21 Chump Street


21 Chump Street

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Short Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  1f, 5m

Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda / Based on the story by Robbie Brown which originally appeared on WBEZ’s This American Life

A cautionary tale about an honours student who will do anything for his new crush.

Photo: Adrianne Mathiowetz

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1f, 5m
  • Duration
    10 minutes
  • SubGenre
  • Suggested Use
    Suggested Use
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Lin-Manuel Miranda's 21 Chump Street is a 14-minute musical based on a true story as reported in the series This American Life. 21 Chump Street is a cautionary tale of Justin, a high school honors student who falls for a cute transfer girl. Justin goes to great lengths to oblige Naomi's request for marijuana in the hopes of winning her affection - only to find out that his crush is actually an undercover cop planted in the school to find drug dealers. 21 Chump Street discusses the ramifications of peer pressure, conformity and drug use in our schools with a message that will stay with teenagers long after they leave the theater. Perfect for charity evenings, galas, special events and student/community outreach programs.


Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Drugs
  • No Special Cautions

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 10 minutes
  • Setting: Park Vista Community High School.
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


1f, 5m
Cast Attributes
  • Roles for Teens
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
5 Men
1 Woman

Tevin (Boy 1) / Cousin 1
Derek (Boy 2) / Cousin 2 / Lawyer
Andrew (Boy 3) / Cousin 3 / Police Officer


  • Musical Style: Contemporary Broadway
  • Dance Requirements: Moderate
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus
1. "What the Heck I Gotta Do?" - Justin
2. "One School at a Time" - Naomi
3. "Everybody's Got a Cousin" - Justin
4. "The Money" - Justin & Naomi
5. "Epilogue" - Naomi

Full Orchestration

Piano Conductor
Guitar (Electric & Nylon String)
Electric Bass
Electronic Loops & SFX (with click)


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
8 Piano/Vocal 
1 Piano/Conductor 
8 Libretto

1 Piano Conductor
1 Guitar 
1 Electric Bass
1 Drums
1 Violin
1 Cello
1 Electronic Music Elements Set
1 Digital Logo

Piano Only:
8 Piano/Vocal
8 Libretto
1 Digital Logo

Additional Resources And Services Available



"Lin-Manuel Miranda continues to prove his immense talent with a funny, alive, endearing, and interesting show that explores a world of teenage love" — Michael Kras, The Cast Album Review

"This would be a great musical with a great score even if it hadn't been written in such an admirably short time... but the fact that it was created that fast says even more about it. Lin-Manuel Miranda continues to prove his immense talent with a funny, alive, endearing, and interesting show that explores a world of teenage love and the complications surrounding Justin's unknowing infatuation with an undercover police officer, and how the officer uses this to her advantage to make an arrest. There's a moral ambiguity here that makes for fascinating theatre, supported by a memorable score that leaves us wanting more. As it is, 21 Chump Street is a delicious little bite-sized musical that's totally satisfying." — Michael Kras, The Cast Album Review

"The evening’s melodic highlight belonged to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump Street. Giddy and bittersweet, this quickie musical adapts a tale of bad romance that was broadcast in 2012 on the “What I Did For Love” episode of This American Life." — Alexis Soloski, New York Times

"I have no idea if the musical on our show this weekend had the same effect on you that it did for all of us who sat through it during a week of rehearsals, but I and pretty much everyone else could NOT get the tunes out of our heads. I heard the dancers singing it in their dressing room. One producer heard her kids singing it in their room, even though they hadn't been to the show. They'd heard her singing the songs around the house and they picked it up like a virus." — Ira Glass, This American Life

Music Samples


  • "What the Heck I Gotta Do" - Lin-Manuel Miranda

More videos +


  • 21 Chump Street

    Credit: Adrianne Mathiowetz



Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor. He is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. Hamilton - with book, music and lyrics by Mr. Miranda, in addition to his originating the title role - ...

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