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American Association of Community Theatre--Improving Communities One Theatre at a Time


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 the festival cycle

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AACTFest--the festival process that culminates in a national theatre festival-- is sponsored by AACT and is held in odd-numbered years. AACTFest presents a forum for community theatres from AACT's 10 regions to enter productions for adjudication and advancement from the state level to the regional level and finally, to the national level.


If you're new to the festival process, read our quick overview of the experience.


AACTFest 2015, Grand Rapids, MI, June 23-27, 2015
AACTFest 2013, Carmel, Indiana, June 17-23
AACTFest 2011, Rochester, NY
AACTFest 2009, Tacoma, WA
AACTFest 2007, Charlotte, NC
AACTFest 2005, Kalamazoo, MI
AACTFest 2003, Torrington, CT
AACTFest 2001, Harrisburg, PA
AACTFest 1999, Memphis, TN
The Birth of AACTFest
Complete history of AACTFest



Festival Process

The festival process is conducted and guided by AACT through the Vice President for Festivals, the Festival Commission Chair, the Festival Commission and assigned staff.


AACT staff provide information for state and regional packets, certificates for companies entering state and regional festivals, maintains a database of membership and confirms membership and/or fee payment status for all entering companies.


AACTFest Goals

  • To provide an optimum learning experience through festival entry at state, regional, and national levels, which affirm, support, and nurture community theatre companies as they strive toward excellence in theatrical productions.

  • To stimulate and inspire community theatre companies to strive for the best work possible and to recognize them for their achievement through an appropriate adjudication process.

  • To provide a learning experience in artistic, technical, and management areas for people in attendance through performances, adjudication, and workshops.

  • To develop enlightened and discerning audiences for community theatre.

Many criteria are in place to achieve the aforementioned goals. Among the most significant are:

  • All theatre companies must meet the same eligibility standards and requirements.

  • Maximum time limits are 60 minutes performance time; 10 minutes set-up time and 10 minutes strike time.

  • Qualified and impartial adjudicators are essential to the success and fairness of the festival process.

  • A production must be performed in the same form at all festival levels.

  • The house must be closed during each performance.

  • The Festival Commission Representative will make the final determination in all matters of dispute during a festival.

Members may refer to the AACTFest Handbook for specific information. The Handbook and related forms are available in Acrobat/PDF form from the AACTFest Handbook page.


Questions about the festival process may be addressed to the Vice President for Festivals via e-mail to festivals@aact.org.



. Festival Home
. The Festival Cycle
. The Festival Experience
. Festival Handbook 
& Related Documents
The Birth of AACTFest
AACTFest History (PDF)
AACT International History (PDF)


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