2020 MARYLAND state thespian festival

TROUPE & late night events

Troupe Event: The TECH CHALLENGE

Event Fee: $25 per team.
Teams may be between two (2) and eleven (11) participants.

Show us just how good your theatre technology students are! With teams as small as two (2) and as large as eleven (11), the Tech Challenge is a series of events that are designed to test ones knowledge of the basic skills every technician should have. The combination of team and individual events underline the principle that theatre technicians work alone and in ensemble groups depending on the required task in order to make the production successful. In technical theatre both time and accuracy are critical to a successful outcome. As artists we demand excellence in the tasks we are given, but as technicians we also have to perform the tasks quickly and efficiently so as not to disrupt the production process. This year we anticipate the following challenges to be presented:

  • THE LIGHT FOCUS: One tech must focus a light to fit a shape that is taped on the wall.

  • THE QUICK CHANGE: Two techs must change our actor out of one costume and into a second costume as fast as they can.

  • THE SET CHANGE: Two techs break down and properly put away one scene and then set up the next scene as fast as they can without breaking anything.

  • THE 2x4 SLALOM: One tech while carrying five water bottles must weave their way through standing 2x4's forwards and then backwards. Time will be added for each 2x4 that is knocked over.

  • THE SCREW SORT: This is for one tech. The bane of having nothing to do, techs know this challenge all too well. You will have a bucket of screws that must be sorted by size and type while people yell encouraging words.

  • REVERSE JENGA: This is for two techs. A pile of 30 - 2x4's of three different sizes will be left on one side of the stage. First they must be moved to the other side and then stacked no wider than 1 - 2x4's in width. So essentially everything stacked on top of each other. You are done when you have them all stacked and stable.

Please note: the following events are for your best building techs. Do not place technical theatre students who are not comfortable operating a drill in this event. Technical students with long hair must have it properly secured and be fitted with the appropriate safety glasses.

  • DECON: Two tech will tackle the magic cubes. Dismantle the cube in less than five minutes. If time expires you are disqualified.

  • RECON: The same two techs try to rebuild the cube in under 7 minutes.

Friday Late Night troupe event: TRASH COSTUMES

Friday Late Night Event
Event Fee: $25 per team of four (4).

Introduced at the 2014 Maryland State Thespian Festival, Trash Costumes continues to be one of the most sought after events at festival! Troupes compete for the largest audience applause and bragging rights by crafting costumes from a pile of trash! Don't worry our trash is very clean and absolutely safe to play with. Here's how it works:

There will be two (2) rounds of the event with ten (10) schools competing in each round for a total of twenty (20) troupes creating fantastic costumes out of trash. Each school must have four (4) participants on the team. Participating in this fun and creative event helps us in our fundraising efforts for numerous events and grants offered by Maryland Thespians. Register your team today! 

New! Friday late night event: speed charades

New Friday Late Night Event
Event Fee: Free

New! Speed Charades is a fast-paced, fiercely fun theatre themed event  that will keep everyone involved and interacting with each other. It's a blast! Players compete head-to-head in a race to act out theatrical words and phrases for their teams to guess.

Each school may register two Speed Charade teams and each team must include five (5) students. Each student must be registered for the festival and all team members must be from the same school. If a troupe has entered two teams, an individual player may be a member of only one of the teams, not both. Several teams will be competing at the same time and the first team with the accurate title (the correct answer) will win a point. The team with the most points wins. Titles may be taken from plays, musicals, movies, TV shows, and songs from musicals. The winning team and subsequent awards will be celebrated and presented after the main stage performance on the final day of the conference.

How We’ll Play
A student from each team will be given a title. The student will act out the words for the rest of their group. The group may ask the student questions.

The student and/or team can not: use words, point at objects in a room, move their lips or spell out words, clap or whistle.
The student and/or team can: act out similar sounding words and shake their head to answer questions from their group.

The person who guesses the title runs to the designated sponsor and gives the accurate title. Team members will rotate so that all group members participate. 

New! Friday late night event: theatre quiz bowl

New Friday Late Night Event!
Event Fee: Free

Each school may register two Theatre Quiz Bowl teams and each team must include four (4) students. Each student must be registered for the festival and all team members must be from the same school. If a troupe has entered two teams, an individual player may be a member of only one of the teams, not both. Each team must designate one member as the team captain.

There are two types of questions: tossups and bonuses. Players buzz in to answer tossups, and a correct answer earns a team a bonus question on which they can collaborate. Questions are read by the moderator. There will also be a scorekeeper/timekeeper for each round.

Tossup questions are answered by buzzing in and without conferring with teammates. Once the moderator starts reading a tossup, players can buzz in at any point. After a buzz, the moderator immediately stops reading, and looks to the player for their answer. Unless otherwise noted, players have five seconds after buzzing to begin answering, after which the moderator may call time. If the answer is correct, the team earns 10 points and the team then gets a bonus question (see “Bonuses”). If the answer to the tossup question is incorrect, the moderator finishes the question for the other team (who must still buzz in and cannot verbally confer). Each team only gets one buzz per question. There are no penalties for incorrect answers. Verbally conferring with teammates is not allowed on tossups, even if the other team has already missed the question. If a team confers, their answer will not be allowed. Answering when a teammate’s light is on instead of yours can also count as conferring, so be sure you are the one who buzzed in first! Once the moderator has finished reading a tossup, he will wait for a few seconds (five, unless otherwise noted) and then call time and move on to the next tossup.

After a player correctly answers a tossup, their team gets a bonus question. The entire team can confer on bonus questions, and the captain should give the answers. However, the captain can always designate another team member to answer for the team. Answers clearly directed at the moderator will be accepted as the team’s answer. Unless otherwise noted, teams get 5 seconds to confer on each bonus part. After five seconds, the moderator prompts the team for an answer. After the prompt, the teams must start answering immediately. Bonuses will consist of three clues about the same answer. A team scores 30 points for answering correctly after the first clue, 20 points after the second clue, 10 points after the third clue. The team can guess after each clue. Obviously, the moderator shouldn’t reveal the answer until the end. Missed bonus answers are not bounced back to the other team.

Acceptable Answers
If a player gives less than the required information the moderator can prompt them to elicit more information. Multiple prompts can be given, as long as the player keeps getting more specific. Any incorrect information given (e.g., the wrong first name for someone) makes the whole answer wrong. Titles and quotations must be exact, except that leading articles (like “a” or “the”) can usually be omitted from titles. Once a player has given an answer, he cannot change it, and only his first answer will be considered. Last names are usually okay for people; if not, the question should prompt for more. For fictional characters, sometimes the first name is acceptable. Answers should be given in English. Sometimes (especially for titles), answers given in the original language are acceptable. Pronunciation of answers must be nearly right. You cannot add syllables or consonants, and vowels must be approximately right. Phonetic pronunciation is okay. The moderator may prompt a player to clarify his pronunciation (“Monet” vs. “Manet”). Players may spell answers, and phonetic spellings are acceptable.

Moderator Errors
If the moderator inadvertently reveals an answer, he replaces the question with another one of the same type (another tossup, or another bonus part with the same point value). If one team had already answered the tossup incorrectly, the moderator reads the replacement tossup for the second team only.

A player acting in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike way can be given a conduct warning. On the second violation, the player will be ejected from the current game. On the third violation, the player may be ejected from the festival.

All decisions of the tournament director are final. A team can protest if they think they’ve been treated unfairly (they think the moderator erred in accepting or not accepting an answer, etc.). Except for ones which can be resolved quickly, protests should be made at the end of the half. Usually, protests will only be resolved if they affect the outcome of the game. If a protest is accepted, corrective measures will be taken, perhaps including adjustment of the score and the playing of extra questions. Intangible factors (such as the breaking of a team’s momentum in the game) will not be considered when determining corrective measures. Players can ask for a buzzer check at any time, and it is their responsibility to make sure their equipment is working. Protests about buzzers not working should not invalidate whole matches or halves. Protests merely stating that “My answer was correct at that point in the question” will be rejected. The player should have waited until the question narrowed down to one answer. (Most questions become specific very fast.)