A Chorus Line – High School Edition

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A CHORUS LINE – HIGH SCHOOL EDITION is a full-length version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, adapted for performance by high school students with family audiences. Every aspect of the show has been developed specifically for high school performers: dialogue and content are age-appropriate, dance sequences are of a length befitting high school dancers, and allowances are made to feature actors of any race or ethnicity. The materials have been prepared – with the authors’ approval – to help your school or organization mount the best possible production and to give your students an exciting and rewarding experience.

A CHORUS LINE is a stunning concept musical capturing the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition. Exploring the inner lives and poignant ambitions of professional Broadway gypsies, the show features one powerhouse number after another. Memorable musical numbers include “What I Did for Love, “One,” “I Can Do That,” “At the Ballet,” “The Music and the Mirror,” and “I Hope I Get It.” A brilliantly complex fusion of song, dance, and compellingly authentic drama, the show was instantly recognized as a classic.

Though it remains a full-length musical, A CHORUS LINE – HIGH SCHOOL EDITION differs from the original version in several ways. Here are some examples of the changes:

  • The character of “Larry” is now “Lori,” allowing for an additional female principal role.
  • The open call portion of the audition (“I Hope I Get It”) requires fewer boys.
  • No references to smoking or suicide.
  • “Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love” no longer contains any explicit sexual content.
  • “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” now features the refrain “This and That,” and does not explicitly reference the character’s anatomy.
  • The dance sequence in “The Music and the Mirror” is shortened.
  • The first version of “One,” in which the actors learn the combination, is simplified.
  • No “R-rated” profanity.
  • The tap sequence is significantly shorter.
  • Paul’s monologue is slightly reduced in length.
  • Alternate dialogue is provided for more flexible casting of Connie, Richie and Judy, who can be played by actors of any race or height.

In addition to the Script/Vocal Parts and Piano-Vocal Score, A CHORUS LINE – HIGH SCHOOL EDITION includes a Director’s Production Guide, a Choreography DVD to assist in the creation of dances, and a Rehearsal Sing-Along CD with professional vocalists singing all the music. You may also rent a Performance CD with prerecorded professional live accompaniment of the entire show, or rent a full orchestration for performance with a live orchestra. If you choose to perform the show with live musicians, a full score (partitur) is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration.

Photos courtesy of East Grand Rapids High School and director Ms. Pamela Steers
Photography © Jan Lewis

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • A CHORUS LINE is a celebration of those unsung heroes of the American Musical Theatre: the chorus dancers– those valiant, over dedicated, underpaid, highly trained performers who back up the star or stars and often make them look even more talented than they are. It is also a celebration of the American Musical itself. A CHORUS LINE is also about competition, and competition might easily be the common denominator that grabs the audience and holds it by the collective heartstring until the final, ultimate choices are made. For everyone, at one time or another, puts his life on the line. We all compete, no matter what business we’re in, for promotion, for attention, for approval and for love. Specifically, A CHORUS LINE takes the audience through the final grueling audition run by the director, Zach, for a new Broadway musical.

    At the beginning of the show, Zach, a driven, compulsive worker, has assembled thirty semi-finalists and is putting them through a vigorous series of dance combinations, including ballet and jazz. Soon he thinks this group down to the final sixteen, eight boys and eight girls. They and the audience know that eventually this number will be cut in half and Zach will choose only four boys and four girls to be in his new musical. Instead of having them read a short audition scene, Zach wants to elicit a personal history from each one: how they got into show business, why they became dancers, what their hopes, fantasies and aspirations are. As he calls upon them individually, they react in every possible way, from bravado to reticence. From childhood on, their memories emerge, blending into a seamless series of musical numbers and monologues, some humorous (“Dance: Ten; Looks: Three”), some poignant (“At the Ballet”), some group reminiscences when they all share their adolescent experiences (“Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love”) and some intimate, as when he calls upon Cassie, his former lover who has returned from California to ask for a chorus job after having been a featured performer (“The Music and the Mirror”).

    As their individual stories pour out in song (“Nothing”) and in spoken words (Paul’s monologue), interspersed by learning dance routines that reveal their ability to perform as a faceless drill team (“One”), the audience, as well as Zach, gets to know each one of these ambitious entertainers individually, so that by the show’s end, they can identify and root for their favorites as well as empathize with all of them because they all need the job– they all want to work at their craft.

    A CHORUS LINE departs from the usual glossy backstage musical by presenting a true picture of what it’s like to be in the theatre: glamorous, yes, at times, but also tough, heartbreaking and sometimes even tragic, in the case of Paul who is knocked out of the competition by an injury sustained during a dance number (“The Tap Combination”). After these brave dancers explain why they go through a life filled with rejection and injury (“What I Did for Love”), Zach makes his selection, eliminating the last group who reluctantly leave the stage. The lights soon fade on the remaining eight ecstatic dancers as they are told to prepare for rehearsals of their new Broadway show. They fade only to come up as each performer, now dressed in full, shimmering finale costume, reappears to receive an individual bow before joining together to perform the brilliant dance finale (“One”) and showing exactly the talent it takes to make it into A Chorus Line.

    -James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante

  • A CHORUS LINE
    High School Edition

    Conceived and Originally Directed and Choreographed by
    Michael Bennett

    Book by                Music by                  Lyrics by
    James Kirkwood    Marvin Hamlisch     Edward Kleban
    & Nicholas Dante                                                             &

    Co Choreographed by Bob Avian

    Original Broadway production produced by the New York
    Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp, Producer, in association
    with Plum Productions, Inc.

    Adaptation and support materials for the High School Edition
    Developed by iTheatrics
    Under the supervision of Timothy Allen McDonald

    Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    A CHORUS LINE High School Edition
    is presented by arrangement with
    TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • A CHORUS LINE High School Edition is licensed EITHER with pre-recorded performance tracks, OR, if you prefer to use a live orchestra, you may rent the full orchestration below:

    Full Orchestration:

    1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute (or Clarinet), Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed II: Piccolo, Flute, Eb Clarinet (or Flute), Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed III: Oboe (or Clarinet), English Horn (or Clarinet), Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed IV: Flute (or Clarinet), Clarinet, Eb Contrabass Clarinet (or Bassoon), Bassoon & Baritone Saxophone

    2 Trumpet I & II (both doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trumpet III (doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trombone I (tenor)
    1 Trombone II (tenor)
    1 Trombone III (bass)

    2 Percussion I & II:

    (I) Mallet Instruments:

    Glockenspiel
    Vibraphone
    Xylophone
    Chimes
    Timpani (2 drums)
    Bongos (2)
    Congas (2)
    Triangle
    Small Triangle
    Wood Blocks (2)
    Gran Cassa
    Tom-tom
    Tambourine
    Cowbell
    Maracas
    Cabasa
    Bell Plate
    Bell Tree

    (II) Trap Drums:

    Bass Drum
    Snare Drum
    Hi-Hat
    Cymbals
    Tom-toms (3)
    Floor Tom
    Triangle
    Wood Block
    Cowbell

    1 Keyboard I (multiple registrations; principally Piano)
    1 Keyboard II (multiple registrations; principally Harp)
    1 Keyboard III (multiple registrations; principally Strings)

    1 Bass (Acoustic, Electric & Bass Guitar)

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

    Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

  • 1  Director’s Production Guide
    1  Piano-Vocal Score
    22 Prompt Book/Vocal Parts
    1 Disc Set, consisting of:
    – 1 Two-Disc Set of Sing-Along CD’s
    – 1 Choreography DVD

    For performance, choose either:

    1 Two-Disc Set of Performance CDs recorded professionally.

    16-Part Full Orchestration (with Full Score available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration—see below).

    Production Kit Description

    Production Guide: A complete director’s script with background material, directorial pointers, details on incorporating the show’s production into the school curriculum and suggestions for involving your community at large.
    Prompt Book/Vocal Parts: Individual books containing the complete script and all vocal material.
    Piano-Vocal Score: Spiral-bound piano reduction with orchestral and dialogue cues, for use as an additional rehearsal tool.
    Sing-Along CD Set: 2-disc recording of professional vocalists singing the full score, to help your cast learn the songs.
    Choreography DVD: Video containing simple, effective dance steps and staging ideas for selected songs, with optional choreographer voice-over.

    Optional Additional Materials

    Full Score (Partitur) in 1 volume is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]

  • Characters

    (1 male, 1 female)

    Zach — Director/Choreographer
    Lori — Zach’s assistant

    Dancers on the Line

    (9 female, 8 male — audition numbers in parentheses)

    Cassie (no number)
    Sheila (152)
    Val (179)
    Diana (2)
    Judy (23)
    Kristine (10)
    Maggie (9)
    Bebe (37)
    Connie (149)

    Mike (81)
    Richie (44)
    Don (5)
    Paul (45)
    Mark (63)
    Greg (67)
    Bobby (84)
    Al (17)

    Named Dancers

    (2 female, 2 male)

    Tricia
    Roy
    Frank (boy in the headband)
    Vicki

    Ensemble

    (flexible)

    Cut Dancers / Pit Singers

  • Opening Off-Broadway at The Public Theater on April 15, 1975, A CHORUS LINE, originally starring Donna McKechnie, Sammy Williams, Robert LuPone and Carole Bishop, transferred to the Shubert Theatre on Broadway on July 25, 1975 and ran for 6,137 performances before closing on April 28, 1990.  On September 29, 1983, A CHORUS LINE became the longest-running show in Broadway history.  In London it played 903 performances at the Theatre Royale, Drury Lane. It was revived at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway in 2006 and played for 759 performances.

    Awards (1976):

    9 Tony Awards for Musical, Book, Score, Choreography, Director, Actress, Featured Actor, Featured Actress, and Lighting Design
    4 Drama Desk Awards for Music, Director, Choreographer and Actress
    3 Obie Awards for Actress, Actor and Special Citation
    The Theatre World Special Award
    The Pulitzer Prize for Drama

    Awards (1984):

    Special Gold Tony Award in honor of becoming Broadway’s longest-running musical

    Awards (2007)

    2 Tony Awards for Revival and Featured Actress

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Lamorinda Theatre Academy LAFAYETTE, CA 07/07/2017 07/29/2017
    The Candlelight Theatre ARDENTOWN, DE 07/28/2017 07/29/2017
    Red House Arts Center SYRACUSE, NY 07/30/2017 07/30/2017
    To the Stage OCEANSIDE, NY 08/04/2017 08/12/2017
    Plano Children's Theatre PLANO, TX 08/18/2017 08/26/2017
    Stage Center SHREVEPORT, LA 09/07/2017 09/10/2017
    Green Bay East High School GREEN BAY, WI 11/03/2017 11/11/2017
    Bloomfield Hills High School BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI 11/16/2017 11/18/2017
    Marquee Theatrical Productions AURORA, ON 04/10/2018 04/11/2018
    Pickerington High School North PICKERINGTON, OH 04/19/2018 04/22/2018
    Astronaut High School TITUSVILLE, FL 04/20/2018 04/23/2018
    Garnet Valley High School GLEN MILLS, PA 05/04/2018 05/05/2018