Coronavirus Response & Resources
Online One-Act Theatre Season
WHSFA is working in concert with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, as well as DPI, WIAA, WSMA, NFHS, and similar organizations. All 2020-21 contests will be online, with one statewide District festival and one statewide Sectional festival ahead of the State Festival. Directors are encouraged to select versatile material that allows for recording of videoconference performance or that may allow for physical distancing in-person with students wearing masks. Directors should consult publishers regarding copyright permissions for online streaming for purposes of adjudication. By mid-August, we will announce more detailed guidance.
Online Winter-Spring Season
WHSFA is working in concert with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, as well as DPI, WIAA, NFHS, and similar organizations. All 2020-21 contests will be online. While this should not impact contestants in solo/individual categories, for group categories, coaches are encouraged to select versatile material for group categories, which allows for recording of videoconference performance or that may allow for physical distancing in-person with students wearing masks. By early November WHSFA will release more detailed guidance.
According to a UW-Madison study, depression and anxiety were at alarming rates among student athletes this spring.
Forensic middle and high school activities of Debate, One-Act Theatre, Speech, and Film are academic, performing arts sports, and often serve students who are not athletes, and/or find themselves socially marginalized. These essential activities build confidence in young people, preparing them for college and career readiness. According to Dr. Karissa Niehoff of the NFHS, "These activities – the other half of education – are vital to the mental and emotional wellness of student participants."
For the 2020-21 school year, WHSFA is offering its contest series in all activities in an entirely online format, allowing students to participate in safe, secure online platforms that have been tested on a national level. [See screen capture of a round of Speech at the National Speech & Debate Association National Tournament, June 2020; NSDA photo].
Advice to Advisors - Directors/Coaches
WHSFA is collaborating with DPI, WI DHS, WIAA, WSMA, AWTE, and NFHS to determine recommendations for activities and interscholastic contests. Watch this space for guidance information.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), to which WHSFA is affiliated, has commissioned a study with the University of Colorado Boulder's aerosol laboratory in partnership with several arts organizations. Once results from that study have determined the extent of droplet spreading from such activities as projected speaking, singing, etc., WHSFA will work in concert with partner organization to determine suggested recommendations for adaptations to activities.