How Festival Works

Regional festivals are 1 day events.  The state festival is a 2 day event and New Englands is a 3 day festival.  Some nearby schools may be asked to tech the day before the festival.  Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by your student host.   The job of your host is to guide you through the festival and to answer or find an answer to any questions you may have.

Your host will:

· Welcome you and show you where to park.

· Escort you to registration where you will receive nametags and other information.

· Stay with you throughout the festival while you are at the school.

· Verify that your entire group is accounted for before the start of each performance.

· Escort you to the load-in area prior to your technical rehearsal and introduce the load-in host.

· Escort you to the load-in area and green room prior to your performance.

Performance Sessions:  All students are required to attend all shows except the one immediately before yours while your company is in the green room.  Immediately following your performance, you will strike your set to a location determined by the host stage manager.  When the festival stage manager gives the cue, all cast, crew, student and adult directors will come from backstage to the first 2 rows of the theatre where the adjudicators will give a public critique addressing what they believe to be student actor/technician choices.  When you come out into the auditorium the audience will acknowledge your performance with applause. Formal curtain calls are not a practice at Festival. 

Student Forums: The purpose of Student Forums at a drama festival is to give students the opportunity to exchange ideas and to ask questions relating to the productions they have just seen.  This is intended to be an educational experience for all.  Each group will be comprised of students from all production companies (when ever possible). Student forums will be held after each block of shows (typically 2 or 3).  Room assignments will be explained at the opening of the festival.  This information will be posted in the lobby and at the registration desk. A marking on the student’s nametag will determine forum group assignment. Directors will be given stickers to divide their students among the Forums.

Directors' Critique: After each block of shows (typically 2 or 3) all directors meet with the adjudicators to discuss the shows in that block.  During this session the adjudicators will address director choices.

Awards:  At the conclusion of the last show, the adjudicators will deliberate.  Time varies, but it usually is about an hour or 2.  Your host school may be providing dinner or some entertainment (such as a dance or open mic) during this time.  When the adjudicators are ready, you will be called back into the theatre.  All Star Company awards will be given for acting, technical theatre and anything else that compels the adjudicators.  Finally, the adjudicators will name the schools going on to the next level of festival. At regionals this could be from 1 to 4 shows.  At states there are two alternates, and then the two schools who will proceed to the New England Festival.  Packets with information from the next host will be presented to the finalists.

Student Congress: Near the conclusion of the State Festival there will be a student congress meeting. Two students from each participating school with the exception of the host school will meet to make suggestions for next year's festivals. Directors choose these students and the host provides a space. Students Representative to the NHETG Board and from next year's state host school should attend and take notes to be reported to the NHETG Board.

Schedule:  As to when you will perform, your host will not know until he/she receives information from you and all other participants.  We try to mix shows on the basis of size of set and style of performance.  A final schedule will be mailed, faxed and/or emailed to you as soon as your host school has all necessary information.

Green Room:  The green room will be provided with dressing areas, tables and lighted makeup mirrors.  This room will be yours to use during the 40 minutes prior to your performance.  This room must be cleared of your belongings prior to your performance so that the next cast may use it.  We will provide a lockable room where you may stow your belongings during your performance.

Technical Rehearsal: Before tech begins:  Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your tech.  Prior to your tech, your host will escort you to the load-in area and introduce you to the load-in host.  The load-in host will show you where you may prepare your set and answer any questions you may have about your tech.  Feel free to ask any questions before your tech. 

When the stage is ready you will be ushered into the wings and introduced to the host stage manager and the other host techies.  You will be given colored spike tape which you must return at the end of your tech.  The host stage manager will ask if you would like your setup and strike timed during your tech and if so when.  The host stage manager will review tech procedures to insure a mutual understanding.  You will “own” the theater for a period of at least 35 minutes for a technical rehearsal.  Every show at a festival gets the same amount of tech time.  Different festivals may however have different amounts of tech time from 30 to 60 minutes depending on schedules.  You may use this time any way you wish.  The host tech crew will be on hand to guide you through the use and operation of the host facility equipment.  They will also help, at your request, with load-in and load-out.  Otherwise, they will stay out of your way as much as possible. 

Tech Timing: There will be two timekeepers, one to time your Tech and one to time your 5 minute set and strike.  The tech timekeeper will call out the time remaining in 5 minute intervals.  The set/strike timekeeper will call out the time remaining in 1 minute intervals.  If the tech rehearsal cannot proceed at any point through some fault of the host school, the host stage manager will signal the timekeeper to stop the clock and the guest school will be asked to leave the stage until the problem can be fixed at which time the clock will resume.  When there is 5 minutes left in your tech, you will be requested to strike if you have not yet done so. 

Timed Set-up & Strike: It is suggested that you time your setup and strike during the tech.  If you can set-up within the 5 minute limit, you will not be timed for set-up before the start of your show.  The same is true for strike. Plan to strike from the closing moment of your show. The sets, props & actors  (if on the set) that are on stage at the end of the show should all be in place for your timed strike.

New England Theatre Festival:  The New England Festival involves the 2 best shows from each of the 6 NE states. This is a true festival in that there are no awards and no finalists. The festival is 3 days with workshops and a more relaxed schedule.  Each state has it’s own rules and is expected to adhere to them but the host is not expected to enforce them.