Girlhood: The Musical


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Girlhood is an original musical that follows the lives of several girls from the beginning of middle school to the end of high school. Based on interviews with real girls, the show documents the journeys, struggles, and joys young women face as they maneuver their way through school and life.


As the lights come up, we see several beds. Alarm clocks ring. Mothers call for their daughters to wake up. It is the first day of middle school. (#1: Just the Start). The girls (and boys) are in a flurry of activity as they get ready for school. The scene morphs from home to school. Ms. McGery, the drama teacher, welcomes the young people and, as she calls the role, introduces us to the main characters: Amber and Melissa, Morgan and Judy.

As the students depart, Judy rushes to keep up with Morgan, who is attempting to connect with her group of “cool” friends. Walking down the hallway, Melissa drops her books and Amber offers to help. They discover their shared interest in mathematics (#2: Fractions).

Scene changes to a classroom. As the girls await their teacher, they start to talk about the new things they are finding in their bodies. Ms. McGery arrives, overhears some of the comments, and decides to break the bad news (#3: It Only Gets Worse). The girls join in on the song.

Judy texts Morgan, trying to find out why they no longer connect. She enters the school bathroom and sings about how this is the one place she feels really safe in the school—to the point of eating her lunch there (#4 Bathroom Bossa Nova). She hides as other girls enter. They sense that someone is already there. The song continues, with lyrics for all.

Ms. McGery convenes the first meeting of the drama club. The students sing about how they love the club because it’s the one place they can “act” any way they want, pretend and imagine (#5: Shine That Light).
In a new scene, Melissa and Amber are chatting. We find out it is now the end of the first year of middle school. Amber complains about her mother hovering over her all the time. In contrast, Melissa, being adopted, loves her relationship with her mother. Other girls are walking by. We realize they are all getting calls or texts from their mothers—and mostly ignoring them. They sing about their various relationships with their mothers. (#6: My Mother and Me). In a bit of a fantasy scene, we observe a range of mother-daughter interactions.

We are in a classroom. It is an acting class. Ms. McGery organizes an exercise in which the students can share how they really feel! Harper volunteers and sings about her experience as a middle child in a simple country song to guitar accompaniment (#7: In the Middle). We discover that this is a common experience, as other students join in.

The scene shifts to a mall where the girls are “hanging out.” They start to talk about their preferred styles. And they affirm their individuality in a hip-hop style song (#8: Fine And Fierce).

Back at school, the girls are setting things up for a dance. The boys come in as well, all avoiding one another by focusing on their phones. It becomes clear that they have varied feelings about the dance. In the next song, we find that some girls have no interest in the boys whereas others have embraced the approach that having a boyfriend is really important (#9: The Boyfriend Song). Toward the end of the song, a boy starts to talk to Amber; she feels noticed. Morgan takes Amber by the hand—a new bond is established. Amber is about to get a makeover.

It is after the dance. In a brief scene, Morgan and Judy enter the scene from opposite corners and are forced to pass each other. In dialogue we find that Judy still misses Morgan’s friendship, while Morgan has firmly set down roots in a new group of friends.

A school bell rings. Many students are walking down the hall. Morgan enters with several boys. The boys see Judy and start to hassle her, and then they walk on. Judy is stunned that Morgan made no attempt to defend her. As she walks away, a group of girls talk about Amber’s new “look.” Some like it, some do not. Melissa comments that Amber now cares only about boys and clothes. She’s rejected the “nerd” identity they had shared. This leads to a shared song where Morgan and Judy, Melissa and Amber, and the other girls as well, sing about this experience (#10: Fake Friends). This ends Act I!

It is the beginning of high school. The main characters along with other students are meeting each other as they arrive at school. They express their excitement and anxiety (#11: Will I Fit In Here?).

The scene shifts to the cafeteria. We see that some of the conflicts from middle school are still felt. Judy is aware that Morgan, who is a strong athlete, has hurt her leg. She expresses concern, but Morgan sarcastically rejects her overture. Most of the students leave, with Melissa and Judy still at the table. Melissa gives Judy a sympathetic smile, and then she leaves. Judy sits quietly. She starts to sing, first speaking of her continued isolation, but slowly embracing that she can handle it all anyway (#12: I’ve Got This).

Scene shifts to study hall. Ms. McGery supervises, trying to convince the girls to do some work. But as soon as she leaves the room, they start talking about what’s important to them, focusing, in a hip-hop style song, on (#13) My Hair My Voice.

The scene shifts to the locker room. Morgan enters, limping over to a bench. She is very dejected as she rubs her calf. Then she limps to a mirror, where she tells herself: “You’ve got this. Shake it off. Just shake it off. Pep talk, here we go.” In song she affirms that she can deal with this. (#14: Sports). As she finishes the song, Judy rushes in, which is very awkward. It becomes clear Judy has come here because some boys are chasing and harassing her. Morgan understands, and shouts at the boys outside the locker room, shaming them into leaving. Things are still awkward between them. But the song returns and they sing together, talking about the past and the present and what’s important about their relationship.

The school bell rings. The boys come out of the classes, etc., and start chatting about what’s most important to them: the sports they play! They sing about their connection to the athletic part of life (#15: Balls).

We are back in the homeroom. Ms. McGery arrives. Once again, tries to convince them to do some work. But as soon as she leaves, the girls share their excitement at the upcoming prom: what they will wear, whether they have a date yet, who will be the prom queen, etc. They sum up their feelings by singing, focusing on the all-important pictures that will be taken at the event (#16: Pictures).

Back in the girl’s bathroom, a few girls, including Morgan and Amber, are talking about how much they enjoyed the prom and how they are looking forward to graduation. Some of the girls leave, with only Amber still in the bathroom. Someone emerges from a stall, and it is Melissa. Things are very awkward. They start an intense argument in song (#17: Like You). But as the song climaxes, they realize it is not completely true, that they do care about each other.

In a brief vignette, Morgan phones Judy. She explains that Melissa has invited her to a sleep-over and that Amber is also coming. Morgan thinks that will be really weird, so she asks Judy to come too, to give her some support. Judy says yes.

Shift to a scene in the bedroom of Melissa’s house. In this special moment, close to graduation and after so long, they share with one another. They look back and try to explain to themselves and to each other what has really been going on (#18: That’s What Friends Do).

We hear a lot of hubbub. The lights come up and we see all the students, dressed in their graduation robes. Ms. McGery speaks as the Graduation Speaker. She encourages them to be strong, to acknowledge the challenges but focus on the opportunities, and to bring their friends along. And she sums up her advice in song (#19: Just the Start Reprise). Eventually everyone joins in on the song. The music subsides. One by one, Amber, Morgan, Judy, Melissa, and Harper step to the front of the stage and tell us who they have become as adults and what they have done. Ms. McGery confirms their vision and the ensemble resumes the song, confirming that “today, this is just the start!”


A love letter to the little girl inside.

–Rev Catherine Burris-Schnur

Girlhood is a refreshing musical smorgasbord packed with an array of musical styles perfect for a cast of gifted ladies and a few guys.

–Tina Reynolds Bravo Performing Arts, IL


Melissa: Nerdy girl with unruly hair, sincere, obsessed with Einstein, mathematician. (F#3-Eb5)

Amber: Simple girl, wants to fit in, changes from dorky to a mean girl. (A3-D5)

Morgan: Confident, jock, mean girl, secretly hiding a sports injury. (G3-D5)

Judy: Shy, the unique one, was best friend of Morgan’s in elementary school. (G3-D5)

Harper: The middle child, overachiever, mediator, the forgotten one. (G3-D5)

Gertie: Friendly, loner, eats a lot and is always hungry. (F3-E5)

Sawyer: Female, a fashion icon in their own mind.

Alexis: Member of Melissa’s math-girl crew. (A3-A4)

Maddie: Member of Melissa’s math-girl crew. (A3-E4)

Josie: Member of Morgan’s mean-girl clique— the girly, image-conscious one. (G3-C5)

Emma: Member of Morgan’s mean-girl clique, the boy-crazy one. (G3-D5)

Maddox: Pronouns are he/him/his— typical class clown. (B2-D4)

Ms. Mcgery: Drama teacher, very flamboyant, but deeply cares about the students. (E3-C5)

Mrs. Traxel: Very old assistant to Ms. McGery.

Violet: (A3-B4)

Other Students: Belle, Jessica, Nora, Dinah, Michael, Ted, Troy, Ryan.

Mothers: Can be played by boys.

Setting: In and around school, in the girls’ homes, and the mall. Present day.

  1. Just the Start
  2. Fractions
  3. It Only Gets Worse
  4. Bathroom Bossa Nova
  5. Shine That Light
  6. My Mother and Me
  7. In the Middle
  8. Fine and Fierce
  9. The Boyfriend Song
  10. Fake Friends
  11. Will I Fit in Here?
  12. I've Got This
  13. My Hair My Voice
  14. Sports
  15. Balls
  16. Pictures
  17. Like You
  18. That’s What Friends Do
  19. Just the Start (Reprise )

A Required Production Materials Package must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement (see Materials).

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.

"Girlhood was perfect for us. It's flexible, the music is terrific and the story deals with issues my students are dealing with. And the characters are so exciting." –Mary Riley - teacher in New York State

"Love this show! My students really fell in love with the characters and the story - even the boys loved working on the show!" –J. Radloff - Keith School, IL

"A love letter to the little girl inside" –Rev Catherine Burris-Schnur

"Girlhood is a well-crafted, highly enjoyable, feel-good musical with appealing characters, catchy R&B and rap songs, the ability to include fierce hip-hop choreography and very funny dialogue packed with social media jokes and an amazing 11 o’clock female power ballad." –Hazel Seaman Ovation Academy

"Girlhood is a gift to teachers who have talented girls and want to share their stories." –Tina Reynolds Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School

"Girlhood was a wonderful experience for our high school program. Because of the flexibility found in casting, we were allowed to give all our students a voice and place to shine. Be it changing genders, adapting interpretation, or re-interpreting intentions, Girlhood have us an exemplary template to create and discover as we created beautiful art." –Scott Sowinski, Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts

Materials: Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.

Required production materials for GIRLHOOD: THE MUSICAL:

  • Cast Scripts
  • Vocal Books
  • Director's Script
  • Stage Manager's Script
  • Orchestrations
  • Piano/Vocal Score

Production resources:

  • Rehearsal Tracks with vocals
  • Performance Tracks