Who attends the Maryland State Festival? Do you have to be a Thespian to attend?
In 2018, over 700 of Maryland's most dedicated high school theatre students in grades 9 though 12 attended the Maryland State Thespian Festival. The festival is open to all theatre students including those not yet inducted.

How can we register for festival?
The Maryland State Thespian Festival registration is completed online here. You will need the following information from your students: 

  • Name

  • Cell phone number

  • Email address

  • Graduation year.

We respect your privacy and all confidential information. Email addresses are used to send certificates and judging forms, cell phones are used for emergency and notification purposes.

Registration is currently open and closes November 5th. Within the online registration system, teachers have full flexibility to make changes to their account, add and/or delete attendees and modify specific event sign ups (deadlines apply). Once complete, teachers can print any and all information from their registration. Remember: registering online enters the school into a legal and binding contract. All payments and invoices must be postmarked by November 5th to avoid a $125 late fee. Late registrations will be allowed until November 9th. Troupe directors please be advised, unregistered participants will not be allowed to attend festival. Our insurance, and that of your institution only covers participants that are officially registered for the conference.

Ok, what happens if we're really late?
We always do our best to accommodate all schools who wish to attend. However, schools whose registrations are postmarked after the November 5th deadline may not be able to participate in Individual Events (I.E.'s), the One Act Festival or receive festival t-shirts. Late registrations will not be accepted after November 9th.

What happens if I need to make a change to my registration? 
If you need to make changes to your online registration, you can log in to your account and do so online. However, any changes made to a troupes registration after it has been submitted will incur a $125 change fee. There is no charge to drop a student. If you need to add students to your registration after the registration deadline of November 5th you must email the Chapter Director directly at

Why should my school attend?
Festival is an experience unlike any other and one that will last a lifetime. Students have the rare opportunity to train with some of the country’s leading professionals in drama, musical theatre, directing, playwriting, and technical theatre. Last year over 20 colleges, conservatories, and universities offered thousand of dollars worth of scholarships to students in attendance. In addition, the Maryland State Thespian Festival affords students the unique opportunity to experience theatrical productions produced by other high schools  and collaborate with other theatre students from across the state. 

How much does festival cost?
The festival registration fee is $90 for inducted thespians, and $95 for non-inducted thespians. Registration for chaperons is $35 and is just $30 for Troupe Directors. The registration fee covers the cost of admission to festival, workshops, 4 meals, performances and transportation to and from festival events and the host hotel. The registration fee does not cover the cost of individual events, honor awards, one act festival participation, the Tech Challenge, Trash Costumes, or hotel accommodations. Additional charges and fees are listed below.

One Act Festival - $150 per school
Senior Scholarships - $30 per student
College Auditions - $25 per student
Trash Costumes - $20 per school (limit 1 team of 4 participants)
Tech Challenge - $25 per school (limit 1 team from 2-8 participants)
All State Thespian Application - $20 per student
Individual Events  - $20 per person, per event / two (2) event limit.
Group Acting - $45 per group
Group Musical Theatre - $45 per group

Festival Registration must be paid for in advance of attending the conference. All schools with outstanding balances from previous festivals must pay their balance in full before attending the 2018 Maryland State Thespian Festival. 

Who do we make our school checks payable to?
Please make your check payable to: Maryland Chapter of Educational Theatre Association. Please submit only 1 check per school. Remember, personal checks can not be accepted.

Where do we send our festival registration fees?
Maryland Chapter of Educational Theatre Association
8405 Gannon Court
Severn, MD 21144.

Is there supervision at festival?
Supervision of troupes is the direct responsibility of each Troupe Director. Schools attending are required to provide chaperons to supervise their participants. Schools must bring their Troupe Director and one chaperon per every 10 students attending the festival.

What time should our school arrive and depart from the Maryland State Thespian Festival?
Arrival times for each school will be sent directly to Troupe Directors at least one (1) week prior to festival. 

How is Festival Showcase cast?
During the Festival's Individual Events, students are adjudicated based on a rubric provided by the Educational Theatre Association. Adjudicators, comprised of leaders and educators within the arts, select the top performances in each category for presentation to the whole contingency. Students selected must have received a superior rating for their Individual Event. Students with adult language or offensive content in their I.E.'s may not be selected to perform in the Festival Showcase.

Where do we send our Senior Scholarship Auditions?
More information on our scholarship audition process is available here

Refund and Cancellation Policy
After registration has closed refunds are not available. Schools are responsible for the full amount of their festival registration after the submission of their registration. Troupe Directors may cancel their registration at no cost prior to the close of registration. If a student fails to attend the festival for any reason, there is no refund. Registered schools and troupe directors are responsible for any and all fees incurred once registration has closed.