Best High School Musicals of All Time

Updated April 30, 2018
Costume ideas for school musicals.

The best high school musicals are those that cater to students' interests, fit the cast size and capabilities, and of course, can be done within budget! When the musical fits like a glove the whole experience becomes much more enjoyable for all and it is more likely to be a success. This list will help you find the one that fits the part.

1. High School Musical on Stage!

High School Musical on Stage! is considered a top option for high school musicals for several reasons. The plot is relevant to teen life, the tunes are modern and catchy, and it is set in contemporary times, making for easy costumes and set design. This musical is ideal for large cast ensembles and can be budget friendly.

2. The Music Man

The Music Man has been a popular top choice for years. The antics of the con man "Professor" Harold Hill will keep the audience laughing, and a touch of romance broadens the play's appeal. This family-friendly musical works fabulously with big ensembles and will require some work on costuming and sets.


3. Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast has been one of the most popular high school musicals for over two decades. Audiences and performers alike will recognize this classic fairy tale and appreciate its timeless message of looking beyond appearances. With memorable musical numbers and plenty of parts this romantic musical is ideal for medium to large ensembles and good costume and set design teams.

4. Seussical

Seussical is one of the top full length musicals produced by schools looking to bring in more community audience members; it's sure to be a hit with families. Celebrating the work of Dr. Seuss, this whimsical musical shines brightly with colorful imaginative sets and costumes.

5. Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls regularly tops the best-loved high school musical lists. While the main characters are criminals and gamblers, this comedic musical never takes itself too seriously, so it's a fun play for performers and audiences alike. Instantly recognizable songs like Luck Be a Lady and A Bushel and a Peck are another draw.


6. Grease

Grease has been one of the most popular for decades, according to Dramatics. The show is fun, the songs iconic, and everybody loves donning leather jackets and poodle skirts to travel back to the past. This iconic musical is ideal for medium to large ensembles and will work with novice costume and set design teams.

7. Into the Woods

Into the Woods has also become a favorite among the best musicals for high school productions according to data compiled by Dramatics. The reworked fairytale follows three stories, and what happens when wishes simply come true. A touching message of what truly matters in life makes it a keeper. This unique musical is ideal for set designers who want the challenge of bringing fairytale land to their high school.

8. Shrek the Musical

Shrek the Musical is another immensely popular high school musical. Funny takes on fairytales, an unsuspecting hero, and true beauty beneath appearances makes it as endearing as it is funny. This recognizable musical is ideal for drama departments with seasoned costume and set design teams, after all, there are ogres, animal characters, and even a dragon!


9. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is also a top option. The reasons abound, amongst them a contemporary story, hilarious comedic bits, audience participation, and a lesson on what truly matters in life. This funny musical is ideal for limited-budget productions.

10. The Addams Family

The Addams Family has become the ultimate favorite musical amongst high schools. The highly relatable story, the quirky and fun characters, and the humor has made it the most-played musical of recent years. This entertaining musical is ideal for medium-sized casts, and the set and costume design can be as easy or as complicated as desired.

Best High School Musicals of All Time