Our Summer Reading Club theme is Read to the Rhythm and because we have a large group of teens who like musical theatre, we decided to put on a musical production based on a YA book. We also decided to allow this to be a teen production.
There was no planning. There’s really nothing you can do until the first day.
First, pray that at least three teens show up. You can at least do a one or two man show.
Second, decide what book you will transform into a play/musical. Our teens wanted books that our readers were familiar with and the nominees were Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, fractured fairytales, and The Selection. Because we only had one boy, they decided The Selection would be best because there are a lot of females in the story.
Third, decide the cast, director, writer, and choreographer. If you have multiple people who want the same part, have them audition.
Fourth, talk about the book you have chosen and how you are going to turn it into a 45 minute play/musical. Make sure your writer(s) are taking good notes.
Fifth, set up practice dates. It took about nine 2-hour practices for The Selection. Our practices were either 4-6pm or 6-8pm. We stressed to our teens that if they missed two practices, they were out of the play. Luckily we didn’t have to remove anyone.
It’s important that the writer completes half or all of the play by the next meeting. All of our teens have gmail so we set up a Google Doc for the writer to create the script and for the song writers and choreographer’s to see the script so that they could prepare songs. The Google Doc also allowed staff to see the script to provide guidance.
The writer and the song writer met outside of practice at the library. This may not be necessary because if they aren’t in the cast, they can have a sidebar.
We let the director take charge and we only chimed in when absolutely necessary. We were even able to let the director lead practices without our supervision.
We were lucky to have dedicated teens who knew their lines and finished the script in one week. We have some wonderful musicians and artists to make the background and the throne. We have talented teens who did hair and makeup.
Although everything went smoothly and my staff and I did minimal work, I will say that it was mentally exhausting. Just the stress of not knowing who was going to show up for practice and even the show. Although the teens were asking when we were going to do another musical, I don’t think my nerves can handle it.
Below is the script that you are free to use, pictures, and the final production.
I purchased the dresses from the Salvation Army. I haggled for a good deal since I bought five. Two teens were set designers and four teens were the crew (set changers).