Directing Resources

How Our One-Act Contest Series Works

  1. High schools (grades 9-12) may participate in our contests upon joining the WHSFA.
  2. From September 25 (3pm) to October 3 (3pm), directors must register online with play synopsis and publication information, technical needs, and an accurate roster of students names, certifying interscholastic eligibility (usually handled by an athletic/activities director or an administrator), and assigning students to specific acting roles and crew positions. During that same window, coaches may log back in and make changes to registration.
  3. As part of the online registration process, coaches rank their preferences for State Festival timeframes (Friday or Saturday, as well as time of day). These ultimately will be assigned given available space, with consideration given for schools traveling a greater distance.NOTE: Schools are encouraged to hold informal subdistricts with colleagues or other theatre educators to provide evaluation before the district festival, as well to give students practice with performing their production. Alternatively, a school could practice loading their set in and out of a different space in their school or community (e.g., gymnasium or commons area), and having an outside evaluator come in to offer notes.

  4. The State Office will share registration information — as well as a supply of evaluation sheets, and other materials — with each district host, who will use that to schedule and prepare each festival.
  5. theaterfestivalAt the district festival, three adjudicators will evaluate each play; at least two of the three must recommend the play advance for it to continue to the sectional level. Using the SpeechWire interface, district hosts will report advancing plays immediately following their contests, which section chairs will subsequently use to schedule the sectional festival.
  6. At the sectional festival, at least two of three adjudicators must recommend the play advance for it to move on to the State level. Using the SpeechWire interface, sectional hosts will report advancing entries immediately following their contests, which will be used to schedule the State Contest. NOTE: The State Festival is a tremendous learning experience, and schools who do not advance are still strongly encouraged to attend, where their students can watch other shows, and participate in other workshops and activities. Past non-qualifying schools who have gone to State report a renewed vigor by students, excited to push themselves further, the following year.
  7. Coaches will have a brief window to confirm participants online after sectional and before State. They also must register with UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies office.
  8. At the State Contest, if two of four adjudicators make a recommendation, schools may earn awards for: individual acting, ensemble, crew, directing, and Critic’s Choice.