Are you trying to put on a musical while working with a low budget? What about with a small cast? While it may seem like you’re in trouble from the start, fear not, there’s no reason you can’t put on a fantastic musical with any budget. It all begins by choosing a musical that fits the number of actors and actresses you have, their talent level, and your audience. From there you can decide what content is appropriate and what settings you can produce. Here are 4 musicals you can easily produce on a low budget to set you on the right track.
1. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
This musical isn’t just easy on the wallet because it takes place in one very simple scene, it is also easily adaptable to your audience. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is about 6 sixth graders, all with very different skills and flaws, as they compete with each other to win the spelling bee. Each character has a unique colorful background, but by the end of the show, they all come together. If that’s not what you’re looking for though, you can easily adapt this play into an adult-themed musical thanks to the included improvisation element.
In most cases, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is performed with 4 members of the audience competing in the spelling bee and the announcer improvising the usage sentences. It doesn’t matter if your cast and audience are actual sixth graders or adults, this musical is easy to produce thanks to its simple setting and is easily adaptable to whatever your needs are. Plus, the entire show can be performed with only single piano player, making this show a great option for people working on a tight budget.
2. You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown
You’re starting off on the right foot by putting this musical on because everyone knows Charlie Brown and his friends! It gets better than that though because this musical has a simple cast with only 7 characters and a very simple setting. This story begins with one of Charlie’s good days where everyone is telling him that he’s a good man. Being Charlie Brown though, he naturally wonders if he really is a good man. From there he sets out to discover what it means to be a good man along with all your favorite Peanuts characters.
When it comes to a setting, you can go as advanced or toned down as you want and the show will still be intact. There’s a reason You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown is one of the most popular performances in schools and amateur theaters. With a simple setting, small cast, and a great script and score this musical could be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re working on a tight budget.
3. Little Shop of Horrors
While the first two musicals on this list can be performed for adults and children alike, Little Shop of Horrors should be reserved for adult theaters. Seymour Krelborn is an assistant at a floral shop with a crush on his co-worker Audrey. With little hope of moving beyond his lowly origins and wooing Audrey, Seymour finds a strange new plant in the shop which he names Audrey II. Shortly after buying Audrey II it begins to speak and even sing. From there this sci-fi/horror musical takes some turns you would never imagine.
While Little Shop of Horrors does have a few settings, they can easily be produced and given the setting and tone of the show. In fact, the worse your settings look the more charming they may be. There are only three main characters, one of which is simply a voice that comes from off stage. You might run into a little trouble trying to create Audrey II, but if you get creative you can easily make a puppet out of cheap materials. If you’re looking for a funny, kooky, and loved musical for adults that’s easy to produce, then look no further than Little Shop of Horrors.
This musical may require a larger cast, but if you have a large group of performers Annie could be a great choice for school and amateur theater. Annie is also a great choice if most of your talent are women. With well-known, fun, and easy to perform songs Annie is a great choice that everyone will love.
Annie is the story of an orphan of the same name who is on the hunt to find her parents. After she is adopted by a wealthy man named Oliver Warbucks, Annie is able to offer a reward for Annie’s parents. Of course, the reward money attracts all types of people who have bad intentions. With a delightful story and famous score, Annie is a comfortable pick for anyone working with on a budget.