Hints For Putting On A Musical

(Developed during an in-service course)

  • Try teaching a few songs first which lend themselves to dramatic touches so that you can keep track of abilities in the class.

  • Team up with another class. Two heads are better than one and the whole thing runs more smoothly when you have two teachers available

  • Have two casts instead of understudies. Saves that awful problem when someone moves to Queensland. Program for the two casts when organising who is on, then the right parents can come along. When cast I is not playing their parts they should be part of the chorus and vice versa. This keeps all children busy and focused.

  • Read whole play through a few times around the class. Everyone listens and joins in the singing when they think they know the songs. About the third time through, choose kids to read the main parts till about half way through then use other kids so you've had a chance to listen to as many as possible. Keep notes on that class list so promising stars are remembered. Stress that ALL kids will be in the musical and that all the cast is important. Talk about musicals they may have seen. Show parts of videos.

  • Stress that practise is needed if the musical is to be GOOD! Use accompaniment tracks when singing is confident.

  • Work out where you will perform. Classroom? Hall? Outdoors? Then figure out where the stage area will be. Use witches hats to define stage if no stage is available.

  • Remember that it is difficult to be a good audience if there is no stage and the ground is flat. therefore try to come up with an arrangement whereby as many people as possible are close to the stage area. Theatre in the round may be the answer.

  • Start building props early on. Fast workers can always paint/glue etc while rest of class completes work. Use the props as soon as possible so that you have time to work out who will move scenery. Use chorus members for this or the main players.

  • If children come up with good ideas such as more "Pig" jokes or lines of dialogue add it.

  • Lead the clapping after the songs yourself or tee this up with another member of staff. Kids need a break and encouragement and the audience should learn how to be a good audience (Not talking during performance etc.)

  • Add instruments if you have a band or drums.

  • Have chorus member run out and put a wedding veil on Miss Muffet. (that was one of the kid's ideas—a good one)