State/National Rules

Chapter Select Showcase Regulations - Performances at the International Thespian Festival

  1. General Information: Invitations to perform in the Chapter Select Showcase are based on recommendations by the evaluation teams selected by each state to observe productions at state Thespian conferences. Performing groups must be members of the International Thespian Society. Chapter Select Showcase shows will be presented in the Howell Theatre, a proscenium stage, 28' wide x 38' deep. The theatre seats 320. Performances may be one-acts, cuttings from full-length presentations, reader's theatre, dance, mime, comedy, drama, etc. Emphasis should be on performance rather than on technical aspects, i.e., accentuate the acting, eliminate lavish staging, elaborate sets, many props, numerous costume changes, etc. To allow everyone a chance to present schools may only present a show in one venue: main stage, freestyle, or chapter select. 
  1. Schedule: Productions will be scheduled in the Chapter Select Showcase throughout festival week, Tuesday through Saturday. Performing groups will be tentatively scheduled upon receipt of the Chapter Select acceptance sheet. 
  1. Registration: Your performance will not be officially scheduled on the program until your school's registration forms and fees are received at the home office. Festival registration will be available online. Final and official scheduling will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, determined by the date complete royalty information, registration forms and fees are received at the home office. Schools performing in the Chapter Select Showcase may not perform on the main stage. Troupes presenting in the Chapter Select must be registered for the entire Festival week. 
  1. Royalties: Under no circumstance will any troupe be allowed on stage without a performance license or waiver on file. Your production will not appear in the festival program if documented proof of license, waiver or permission to perform is not on file at the Thespian Festival home office by June 1, 2017. Upon written request, some publishers will waive royalty fees for festival performances.

 The following are some guidelines regarding royalties: 

Schools producing published material must secure written permission from the publisher for presentation at the festival during festival dates. Performing schools are responsible for payment of royalties. 

Schools producing original works must have a written statement of originality from the author/playwright (even if it's you or one of your students--it's a legal issue) on file with the home office. 

Schools producing works based on non-dramatic material must obtain permission to use said material from the publisher. This applies to textbooks as well as children's stories, novels, short stories, newspapers, and magazine articles. 

Schools producing works that have been translated from another language must have written permission from the publisher of that translation. This applies to textbooks, non-dramatic materials, and all of the above. 

Written proof of performance or waiver of royalty should be submitted with the acceptance sheet. However, you may send your documentation under separate cover as long as it will arrive in our office by June 1, 2017. 

  1. Cuttings: Directors must secure written permission to present a cutting from a play from the play publisher and the statement of permission must be attached to the acceptance sheet. Your production will not be scheduled on the Festival program if documented proof of permission is not on file at the home office by June 1, 2017. 
  1. Performance Time/Set/Strike Time: Maximum performance time is 45 minutes (from opening curtain to closing curtain). No performing group will be allowed to exceed the 45-minute maximum time length. Each performing group will be allowed a maximum of 10 minutes to "set the stage" and 5 minutes to "strike the stage." Performing groups not using the full-allocated set and strike time may not use the extra time for additional performance time. 
  1. Pre-performance: Performing groups will not be allocated rehearsal time or space prior to the scheduled performance time. Performers and directors are not allowed on stage until called to the stage by the theatre coordinator. Groups should report to the dressing rooms (which are located on the basement level of the theatre) no sooner than one hour prior to the scheduled performance time.

      You may not use the Temple Building scene shop except for transit to/from the Howell stage. No equipment or tools are available. 

  1. Flyers and Promotional Material: Schools may prepare and distribute flyers promoting their productions during Festival week. Schools must bring flyers with them to UNL (no flyers will be run off at the festival). Flyers may be hung on campus bulletin boards and kiosks. DO NOT post flyers on the walls (inside or out) of the theatre or any other campus building. Flyers may also be placed on the Festival callboard in the Lied Center. You may bring programs for your production, but you must provide two people to distribute them at the doors. Please remember to include your troupe number in your printed program.

 9.General Technical: The use of all UNL technical equipment will be supervised by UNL personnel. Each performing group must provide an individual who will be responsible for providing the appropriate cues. 

  1. Lighting: General area lighting is available (stage right, stage left, up center, center and down center stage) as well as blue and amber washes. Special lighting effects are not available. A follow spot is not available in the Howell Theatre. 
  1. Sound: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will provide a CD player, amplification, and speakers. Groups may use their own MP3 player or iPod through the theatre sound system. Due to the limited amount of time allotted for set-up and strike, the usage of mics is not permitted in this performance venue. 
  1. Projections: All projections must be set within the ten minute set time and struck within the five minute strike time. In addition, the following rules apply:
  1. No projections from the auditorium.
  2. All projections must be made from within the acting area, or, 
  3. If projections are made from upstage of the screen, must not require a throw of more than 15 feet.
  4. Screens and projectors will not be provided by UNL.
  5. Control of the projectors during the performance must be from on stage or up stage; not from the booth. 
  1. Special Effects: If your production contains a gunshot or other loud noise, you must indicate this on the acceptance sheet. It must also be posted in the lobby before the start of your show, listed in your program, and announced before the play begins. UNL will provide signs for our use and make the pre-show announcement. No smoke, haze, or pyro effects will be allowed. 
  1. Sets: A prop is any item that will fit through a single door and be carried by a single person. Set pieces are anything bigger. Hand props are those items to be carried onstage by the actors in one hand. Set pieces and flats are not allowed. Please review the list of set pieces provided and be sure to indicate on the acceptance sheet which pieces you wish to use and how many, if there is more than one available. 

Due to the limited strike time (5 minutes), limit the size and number of props you bring to those items absolutely essential to the plot line of your play. Costumes, hand props, and make-up must be furnished by the performing troupe. The Thespian Festival, LLC and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will not be responsible for hand props, costumes, make-up, valuables, or any item not on the provided list. 

  1. Other Rules: No oral or written adjudication will be provided. No cameras are allowed in the theatre. The only exception to this is the official Festival Photographer. No videotaping will be allowed. Absolutely no pyro effects of ANY kind may be used. 
  1. Liability Statement: It is understood that the Thespian Festival, LLC, the International Thespian Society, the Educational Theatre Association, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, their members, officers, directors, or employees, shall not be responsible or liable for injury to any person or persons, or for loss of, or damage to, any property belonging to any troupe and/or individuals assisting a troupe with their production. 
  1. Acceptance: Once you have read all the regulations and are able to abide by all the rules within, please complete the enclosed acceptance sheet front and back. Complete the form in full; the more information you provide, the better the Thespian Festival and UNL staff can help you present a successful production. 
  1. Theatre Tours: Tours of the theatre are available for the directors and production team only. Please do not bring your entire troupe for the tour.  Check the Festival schedule for the theatre tour times. Due to the tightness of the schedule troupe representatives who are unable to attend the designated tour time may not be able to tour the backstage area prior to their performance. There will be no access to the venues outside your assigned times.