In Children's Theater, there are usually at least five girls who sign up for every boy who comes out for the play. And yet, I have noticed that a great majority of the stories feature a boy as the lead character. And most of the stories that the young girls like feature a princess who becomes a love interest to a youth who is out on a quest. In reality though, the young boys HATE being cast in a "love" story. They prefer battle scenes and comic situations, while the girls love to dance and wear pretty costumes. So, when designing a new production, the author must keep these things in mind. If you want to attract boys to your cast, you better NOT do a "love" story. And if you want girls to be in the show, you better have a lot of dancing and colorful costumes.
Another problem that comes about in Children's Theater is that the kids like what they know. They are very distrusting of anything else. So they will get excited about titles of shows they have seen or heard of before. With the availability of so many movies that have been made into Children's Theater shows, kids assume that the stage play will be the same as the movie. But a junior stage production cannot be like the animated movie. In a community production with a limited budget, characters cannot fly or swim, fight with real weapons on horseback through an avalanche, ride in a parade of dinosaurs, disappear in a puff of smoke or pixie dust, or many other magical effects that can only happen in animation or computer generated film making. And even if the show has the same songs, they usually have to be shortened and modified to fit the ranges of young children. (At least, they really should be!) So, kids tend to be disillusioned when they are cast in a production that they think they know, but then everything is very different.
Looking to create or produce shows that have opportunities for FLEXIBLE CASTING is the KEY to your success. (This means that the lead characters could be played by either a male or a female.) There should be enough featured characters to make it seem that every role is equal and very important. Action, comedy, dancing, colorful costumes, and NO LOVE story are also very important. The songs should be short and in vocal ranges suitable for young voices. And, the entire production should stay under 60 minutes from start to finish.