New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild



Dear Theatre Educators,

As many of you would most likely suspect, the New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild’s board has come to the conclusion that we will not be able to offer a traditional theatre festival this year. There are just too many unknowns and barriers in our collective way to make this possible.

However, the NHETG has developed an alternate, non-competitive, virtual format. We hope it will provide an opportunity for our theatre students around the state, especially our seniors, to have a safe, worthwhile, festival experience in this time of COVID.

The 2021 New Hampshire State Theatre Festival format is as follows:

  • Schools will prepare a play that is a maximum of ten minutes at their home location in whatever format they deem necessary.

  • Schools will acquire all the traditional necessary performance rights as well as a video/streaming license.

  • Schools will video record the play and submit it to the NHETG no later than February 21st, by 5pm.

  • The board will then hire respondents (adjudicators) who will screen these videos and then record a video response of roughly 3-5 minutes.

  • Each school, during initial registration, will sign up to attend a virtual festival on a specific Saturday in March (either the 6th, the 13th or 20th).

  • These virtual festivals will start at 1:00pm, and will require all students to be in attendance together at their own schools to view the performance of approximately six plays (including their own) and the professional responses. (See schedule below.)

  • Each participating student will require their own computer and internet access at their native school.

  • There will be three blocks of shows, all placed on youtube or similar platform, for the school to playback at the designated time(s). At the end of each block, each student will log into a pre-assigned Google Meet to attend an online student forum, lasting roughly 20 minutes. We estimate that there will be about six forums per festival.

  • At the end of the festival, we will have the respondents present all-star company awards for performances and design. Potentially even for video production.

  • As there will be no state festival, we will not be selecting any advancements. However, we will then post all of the festival entries on for the participating schools to view.

We will be providing this festival free of charge to all participating schools. The registration form is below. We plan to keep it open only until December 31st. However if demand is high, we may need to cap the number of participants, so we ask that you please do not delay in registering your school. If at any point you need details clarified, do not hesitate to contact a member of the board.

We have fashioned much of our format after the New England Drama Council’s planned virtual festival.

For the NEDC festival, details are still in process, but schools may submit a short video (ten minutes maximum) featuring scenes from a production being worked on this year, preferably an original/devised work or a piece in the public domain, or any student work you’d like to showcase. They plan to host these videos and supplement with live webinars and discussion forums. The event will take place sometime in the spring (dates are not finalized), but we ask interested schools to complete an entry form at this LINK by December 31, 2020. More details will follow in the early part of 2021.

We look forward to this unique endeavor, and we hope you will join us.


Scott Giessler

President, NHETG

Sample Festival Schedule



About NHETG:

The primary goal of the New Hampshire Educational Theatre Guild (NHETG), is to support, promote and celebrate the dramatic arts at the high school level in the Granite State. Hosting theatre festivals, student conferences, and teacher professional development workshops, the NHETG fosters growth through sharing.


Its the signature event, the state-wide theatre festivals, annually bring together high school theatre programs from around the state. Each of these regional festivals consists of 6-8 high schools performing their one-act shows for one another. After each performance, the festival provides structured, constructive feedback both from the fellow student audience members as well as theatre professionals. At the end of the festival, awards are presented to students and groups for outstanding performances and technical elements.

From these Regional Festivals, shows are selected to perform at the NHETG State Theatre Festival. The structure of this festival is similar to that of the regionals. Finally, two shows are chosen from the State Festival to perform at the New England Theatre Festival, which is held in a different New England state each year.

"What I like about the NHETG festivals is the experience. Having 24 schools come together that share the same interest as you, who also help you and continue to support you on the journey. Meeting people and facing challenges you don't expect along the way. And the rush you feel after performing your show, nothing is better than that."

-Kyleigh Moore

Technical Theatre Student

A Festival Experience


The NHETG also sponsors Theatre Workshops at Plymouth State University in the fall. Whether your interests lie on stage or behind the scenes, this day of workshops has something for everyone. Here is the first opportunity of the school year for high school theatre programs to get to know each other, and learn a great deal about their craft in the process.

RICH SMITH inducted as Life Time Member of the New England Drama Council!

Congratulations to Richard Smith, our beloved Treasurer! Rich has been a dedicated member of both the NHETG and the NEDC for many years, acting as their commendations writer. On Saturday, April 28th, Rich was inducted as a Life Time Member of the NEDC.

The New England Drama Festival Opening Ceremonies

Hosted by our very own Gilford High School, presented on April 26th, 2018

The New England Drama Festival Closing Ceremonies

Hosted by our very own Gilford High School, presented on April 28th, 2018