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  • 1.  One Act Competition

    Posted 10-26-2015 08:47
    I am interested in knowing how many of the schools are attending One Act Competition and finding it to be a positive experience. Also, if your school is not attention One Act Competition, what are you doing in place of it that satisfies the Administration?

    Thanks for any feedback....

    John Freeman
    Mount de Sales Academy
    Macon, GA

    Sent from my iPad

  • 2.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 10-27-2015 06:01

    Hi John,

    In Indiana we do a one-act competition at our Regional Conferences, with the top-ranking plays performing at our State Conference in competition.  I have found it to be overall a positive experience.  I go into it with the mindset that the judges are seeing us one time, in a new space.  And that they are human and have certain biases when it comes to various types of theatre.  There is a rubric to keep the scoring objective. 

    Even more importantly, I tell my students these same things.  Our worth as artists are not based on one performance, just as a student's worth in school is not based on one test.  Sadly, there are schools in my state who will not go to the State Conference if their show doesn't make it despite all of the other events that go on there (workshops, scholarship auditions, IEs, allstate show). 

    I have found that my students tend to enjoy the challenge of competition overall, as well.  It "ups their game" so to speak!


    Raymond Palasz
    English/Theatre Faculty; Thespian Troupe Director
    Lake Central High School
    Schererville IN

  • 3.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 10-27-2015 09:21

    I work with Middle School and my kids have really enjoyed the times we have participated. It is important to encourage them to do their best work and see it as a learning experience because only 1 or 2 shows go on so there can be lots of disappointment if they aren't prepared to see it as more than a competition.   We are in the Atlanta area and I believe the High Schools are required to compete.  I love attending adjudication and seeing shorts of all the high school shows.  We did have a group of schools who created DramaRama and did a morning of One Acts for those who wanted to do so in their county and had afternoon workshops with the entire casts in workshops with professionals.  It is a super event but its also created by a middle school group.  

    Valerie Scott
    Duluth GA

  • 4.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 10-28-2015 11:14


    I really like the idea of DramaRama.  I would like it with just comments to each school that performed without adjudication.  Workshops with professionals afterwards would just be a plus.  A day of theatre without judging one another.



    John Freeman
    Theatre Director / Fine Arts Director
    Macon GA

  • 5.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 10-28-2015 11:19

    I work with Middle School too and we participate in the area festival with the high schools. My kids know going in that we can't win but we can receive a wild card and be asked to perform at the state festival if the schedule allows. It's always a great experience and the high school kids always support my students. I also think it drives my students to be on their best game.

    Douglas Parks
    Junior Thespian Director Troupe 88963
    Instagram: BLENNYTHEATER
    Twitter: @Blenny Theater
    Blennerhassett Middle School
    "Classrooms change when students start to believe their thinking matters."

  • 6.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 10-31-2015 10:18

    One of the good things about being a playwright, not affiliated with one specific school or system, has been getting to observe a wide variety of festival formats in which my plays have been produced.

    To me, it's always strange to see theatre and art reduced to competition. I understand that in many cases, it's needed to justify funding because it's the only thing some administrators can understand. And maybe it's useful to some students because, like athletes, they "get up" for competing--and so they take it more seriously. But there seem to be many pitfalls, most particularly people selecting certain types of pieces or styles because that's what the judges are known to prefer. Is it more important to win, or to stretch and challenge the students?

    For me, the ideal festival would offer constructive feedback and recognize excellence, but not necessarily reduce things to a single "best production." For example, one New England state has medals, but multiple groups can win a gold medal. At this level of development, that seems appropriate.


    Jonathan Dorf
    Playwright/ Co-founder of YouthPLAYS/ Co-chair of The Alliance Of Los Angeles Playwrights
    Los Angeles CA

  • 7.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 11-03-2015 09:59

    Overall, it is a positive experience. Our students learn a lot from watching other high school productions, of varying quality, and from performing in front of a fairly appreciative audience.

    Like Jonathan, I am equally perplexed by the reducing of art to competitive status. I've tried to continue this sentence several times, but can't quite find the right wording, at the risk of sounding shrill and hard-done by. So...I shall leave it at, one day, I hope that our school does get rated as a 'Superior' and has the chance to go to the State festival to perform. We attend the State festival in Florida anyway, and to be honest, bringing a show there looks like an ever bigger headache than just attending, but what a privilege and exciting opportunity for our students to learn!

    A lot of the same, it's not about the ratings, it's not about 'winning', speeches have to happen for my students too. The two times we have been, the audience response has been amazing, but our scores were middling/high middling, and I think I have learned a lot, and this ties back into what Jonathan was saying about whether as a troupe director we start selecting particular types of plays as we learn their tastes. It's tempting, but I'm sticking to my principle of sticking something challenging and interesting to me to do, and hope it sails.

    Overall, I enjoy the one act festival far more than some of the troubling aspects.

    Phillip Goodchild
    Theatre Arts Instructor/Assistant Department Head of English
    Hillsborough County Schools
    Ruskin FL

  • 8.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 02-01-2018 15:52
    Hello, I'm a little late to this discussion thread, but my theater students and I are about to head off to our State One Act Festival tomorrow and perform. I have found that in my 8 years of directing one acts, the experiences have been mostly positive. I do also wonder how theater, or art in general, can be competitive. I would love to see a festival that celebrates and promotes theater for theater's sake, rather than a chance at a trophy. The years that I have gotten Superiors, I have been grateful, but due to the completely subjective nature of these competitions, I sometimes feel like it is strictly chance! I have directed one acts far better than some that I received superiors for, but not gotten a trophy because the judge didn't like the script. My particular state does not use any sort of rubric or critique sheet, which leaves the judges decision making completely unknowable to me. They do give critiques, but often I have found that what judges say at the critique doesn't always translate to how we do in the scoring process. Do any of your region or state one act competitions use a rubric, comment sheet, or evaluation sheet? I would like to know if you think they are helpful in interpreting the judges evaluations of the plays or not. :)

    Anne Elisa Brown
    Director of the MHS Drama Department
    Madison Central School District
    Madison SD

  • 9.  RE: One Act Competition

    Posted 02-08-2018 16:19
    We use an evaluation instrument in North Carolina, and we don't give trophies.  We voted on that several times when I was CD, and there were always more directors who did not want trophies than wanted them. 

    We invite 3 adjudicators who have different styles, and they do oral critiques in front of the audience, usually 2 to 3 plays at a time.  It is good for students to understand that response to art is subjective.

    At the end of the festival, we announce the troupe invited to perform as our Chapter Select play at the international festival, but no other scores are announced.

    C. J. Breland
    Asheville High School
    Asheville NC