20 Perfect Musicals for Small Casts

Putting on a musical requires many resources – money, space, time, and of course available actors. And sometimes those resources are not available to us. But the good news is that you can still put on an amazing musical, regardless of your cast size. And this also happens to be the perfect year to try out a small-cast musical in the digital space!

So here’s a list of 17 perfect musicals for small casts. All of the below musicals have seven roles or less, and are listed from the largest cast size to the least.


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1. Falsettos

If you have a cast that is small, but fierce, Falsettos could be an interesting choice. It’s a story about a broken family who is just trying to pick up the pieces.

Number of Roles: 7

Musical Info ➝


2. Schoolhouse Rock Live!

This is a high-energy and family friendly musical that works just as well for a cast of adults as it does a cast of children. There’s also a JR. version available if you’d like to feature an ensemble.

Number of Roles: 6

Musical Info ➝


3. Next to Normal

Next to Normal is a pop-rock musical that deals with effects of mental illness on a small suburban family. With themes of depression, anxiety, family, and loss, this play is not only easy to relate to, but it’s also perfect for a small and gifted cast.

Number of Roles: 6

Musical Info ➝


4. Nunsense

This silly musical comedy follows the story of five nuns as they put together a fundraiser talent show for their sisters who were accidentally poisoned by the convent cook. If you’re looking for something that will get your audiences laughing, this is a great way to go!

Number of Roles: 5

Musical Info ➝


5. Closer Than Ever

Closer Than Ever is a musical exploration of the modern-day struggles that we face in life. Since this musical is a string of mini stories told by one new character after another, it’s the perfect show to put on either digitally or with minimal resources.

Number of Roles: 5

Musical Info ➝


6. A Year With Frog and Toad

I am just in love with the simplicity of this musical. It’s a beautiful breath of happy air, and if you’d like to consider putting on a family-friendly show, you’ll be sure to have fun with this one!

Number of Roles: 5

Musical Info ➝


7. [title of show] 

[title of show] is a one-act musical that follows two struggling writers as they put a together a play for a musical theatre festival. However, be aware that there is a good amount of profanity, making this more of a musical for mature audiences.

Number of Roles: 4 (+1 accompanist w/ speaking role)

Musical Info ➝


8. Calvin Berger

Loosely based on Cyrano de Bergerac, Calvin Berger follows the story of four high school seniors as they deal with love, relationships, and self-esteem. This is perfect for youth/high school aged productions!

Number of Roles: 4

Musical Info ➝


9. The Marvelous Wonderettes

If you’re looking for something super light and suitable for an all-female cast, The Marvelous Wonderettes could be a nice choice. It’s a jukebox musical about four singers at high school and at their high school reunion.

Number of Roles: 4

Musical Info ➝


10. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

This musical is perfect not only for small casts, but also for theatre companies with limited resources. The whole show can be done with a pianist and a few props. (Thanks to Jane in the comments for this great suggestion!)

Number of Roles: 4

Musical Info ➝


11. Murder Ballad

If you’re looking for something a bit more dramatic, Murder Ballad could be an interesting choice. It’s about a love triangle gone wrong, and it features a cast of four.

Number of Roles: 4

Musical Info ➝


12. Forever Plaid

If you have four strong actors who sing beautifully together, Forever Plaid could be a fun choice! The musical is packed with comedic moments and barbershop-quartet style showtunes.

Number of Roles: 4

Musical Info ➝


13. Songs for a New World

Songs for a New World is an abstract series of songs that are connected by a common theme of “decision”. And with four strong characters, this is a perfect musical for a small and fierce cast.

Number of Roles: 4

Musical Info ➝


14. The Mad Ones

This is a beautiful contemporary pop/rock musical that would be perfect to put on with one strong middle-aged performer and three strong young-adult performers.

Number of Roles: 4

Musical Info ➝


15. Tick, Tick…BOOM!

From the creator of Rent, Tick, Tick…BOOM! is a one-act musical about a struggling composer who is trying to make it to Broadway. With just three roles, this is a solid choice for tiny casts.

Number of Roles: 3

Musical Info ➝


16. Vanities

This is the perfect musical to produce if you happen to have a cast of three women. Vanities follows their journey and friendship over the years, and it’s great if you’re looking for something lighthearted.

Number of Roles: 3

Musical Info ➝


17. Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs is the ideal musical to produce digitally or with minimal resources, as it only features a cast of two: an orphan easing into adulthood and her mysterious benefactor.

Number of Roles: 2

Musical Info ➝


18. I Do! I Do!

If you’re in the mood for playing around with the ups and downs of marriage, I Do! I Do! could be an interesting choice. Ideal for both digital and small theatre companies, it features the simple, yet relatable story of a husband and a wife.

Number of Roles: 2

Musical Info ➝


19. The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years is a modern musical that follows the story of a husband and wife, and their last five years of marriage. With exactly two characters, this is the perfect musical for those with strong talent and limited resources.

Number of Roles: 2

Musical Info ➝


20. Marry Me a Little

This has got to be my favorite musical on the list for small casts and/or digital productions. It’s a one-act musical about two single strangers who share their yearning for love from the confines of their own apartments. If you are thinking about dipping your toes into the digital theatre space, this would be the perfect show to start with!

Number of Roles: 2

Musical Info ➝


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Know any other good musicals for small casts?

Or have you ever been a part of one of the above musicals for small casts? Feel free to share in the comments! And if you like these types of lists, check out the musical database. That’s where you’ll find musicals sorted by composer, theme, setting, and more!


Stacy Karyn, author of Musicals for Small Casts.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

3 thoughts on “20 Perfect Musicals for Small Casts

  • September 18, 2020 at 5:16 pm
    Permalink

    I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a GREAT small cast show, featuring 4 performers ( 2 M, 2 W). Can be expanded, but 4 works great.

    • September 19, 2020 at 11:03 am
      Permalink

      You are SO right, Jane! Thank you so much for the suggestion. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change was actually one of the first cast recordings that I bought a physical CD for, and I can still remember singing along to it in my car so many years ago. I just added it to the list and gave ya a little shoutout above. 😉

      • October 5, 2020 at 5:48 pm
        Permalink

        My heart skipped a little when I read your shout out! Thanks.

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