Festival Rules


 A.Festival Rules

1. Three impartial judges with no current affiliation with the competing school districts will be used in the state contest. Unlike other competitions we will stress college or professional judges.  The idea here is for college/professional exposure. 

 2. A school may video tape their own production but not the production of other schools without the coaches permission.

3. Royalties Deer Creek High School assumes no responsibility for the payment of royalties or other fees connected with the performance of any material in the contest.

4.  Performance order will be determined by random draw and with preference for second day slots going to schools who are traveling more than 50 miles to participate.


B. Contest Regulations

1. A school may use any published one-act play, part of full length play, or screenplay. Original scripts and plays are acceptable and encouraged. Specifically prohibited are shows listed as musicals, operas, operettas, and musical revues.  Internet scripts are acceptable if they include proof of the source. Blogs are unacceptable sources. Use of profanity, vulgarity, nudity and obscenity may result in lowered ranking or disqualification by the judges and a protest filed with the tournament director. It is the school's responsibility to make arrangements with the author or publisher for the right to use the play selected and to pay any royalty which may be due. Sponsoring institutions and officials shall in no case be held responsible for any irregularities that may occur.

2. The time a school may have possession of the stage during the meet, including the time for presenting the play, and clearing the stage for the next cast, is not to exceed fifty minutes. All schools are required to stay within the fifty minute time limit. Violation of this rule will be a deduction of 10 point from the overall score. (Timekeeper will be provided by host school.) Time is not to be announced to the judges. A maximum five-minute grace period will be allowed before a penalty is imposed, for a total of 55 minutes total to perform and strike all set pieces and props.

3. The main emphasis of the contest is based on the acting ability of the students in the cast and how they perform before an audience. The host school will not be required to provide any special props or furniture.  However, if contacted ahead of time and it is available we would be happy to provide you with assistance.  

4. Make-up, costuming, hand properties, and standard sound effects are allowable and will be judged on the basis of their appropriateness. Participating schools should check with host school regarding sound effects to be used.

5. Oral critiques should be done in a private situation with only the directors, cast and crew present. 

6. Judges are not to confer about ratings until ballots are given to the tournament director.

7. All cast and active crew members must be academically eligible students currently enrolled at the participating school. No student below the ninth grade shall be eligible for competition.

8. Tournament director will add the three (3) judges rating and add a 10 points deduction to each judge score when time limit is exceeded. 

9. Use of any and all flames (matches, lighters, etc.) and weapons in one-act must be in compliance with state law, disclosed at time of entry to the tournament director, and subject to the approval of the host contest site.


C. Function of the Contest Manager

1. The primary function of the Contest Manager is to fully organize the contest.

2. The Contest Manager must be available during both the rehearsals and performances. Exception: The manager may designate an adult assistant contest manager which must be present at rehearsals and performances.  A one hour time limit for spiking the stage a lighting for each show must be given to each school on the day of their performance for rehearsal and/or technical preparation.

3. The Contest Manager should secure an assistant contest manager, door-keepers, two timekeepers (one of which must be an adult), and backstage crews. Accurate stop watch or digital timing device must be provided for the timekeepers. A judge may not serve as timekeeper, present awards or assume any other contest responsibility.


D. Instructions for Judges and the Contest Manager

1. Judges are prohibited from conferring with each other about the plays, the director or the company before or during the contest.

2. Each judge will be required to provide an oral critique of the play and all its elements to each of the participating schools. This critiques needs to be a positive and truthful event for each school. The judge needs to keep in mind that these are high school performers and that the one-act competition is designed to be an educational experience.

3. The judge should give the completed ballots with play rating, and the Outstanding Individual Performance Ballots, and all other award ballots to the contest manager for tabulation. Judges are not to confer about the performances or rating until after the ballots, and the Outstanding Individual Performance Ballot have been given to the contest manager.

4. Specific Points are used only to help the judges arrive at a rating score. 100-85 will result in a 1 rating, 84-75 will result in a 2 rating and anything under this will result in a 3 rating. *Ratings are for critique purposes only and will be revealed only to the coaches. They will not be announced at the awards or posted publicly.* In the case of different ratings from individual judges, a school's overall rating will be compiled as follows. 


Judges Scores










5. Specific points must be assigned to each of the three areas being judged according to the following values:

Acting 0 to 50 points

Directing 0 to 25 points

Technical 0 to 25 points

 6. Overtime Penalty: The judges are not involved with any overtime penalty.

 7. At the conclusion of the competition the judge will use the Outstanding Performance Ballot to select the 20 All Star Cast members. This ballot should be used for the most outstanding acting performances whether they are all from one play or distributed throughout all play performances. It is important that the judges not confer about the plays before they have given their final selection of outstanding performers.

a. Outstanding Individual Performance Ballot: (Judge) This is one ballot that is to be given each judges before the first performance. Each individual judge will use this ballot to select and rank in order the individuals that they feel gave the most outstanding performance during the competition. The judge should rank the most outstanding performer in the #1 slot, the second most outstanding performer in the #2 slot and continue the process until all 10 slots are filled. This is a ranking ballot, therefore there can be no ties awarded. Following the selection of the ten best performances, the judges will give the ballot to the contest manager. This will be the same for best tech, costume, set design, program and poster.

b. Outstanding Individual Performance Ballot: (Contest Manager)

1. The contest manager will take all three of the judges ballots to compile the All-Star Cast list.

2. Students listed on a judges outstanding performance Ballot will receive a number of points based on the following scale.


1st 10 Points

2nd 9 Points

3rd 8 Points

4th 7 Points

5th 6 Points

6th 5 Points

7th 4 Points

8th 3 Points

9th 2 Points

10th 1 Point

After all points have been assigned, The actor with the most points will be designated as Best Actor and the next 20 students will be designated as All Star Cast Members. Ties will be broken by judges preference. In the case of an unbreakable tie, additional members will be named to the All Star Cast.

 8. Following the tabulation, the contest manager shall compile the results to be announced randomly at the awards assembly.

9. The Outstanding Tech Award will be awarded to the team with the highest Technical point totals compiled from the Tech Judges Ballot. Ties will be broken by technical point totals from the Judges panel Ballots.



1.Outstanding Director: Determined by Judges Preference

 2.Outstanding Stage Crew/Tech Performance: Trophy will be determined by the Tech Judges ranking.

 3. Best Actor Trophy will be awarded to the top actor determined by judges.

 4. Outstanding Set Award: Determined by judges preference

 5. Outstanding Costumes/Makeup Award: Determined by judges preference

 6.  Most Outstanding Company:  Determined by judges. (this award is given to the entire company cast, crew, director - that was most professional and easy to work with in the performance and critique environments.)

 7.  Fan Favorite: Determined by audience voting at the end of the final performance.

 8.  Charity Award:  Determined throughout the day.  Each show will choose one charity and audience members will place money in the bins with their charity and show name. The school that receives the most in donations will win the award. 

 9. Most Outstanding Ensemble Award:   Determined by judges preference.  (This award goes to the cast that was the most outstanding and consistent from top to bottom.)

10. Best Tweet: Awarded to the most entertaining Tweet of the Festival.

 11. Outstanding Technician: Determined by the Tech Judge in recognition of 2 outstanding student technicians.

 12. Medals will be awarded to each member of the All Star Cast. (20 Total): Determined by the Judges Panel