Being part of a school or church musical seems to be one of those experiences that live on in our memories. It’s special. It’s something that got the adrenalin pumping as the curtain raised on that first night. It’s life outside of life. It’s words and music that will never be forgotten. There really is “no business like show business!”

But for many school principals and teachers, the idea of producing a musical is very daunting. All we can think about is the stress of actors learning lines, the logistics of a venue and a stage set, the making of backdrops and props, the hassle of costumes and who fits what, the learning of songs, the right wording in the letter to the parents, possibly little parent support, the confusion rehearsals, and above all, the cost!

Eek! I nearly talked myself out of it just then! Who needs it!?


Sounds too difficult, disruptive, time-consuming or just beyond your school or kids ministry’s budget? Not necessarily.


  1. Choose a musical that is written for ease of production.
  1. Select the one that suits your group and your ethos.
  1. Divide the songs in the musical between classes or small groups, or amongst soloists and duos etc. Give them each a copy of the song on CD to learn at home.
  1. Give them each a copy of the song on CD to learn at home. People, especially children, learn without even trying if they are played in class, or while they are coming together before the sessions, playing or doing craft and writing activities.
  1. Also record the dialogue onto CDs and hand them to the casted role players, for easy learning by listening. (If you record this JUST the way you want it done, with all the
    dynamic expression, you’ve halved your directing efforts!)
  1. Staging, props, costuming etc. can be as simple or complex as you decide. Using simple blocks of colour can suffice.
  1. Delegate! Look for parents and interested members who are keen to help. They can look after things like performance venue hire (if you don’t have an on-site one), staging, props, costumes, advertising, choreography, sound and lighting, program design and printing, coach dialogue and singing, . Someone may even video the show for you!
  1. Charge $2 a head for the performance (100 participants in musical = at least 200 people = at least $400) Cover the cost of the musical and perhaps even raise some funds.
  1. Put on a supper! (again with delegated volunteers) and maybe charge a small price.
  2. Enjoy the afterglow of a wonderful night which touched many, and gave your participants a sense of achievement!