Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival

Viterbo Fine Arts Center

General Information

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

Since 1991, more than 1,500 high school students gather each year at the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival (WHSTF) 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

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.

Individual Events Contest

Registration for Wisconsin Thespians Individual Events (IEs) opens October 25. 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 available on the Wisconsin Thespians website. 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), and contact info and teacher’s contact info. ANY high school theatre student may participate in IEs at the state level, but students must be inducted Thespians to qualify for the $250 scholarship and to advance to Nationals. IEs will be offered both Friday and Saturday, and can be scheduled around one-acts the student is participating in. A $15 charge per registrant will be collected, payable to Wisconsin Thespians.

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.


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 for up to two, below.




WHSFA is piloting a different approach to the showcase for the 2018. Instead of full-length productions/musicals, the WHSTF would select 4-5 one-act schools — selected from among WHSFA sections — to present their one-act during showcase time slots. 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 this 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. Once schools are selected, they will be asked about showcase scheduling preference, should they advance to the state festival with their one-act.

Showcase tickets will be available at the festival at the registration desk during the day on Friday and/or outside the theater starting one hour before each show on Thursday and Friday.

WHSTF Countdown









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 ($7 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 mid-October with registration due by noon Thursday, November 8, 2018.


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 showcases, one-acts, workshops, Tech Olympics, and exhibits. The Weber Center for the Performing Arts will be an additional one-act venue.

Provided for reference, 2017 Program Booklet for Whitewater.


  8:00 am One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, ExhibitsOne-Acts, Workshops, Exhibits
  9:00 am Tech Olympics Registration/Practice
  9:45 am One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, ExhibitsOne-Acts, IEs, Workshops, Exhibits
Tech Olympics Practice
11:30 am One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, ExhibitsOne-Acts, IEs, Workshops, Exhibits
Tech Olympics Competition
  1:15 pm One-Acts, IEs, Workshops, ExhibitsOne-Acts, IEs, Workshops
Tech Olympics Competition
  3:00 pm One-Acts, Workshops, ExhibitsOne-Acts, Workshops
(3:30 pm) Tech Olympics Awards
  4:00 pmRegistration Begins
Exhibitor Check-in
Showcase Matinee Performance
  4:45 pmOne-ActsOne-Acts (if needed
  6:30 pm One-Acts (if needed)One-Acts (if needed)
  8:00 pmShowcase PerformanceShowcase Evening Performance 


More information on food options will be posted here.