Choosing your play

The beginning of a school year can be a bit chaotic. Choosing a play for your season shouldn't be.  Education Director Maria McConville offers some tips to guide you in the right direction.

First of all, you're off to a great start if you're browsing through the collection at Stage Partners. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Look, we understand your Fall dilemma. Some years, play selection so very clear. Some years you are open to anything. And some years it’s already October and you just need to choose already!

Well here are 5 TIPS to help you narrow down your play choices.

1. What is your message?

Great plays always have a big question they are exploring. Perhaps there is a theme or topic your students are currently grappling with. Your school principal may have prescribed a theme to build the year around. Zero in on that and you'll be a lot closer to finding the perfect play.

2. Comedy or Drama?

Got funny kids? Your choice is clear.

3. Make sure it's a play YOU are going to love working on.

Everyone else always has their opinion of what you should do and how you should do it. Even better, when they tell you how THEY did that particular play all those years ago. Thank you. That's all you need to say. You are the one in the rehearsal room every day. You are the one who has to get the cast and crew behind the play. Make sure it's a play you can stand behind.

4. How much time do you have?

Sure, producing Les Mis sounds like a really exciting challenge. However, you may only have a few weeks to rehearse. It is important to know what kind of product is expected of you and your cast and how much time you have to achieve it. You can guide your cast through a positive, successful experience when your goal is within reach.

5. Who are you collaborating with?

There might be a play that you have in mind for this year, but your crop of young actors may not fit the bill. Save the play for when you know your actors will be able to fill the roles. Is your ensemble large and goofy? Does your cast have a lot of first-time actors? If you have the luxury of knowing your cast before you select your production, select a piece that will help them shine.

Break a leg! Happy reading!


P.S. Check out these helpful play categories!

For Advanced Actors

Ideal for Middle Schools

Classic Adaptations

One-act Comedies


Maria McConville (Education Director) is a native New Yorker who has lived in every borough…yes, even Staten Island. She started out at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and received her BA in Performance from Fordham University at Lincoln Center.  Maria has performed all over New York City from Shakespeare in the Park-ing Lot to Theatre Row and across the country with Theatreworks USA. She is the playwright of Stage Partners’ award-winning plays #Viral and #Censored. She also a member of AEA, Army wife, proud mother, and an inspired teaching artist.