NPR

The Most Popular High School Plays And Musicals

The Wizard of Oz is in and Mary Poppins is out, that's according to Dramatics magazine's high school theater rankings for 2016-2017. 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 2017 numbers are out, so we've updated our original story.

The brilliant script, the "really fun" music and the exciting tech and staging feats were just a few of the reasons John Minigan decided to have his students perform The Addams Family.

"A lot of the students didn't know The Addams Family TV show at all," says Minigan, the drama teacher at Weston High School, just outside Boston. The nostalgia may be more for the adults in the audience, but the show, he says, still asks an increasingly relevant question for students: "What is the American family?"

Weston High was not the only one making this selection. For the third year in a row, was the most.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR8 min read
After Dorian's Wrath: Little Miracles Amid A Painful Recovery
Just over a month after Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas, parts of the island nation are still in ruins, thousands remain displaced and rebuilding efforts have only just begun.
NPR2 min read
In Democratic Debate, A Fiery Clash Over U.S. Role In Syria
All the candidates oppose President Trump's recent troop withdrawal. But the two military veterans on the stage revealed a lack of consensus over how the U.S. should move forward in the Middle East.
NPR2 min read
Barcelona Braces For More Protests After Catalan Separatists Sentenced To Prison
Police and protesters clashed on Monday after Spain's supreme court sentenced nine leaders for their involvement in an independence referendum two years ago that Madrid says was illegal.