Musical for Group Theater

  • Immediately recognizable
  • Attracts an enormous crowd with minimal advertising and marketing
  • Massive forged
  • Plenty of featured roles

Challenges for Group Theater

  • Sophisticated costuming (Nazis and nuns, oh my!)

2. Good day, Dolly

Courtesy of Raph_PH beneath CC BY 2.0

Good day, Dolly is one other a kind of basic musicals that’s simple to like. You’re going to wish a couple of stable feminine sopranos to play Dolly Levi and Irene Molloy, and you have to have robust performers for Horace, Barnaby, and Cornelius. In case your neighborhood theater is fortunate sufficient to have a big group of standout singers, actors, and dancers, this present is an effective way to point out them off. There’s additionally an enormous ensemble with loads of enjoyable moments: dancing waiters, townspeople, and some featured roles.

Advantages for Group Theater

  • Massive ensemble
  • Plenty of featured roles
  • Properly-known music
  • Alternative to showcase feminine singers

Challenges for Newbie Theater

  • Plenty of dancing
  • Sophisticated staging

3. My Truthful Girl

My Truthful Girl requires a number one girl who’s a robust singer and actress. That is the kind of musical that’s known as a “star car” — Eliza has the majority of the singing and performing. When you’re quick on male singers (the plight of neighborhood theaters in all places), it’s no drawback. Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering can get away with speak-singing for a lot of the present. That is one other musical with a number of enjoyable refrain components.

Group Theater Professionals

  • Massive ensemble
  • Identify recognition

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  • Requires interval costumes

4. Loopy for You

In case your theater group is able to transfer past the Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, Loopy for You is a enjoyable place to begin. Right here’s the factor about this present — your audiences may not acknowledge the identify, however they may immediately acknowledge the music. It’s Gershwin, in any case! That implies that you’ll must do some advertising and marketing, and stated advertising and marketing ought to embody audio each time potential. The musical itself is nice enjoyable, with a number of dancing and humor and coronary heart. It’s inconceivable to not love, and your audiences will go away the theater smiling from ear to ear.

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Professionals for Group Theater

  • Spectacular music
  • Massive forged
  • Main girl could be a stable mezzo
  • Loads of featured roles

Challenges for Group Theater

  • Plenty of dancing
  • Follies Ladies require matching showgirl costumes

5. Little Store of Horrors

Little Store of Horrors is one other intermediate-level musical for neighborhood theater. It’s a problem, each when it comes to casting and stagecraft. Earlier than you license this present, be sure you have the means to make or hire Audrey II, the enormous man-eating plant. The plot is campy and enjoyable — plus, it’s a refreshing change from the standard squeaky-clean love story. Your actors will love enjoying the enjoyable supporting characters, together with the harmonizing Doo-Wop Ladies and the absurd dentist, Orin Scrivello D.D.S.

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Professionals for Group Theater

  • Memorable characters
  • Music that’s enjoyable to carry out and take heed to
  • Nice car for a feminine belter

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  • Comparatively small ensemble
  • Difficult staging for Audrey II

6. Guys and Dolls

When you love theater, likelihood is good that you just’ve completed or seen Guys and Dolls. It’s a basic present with unbelievable music, however it has one main problem for neighborhood theaters: a lot of the most important roles are for males. Aside from Sarah and Adelaide, the ladies’s roles are restricted to small ensemble components (Scorching Field Ladies, mission band). After all, there are methods round it — specifically, to incorporate girls as gamblers and gangsters.

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Professionals for Group Theater

  • Viewers favourite
  • Catchy music
  • Plenty of high-energy scenes

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  • Lack of main feminine components
  • Requires choreographed staging

7. Mamma Mia!

When you can forged it, Mamma Mia! has so many advantages for neighborhood theater — it’s enjoyable and joyful, it’s simple to advertise, and audiences are nearly assured to adore it. This can be a nice musical when you’re attempting to construct a much bigger viewers to your neighborhood theater. Because it options the music of ABBA, it appeals to a wider crowd — you may even usher in individuals who’ve by no means been to a musical. The truth that there was a film model with Meryl Streep doesn’t damage, both. When you’re blessed with a number of native expertise, Mamma Mia! is a good selection; along with Sky and Sophie, you might have area for 3 older girls and three older males.

Why Mamma Mia! is among the finest musicals for neighborhood theater

  • 8 principal roles to point out off native expertise
  • Identify recognition
  • Simple ticket gross sales
  • Enjoyable and uplifting
  • Low cost, simple costuming for a lot of the forged

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  • Requires dancing
  • Dynamos require 70s showstopper costumes

8. Magnificence and the Beast

Does your neighborhood theater ever have bother getting folks to audition? Select Magnificence and the Beast as your subsequent present, and we expect you’ll be pleasantly stunned! This Disney basic is nearly assured to attract a crowd, each at auditions and on opening evening. It’s household pleasant, so you are able to do it virtually anyplace within the nation with out elevating a fuss. Your viewers will go away smiling — and isn’t that why we do theater?

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Professionals for Group Theater

  • Simple to promote tickets
  • Lovely music
  • Massive forged

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  • Sophisticated costuming (you’ll be able to hire when you’ve got the finances)
  • Learn licensing settlement fastidiously

9. Grease

Ever for the reason that film of Grease was launched in 1978, the musical has been an American basic. A caveat: this musical is finest for neighborhood theaters with a reasonably younger group of performers. The main roles are all youngsters — you’ll be able to simply use 20-somethings, however nobody desires to see a 40-year-old Sandy or Danny! Casting apart, the music is enjoyable and catchy, and there’s room for loads of folks within the many refrain scenes.

Why Grease is a Good Musical for Group Theater

  • Identify recognition
  • Memorable music
  • Enjoyable present with a tiny little bit of an edge
  • ChallengesSome costume challenges – particularly for “Magnificence Faculty Dropout”
  • Plenty of dancing

10. Annie

Do you might have a neighborhood theater director who’s prepared to do a present with kids? (Not all of them are!) Annie is a pure match. This present is all concerning the youngsters, however there are some enjoyable roles for adults, as properly. Miss Hannigan, Grace, Rooster, Lily, and Daddy Warbucks all have loads of enjoyable issues to do. Our recommendation? Get a couple of folks to function kid-wranglers, each in rehearsal and backstage.

Advantages for Group Theater

  • Plenty of child roles = large audiences of household and pals
  • Simple costuming
  • Fashionable with audiences

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  • Small grownup ensemble
  • Restricted principal roles

11. Chicago

Chicago is the finest musical for neighborhood theaters with a surplus of feminine performers. There’s one thing for everybody — nice dancing, enjoyable songs, and killer costumes. We love that there’s an enormous featured position for an alto/mezzo (Matron Mama Morton). When you select this musical, you have to rent a choreographer; you’ll undoubtedly want one to stage the dances and the choreographed scenes. Chicago is one other a kind of exhibits that everybody is aware of, thanks partly to the film with Renee Zellwegger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Queen Latifah…and meaning nice ticket gross sales to your theater.

Why Select Chicago for a Group Theater Musical?

  • A number of feminine roles
  • Alternative to point out off your dancers
  • Enjoyable costuming

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  • Requires competent dancers
  • Not a lot in the best way of an ensemble

12. The Music Man

The Music Man is a mainstay in neighborhood theater programming, however we’re not complaining! It may be the right musical: attractive music, youngsters, dancing, marching, and exquisite turn-of-the-century costumes. It even has a barbershop quartet! What extra might you need? We love that the music is so singable — your audiences will certainly stroll out buzzing “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “Marian the Librarian”. So long as you might have a charismatic baritone and a robust soprano for Harold and Marian, you’re good to go.

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Professionals for Group Theater

  • An American basic
  • Music that’s enjoyable for actors and audiences
  • Alternative for an enormous orchestra

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  • Requires an enormous forged
  • Plenty of difficult staging
  • Want 4 robust male singers for the barbershop quartet

13. Oklahoma!

We nearly hate to advocate this one as a result of it’s so boring — simply whenever you assume it’s completed, it retains on going. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that it’s a crowd pleaser. One caveat: you should have a robust baritone to play the lead. Curly carries the present, taking a lot of the large solos and driving a lot of the motion. Laurey is the soprano lead, however she has a surprisingly small quantity of stage time. The advantages of Oklahoma! are clear for a neighborhood theater: it’s simple to usher in audiences, and it has an enormous forged with loads of featured roles and ensemble components.

Why is Oklahoma! Good for Group Theater?

  • Fashionable with audiences
  • Quite a few featured roles

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  • Requires a robust baritone lead singer and actor

14. Shrek

Do you wish to step away from the standard neighborhood theater musicals? Shrek is a enjoyable — and difficult — selection. In case your normal viewers tends to favor older exhibits, that is a straightforward technique to drag them into the current. Shrek is all concerning the costumes and the novelty of seeing a cartoon film onstage. The music is okay, if a bit forgettable, and the present itself is a number of enjoyable.

Professionals for Group Theaters

  • Surprising addition to your season
  • Enjoyable for households; brings in large audiences
  • Many featured roles


  • Massive endeavor
  • Sophisticated (and presumably costly) costuming

15. The Wizard of Oz

No shock right here — The Wizard of Oz is a kind of musicals that’s at all times in style. Everybody’s seen the film, which implies that your viewers will arrive realizing what to anticipate and able to have a superb time. Ensure you have loads of youngsters to forged because the Munchkins — and whenever you’re wrangling them at rehearsals, keep in mind that their households are going to carry large ticket gross sales. On the grownup aspect, The Wizard of Oz provides a wide range of enjoyable and recognizable roles for actors and singers alike.

Advantages for a Group Theater

  • Immediately recognizable
  • Enjoyable and family-friendly
  • Simple to attract audiences and actors
  • Giant precept/supporting forged
  • Giant ensemble

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  • Intricate costuming

Methods to Select the Greatest Musicals for Group Theater in Your Space

musical at a community theater with actors onstage

Choose Musicals that Audiences Acknowledge

Group theaters usually stroll a cautious line — on one hand, you wish to present contemporary and thrilling musicals to your actors and administrators. Then again, your theater group additionally depends on ticket income. To earn a living off of ticket gross sales, you usually want to decide on musicals that audiences acknowledge.

The particular exhibits depend upon the place you reside; in a metropolis with a robust theater scene, you may get away with lesser-known musical theater productions with out the hit to the finances. It doesn’t matter what sort of present you select, examine our checklist of Group Theater Advertising Concepts may help with publicity and promotion!

Select Musicals You Can Forged

That is so necessary — it’s essential to decide on musicals which are proper to your native expertise pool. Don’t select Lease when you don’t have singers who can belt their faces off. Likewise, don’t select Carousel when you don’t have a baritone who can deal with “Soliloquy.” Audiences are fairly forgiving of neighborhood theater, however it’s nearly at all times higher to present a wonderful efficiency of a straightforward musical than a horrible efficiency of a difficult musical.

The fitting present choice additionally impacts the way forward for your theater — in any case, gifted actors wish to seem in nice exhibits. Placed on a killer efficiency, and also you may see extra gifted singers at your subsequent musical theater audition.

What are the perfect musicals for neighborhood theater that you just’ve seen these days? Does your group persist with the classics, or have you ever branched out to extra modern and up to date exhibits? Contact us and inform us all about it!

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