Festivals are amazing
The curtain goes up and there are up to
three 10 by 10 foot squares on an otherwise bare stage. In each square
is everything that can used for a show - actors, set, props, and
costumes. The buzzer sounds and the first show is off and running. The
actors in square 1 hustle to set up their show in 10 minutes - because
thatís when they must start. And they must end their piece no later
than 60 minutes later. Then they have 10 minutes to put it all back in
their box and leave the stage bare again.
Adjudicators present their opinions,
offering insight and constructive ideas - it is always fascinating and
stimulates great dialog. Then - buzz! - show number two is off and
running, using every precious second of their 10 minute setup time.
And so it goes, until all the entrants have given it their best.
It is truly an inspiring and exciting
experience. Not to mention the incredible celebrations and parties.
Festivals happen at the area, state,
regional and national levels. They each function in pretty much the
same way. AACT is the body that sanctions Festivals for following the
What does it take to enter?
Basically, you need a show that runs no
longer than 60 minutes, with a set that can be erected in ten minutes
or less, and resources to get your company to the festival site. You
need a team to organize the production, travel, and entry
requirements. You need an AACTFest Handbook (see menu upper right).
You need a company excited about sharing their work, meeting other
theatre people, and willing to learn. If your group does not belong of
AACT, you will need to join.
Of course, there are a lot of details,
but isnít that true with any theatre production? You need to start
months before your state festival. You need to schedule, select a
play, budget, obtain rights to perform (not difficult), select a cast
that is available for the state festival (and the regional and
national festivals Ė (dream big!), rehearse, build a traveling set,
perform for the fans at home, and pack your bags for a wonderful
Youíll want to schedule a
performances of your show at home and be sure all your people arenít
busy with another show or theatre event the weekend of the state
festival. Itís not easy to squeeze in a festival show Ė but those
who have experienced a community theatre festival go to the trouble.
If you are new to Festivals and you are
interested in talking to people who have gone through the experience
before, please contact your State Representative. We are all here to help.
There are lots of
great reasons to enter a Festival!
Theaters that go to
festivals typically get enthusiastic support from their community.
Promote to your community that you are representing them in a state
/ regional level event. They love it!
It can be a terrific
fund-raising and profile raising opportunity.
Fire up the
imagination and interest of your group - get everyone thinking in
See some of the best
theater around. Get great ideas for next season.
Meet terrific people
who are doing excellent theater
Inspire yourself and
your group that gets everyone reaching for the next level.
The great work that so
many theatres are doing deserves the exposure and honors that
the Bacon and Reap Rewards
It brings prestige,
publicity, excitement. The media loves to cover a winner!
Awards from Festivals
can help with grants and donations.
Theaters that take
honors at festivals get support from their communities and
A Unique, Exciting Experience
The great shows,
terrific people and great parties make Festivals a habit forming
experience. There are a hundred good reasons why 40 years of
festivals have spread to 43 states, with thousands of productions.
Be a part of history -
Festivals are just starting to be known in the western states. Join
the theaters and many theater folks who are making our own unique