Parkway Production Ratings System

  • Preface to Ratings

    1)The teachers who created this document used the Film Rating System from the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) as the basis for content. While it is true that live theatre and film are two different things, there were 2 factors to why we chose to use the FRS:

    1. This is a rating system most people are familiar with
    2. Currently live theatre does not have a universally accepted rating system

    2)  A list of terms will be given below – however when in question (as the creators of the document) the theatre teachers of Parkway will be the resource for defining all terms in question.

    3) A list of musicals and plays is given to demonstrate what category we feel certain productions might be placed and to be used as a guide for future production choices. It is not in anyway to be considered a restrictive listing of choices – teachers will continue to choose productions based on the best educational interests and practices of the program they are leading.

    4) In the event a production straddles categories (ie PG and PG-13) the production will be rated in the category it is most represented within.

    5) Teachers will continue to follow their building’s practices of pre-production approval – but agree to place the rating system on any reasonably expected publicity (ie. posters, lobby displays, website advertising, etc.) for the production to help audience members make more educated choices of attending.

    6) The borrowed phrase “most American parents would believe” (from CARA) will be used in determining rating criteria for productions. While we understand their might be special circumstances where individuals would consider productions at a higher rating it is the opinion of the theatre teachers of Parkway that we will follow the current practices of CARA as our model.

    7)  As always Parkway teachers will make every effort to select material/content that has educational value first and entertainment value second. Teachers can provide (upon request) their reasons for a production choice to administration as necessary.

    8) It should be noted that it is the age of the characters within the world of the play and not the actors playing them that will determine whether the actions are considered illegal (ie drinking and smoking).

    9) Suggested grade levels for ratings (assuming most students at grade level)

    No Rating: Children’s Theatre – PreK-Second  G: Second-Fifth  PG: Sixth-Eighth  G-13: Ninth-Twelfth   R: Eleventh-College (would most probably not be considered appropriate for Parkway to produce)   NC-17: would not be considered appropriate for Parkway to produce



      G PG PG-13 R NC-17
      General Audiences Parental Guidance Suggested Parents Strongly Cautioned Restricted No one 17 and Under Admitted

    Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.

    The G Rating does not signify a “children’s” production
    Parents urged to give “parental guidance.” May contain material parents might not like for children under 8 or 9 years of age. Parents are urged to be cautious.  There may be material inappropriate for pre-teenagers. Contains some adult material.  Parents are urged to learn more about the show before taking their young children with them. Most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children
    Language Exchanges of dialogue may go beyond polite conversation but are common everyday expressions. Contains some profanity Contains mild profanity Persistent use of strong language Hard language throughout
    Violence Depictions of violence are minimal Some depictions of violence Depictions of violence—generally not both extreme, persistent or realistic Intense or persistent violence Intense and persistent violence—extremely realistic
    Sexual Content No nudity or sexual content Some conversational sexual content Suggested sexual content Strong sexual themes throughout Intense sexual themes throughout


    No depiction of drugs or alcohol No illegal drug reference/ use, depicts use alcohol Depiction of prescription drug and alcohol use.  No illegal drug abuse references Reference to illegal drug abuse Intense illegal drug use shown on stage
    Adult Themes Nothing in theme would offend parents whose younger children view the production. Minimal adult theme and activity Some adult theme and activity Depicted activity of adult themes throughout Depicted activity of intense and extreme adult themes/acts shown on stage


    This rating system is based on the criteria created by the Movie industry.  This was selected as most community members are familiar with and understand the system.  We strongly suggest parents with younger children research a production before attending.  We will use this guide as a general rating but cannot take into account all personal preferences or concerns.  This document was created with the average audience member in mind. Below you will find a list of productions we would place in each rating category to give community members an idea of what to expect.

    NC-17—Spring Awakening; Equus; American Idiot; The Birthday Party; Titus Andronicus; Lysistrata

    R—Rent; Avenue Q; Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike; The Goat who is Sylvia; August Osage County; MacBeth, Hamlet

    PG-13—Romeo & Juliet; Much Ado About Nothing; Chicago; Avenue Q (School Addition); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Legally Blonde; Moon Over Buffalo; Hairspray; Proof; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Of Mice and Men

    PG—Fiddler on the Roof; The Diary of Anne Frank; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; The Odd Couple; The Crucible; The Miracle Worker; Anything Goes; Music Man; The Glass Menagerie

    G—You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown; Seussical the Musical; Cinderella; Cheaper by the Dozen; The Man Who Came to Dinner; You Can’t Take it With You; Flowers for Algernon; Harvey 


    To print a PDF of the Ratings Information, which includes definitions of some of the above vocabulary, CLICK HERE


    RATINGS LOGOS        
    White letters in black box:     G-jpg    PG-jpg     PG13-jpg     R-jpg 
    Black letters in white box:   G-jpg     PG-jpg   PG13-jpg   R-jpg