Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival


Viterbo Fine Arts Center

General Information

Viterbo University, La Crosse – November 15-17, 2018

More than 1,500 high school students gather each year at the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival (WHSTF) — held since 1930 — for three days packed with workshops featuring trained professionals, one-act and individual event contest performances, showcase productions, and exhibitors from theatre vendors to collegiate programs. Prior registration is required.

We welcome all schools interested in participating in the Theatre Festival!


One-Act Contest
Individual Events
Tech Olympics
Workshop Proposal
Middle Level
* Schools attending the festival are highly encouraged to order merchandise as part of the registration process.


A free event app will be available for participants to install on mobile devices; souvenir printed programs also will be available for purchase. Viterbo University hosts one-acts, workshops, Individual Events, Tech Olympics, and exhibits. The Weber Center for the Performing Arts will be an additional one-act venue. The 2018 festival includes one-act performances Thursday evening, with a full day/evening of one-acts Friday, and an earlier finish to the festival Saturday. This will allow us to accommodate more schools’ requests to perform Friday, and to maximize use of the Viterbo Main Theatre Thursday and Friday.


Main Theatre: One-Acts
Main Theatre: One-Acts
Recital Hall: One-Acts
FAC 435: Individual Events
Main Theatre: Tech Olympics/Tech workshops
Recital Hall: One-Acts
Weber Center (Downtown): One-Acts
8-9:30 am: One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, Exhibits8-9:30 am: One-Acts, Workshops, Exhibits
Tech Olympics Registration & Practice
9:45-11:15 am: One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, Exhibits9:45-11:15 am: One-Acts, Workshops, Exhibits
Tech Olympics Competition
11:30am-1pm: One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, Exhibits11:30am-1pm: One-Acts, Workshops, Exhibits
Tech Olympics Competition
1:15-2:45pm: One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, Exhibits1:15-2:00pm: One-Acts, Workshops
2:15 pm Tech Olympics Awards
3pm: Registration (incl. exhibitors)3:00-4:30pm: One-Acts, Workshops, Exhibits
6:00-7:30pm: One-Acts4:45-6:15pm: One-Acts
7:45-9:15pm: One-Acts

One-Act Contest

Schools wishing to participate in the one-act contest must be members of the WHSFA, and must begin their qualification process by entering the district level in mid-October, followed by the sectional level in late October/early November. One-act plays advancing to the State level are scheduled throughout the day Friday and Saturday, concurrent with workshops. All students attending the festival are welcome to watch. One-act performances are a great educational opportunity for students and their directors to receive constructive criticism from trained theatre professionals.

2018 One-Act Venues:
  Viterbo Univ. Main Theatre:  Thurs. eve., all day Friday
  Viterbo Univ. Recital Hall:  All day Friday and Saturday
  Weber Ctr./Perf. Arts Lyche Theatre:  Saturday
Venue Photos
Viterbo Main Theatre Technical Specs
Weber Center Lyche Theatre Technical Specs
Advancing One-Act Information (tech info)
Non-Advancing One-Act Information
Online Registration Instructions
One-Act Schedule 2018

Individual Events Contest

Thespian IE Schedule 2018

Registration for Wisconsin Thespians Individual Events (IEs) opens with general festival registration in mid-October. Events include:

  • Acting – Monologues
  • Acting – Duo
  • Acting – Group
  • Musical Theatre – Solo
  • Musical Theatre – Duet
  • Musical Theatre – Group

Thespian Individual EventsEvery student/group who participates in IEs performs their piece(s) and receives immediate oral feedback (and written feedback, available at the end of the contest) from two adjudicators with professional theatre background. Information and rubrics for each event are delineated in the document attached below. To register, students will need to know which IE they are signing up for, name(s) of piece(s), name(s) of partner/group (if applicable), student contact info and teacher’s contact info — this will be collected through SpeechWire. ANY high school theatre student may participate in IEs at the state level, but students must be inducted members of Thespians to advance to Nationals. IEs will be offered Friday and can be scheduled around one-acts the student is participating in. A $15 charge per registrant will be charged, and may be paid to WHSFA with overall state festival registration. Please see documents/links below for more information:


Tech Olympics

Tech OlympicsTech Olympics is a great way to test your technical skills in a fun and friendly competition with your peers. Actors, designers, directors, technicians, and theatre enthusiasts are invited to participate. Pre-registration for this contest is not necessary, but participants must be pre-registered with the festival.

Download this document for more information.


Family, friends and students not participating in the one-act contest are welcome to attend the festival, one-act performances, and workshops for a $25 general festival registration fee. Family and friends who are not attending the entire festival may purchase time block tickets ($8 per time block) on-site to view a performance. Each block ticket includes a 90-minute session (two one-act performances or one workshop). Registration for all schools opens in late-October with registration finalized/due by noon Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

Online Registration Instructions

Time-block Pass

  • For family/friends to view one-act performance (good for one two-show time block)

Individual Events

  • For Thespian contest (details above).


  • $25 discount before October 15; covers exhibit space, table, 2 chairs, parking; two name badges; additional @$10/ea.

Parking & Bus Directions

Parking is available in lots A, I, and J (all face Jackson Street) without a permit.  Street parking is also available on surrounding streets.  Buses may drop off passengers using the Viterbo Drive (9th St) entry from Jackson Street but are asked to park elsewhere. Bus parking will be on surrounding streets, some of which are limited to 2 hours.

A complimentary shuttle will run Saturday only between the Fine Arts Center and the Weber Center every 30 minutes on the hour beginning at 8:30 am. Shuttles will depart the Atrium of the Fine Arts Center. The return shuttle will depart the Weber Center on the quarter hour. The final shuttle will depart the Weber Center approximately 15 minutes after the final one-act performance concludes.

FoodEinstein logo

Grab-and-go sandwiches, pizza, and soft drinks will be available in the Fine Arts Center, plus Einstein Bagels in an adjacent building will be open during the festival.

Middle Level

This year, we are piloting programming for students and teachers in middle level grades, including interactive workshops, and viewing of age-appropriate one-act shows. Those events will center on Friday, November 16, 2018. More information will be posted in September, with specific details posted November 9 (based on scheduling of high school one-acts who advance to the state festival).


Workshops are scheduled throughout the day Friday and Saturday, concurrent with one-act plays, and are an educational opportunity for students and educators to expand their theatrical experience in a fun and relaxed environment. Workshops are taught by highly qualified instructors involved in theatre and theatre education. Workshop subjects that have been included in past years include: acting, auditioning, stage combat, costumes, dance, improvisation, mime, musical theatre, and technical theatre. A complete schedule will be posted the week of the festival. Individuals interested in facilitating/teaching a workshop may apply below.


WHSFA is piloting a different approach to the showcase for the 2018. Instead of full-length productions/musicals, the WHSTF will select 5 one-act schools — selected from among WHSFA sections — to present their one-act Thursday evening. During these times, no other one-acts would be scheduled, to maximize viewing of these shows. Festivals in even-numbered years always have much larger turnout, so this would allow maximizing of scheduling, particularly on a smaller campus like Viterbo University. Use form (see button to the right) to nominate your own school, or a colleague’s, to present during a showcase slot. Schools will be selected based on past performance and excellence as described in their nominations, with alternates identified, should selected schools not advance their one-acts to the State Festival.

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