Dramafest and Youthfest — Rules

Dramafest and Youthfest — Rules


The rules for the new style of Dramafest can be downloaded here




Section One: GENERAL

DEFINITIONS: For the purpose of the Festival. “Youth” is defined as being eighteen (18) years of age, or younger, at the time of the Festival. There will be two youth category sections:

  • One for actors up to and including thirteen (13) years of age as at the date of the Festival.
  • One for actors up to and including eighteen (18) years of age.

NOTE: In the case of performances which include a mixed age group the decision on which section (Junior or Senior) the play is to be entered is calculated and the age of the oldest actor in the cast.

Directors in the YouthFest may be any age.

1.1. ENTRY: Entries are due by the TBC

1.2 FEE: a non-refundable fee of $30 (thirty) must accompany each entry.

1.3 LATE FEE: A late fee of $10.00 (ten) will be levied on any late entries, ie received after the official closing date—see 1.1

1.4 SCRIPTS: A copy of the script must be made available to the festival adjudicator and/or festival director upon request. If a script is required, this request will be given at least one week  prior to the opening of the  festival.

1.5 PROFESSIONALS: No professional actor, director, club, group or organisation may compete in the Festival.
A professional actor is defined as one having earned more than half their income from acting in the year preceeding the Festival, with the exception of full time students.
A professional director is defined as one having earned more than half their total income from his/her activities in teaching production/direction at a tertiary level or in continuous work in live theatre as a director.

School Drama Teachers are NOT defined as “professional directors’ in this context so may enter and direct a production from their school/group/club.

1.6 PROGRAMME DETAILS: These must be submitted by the TBC. Such information including scenic information will be printed in the programme. Entrants are requested to check their supplied information very carefully and to notify the Festival Director immediately of any changes. The ITA will not be responsible for incorrectly supplied information.

1.7 PUBLICITY: entrants may be required to provide publicity photographs relating to the play to be performed together with the programme details.
ie: photographs of cast, information on author/play, or poster

1.8 SCHEDULING OF PLAYS: The schedule of plays entered will be arranged by the ITA, giving due consideration to the type of play , running time, distance travelled by the entrant etc. all entrants will be notified not less than two (2) weeks prior to the Festival (earlier if possible) of the date/time of their performance.
Entrants are requested to notify the ITA as soon as possible if they wish to avoid certain days/times, i.e. if there is likely to be a clash with their own seasons. (See programme details form)

1.9 COMPLIMENTARY SEATS: Two (2) free seats per entry will be available for each play entered to the session in which their entry is performing. All directors will receive a free seat to the whole Festival. Actors & Crew will receive a pass for the rest of the session in which their play is performed.

1.10 THE ADJUDICATOR’S DECISION will be final in all aspects, no discussion or correspondence will be entered into.

1.11. BREACH OF RULES: Any breach of these rules, whether deliberate or negligent may result in a disqualification.

Section Two: THE PLAYS

2.1 TYPE OF PLAY: The dramatic work offered by the entrant must be a piece that is intelligible to the audience without prior written/oral explanation be it:

  • A dramatic work featuring a cast of two (2) or more players
  • A One-Act play
  • A single extract from a longer play

NOTE: The Festival is regarded as an adult one and as such a children’s play is considered unsuitable, due to the difficulties of judging an adult play against a children’s one. Plays with children in the cast as part of an adult play are of course eligible for entry. Please contact the ITA if a difficulty arises with this rule. There is a separate section for youth productions, the rules are similar to these but with some modifications which are appended.

2.2 CHOICE OF PLAY: When deciding on the choice of play, entrants should give consideration to the size of the stage, the possible limitations of the backstage area and to the fact that only a basic lighting rig will be available

2.3 PERFORMANCE RIGHTS: If the entered play is subject to copyright it is the responsibility of the entrant to obtain permission for the performance
and to pay the appropriate royalty fee in advance. The entrant is required to certify that this has been done, a disclaimer is part of the entry form and must be signed before any entry will be accepted.

NOTE: All alterations to a script must be approved by the author or his/her representative or estate. Proof of copyright compliance must be able to be supplied upon request by the ITA.

2.4 ADJUDICATOR’S COPY: If requested, each entrant is required to provide a copy of the play, submitted in the version in which it will be performed—ie including any changes/editing. If a script is required, this request will be given at least one week prior to the opening of the 2018 festival.

2.5 CAST SIZE: There will be no upper limit on the number of cast members in any dramatic work entered, The minimum number in a cast shall be two (2)

2.6 LENGTH OF PLAY: No play entered shall take less than ten (10) minutes or exceed fifty minutes (50) minutes performance time, including any time taken to change scenes in the course of the production.

Section Three: STAGING

3.1 SETTING THE STAGE: No production shall take more than ten (10) minutes to set and five (5) minutes to strike the set.

3.2 TIME PENALTY: Any entry not complying with the above time restrictions as set in 2.6 and 3.1 will be ineligible for the Best Director or Best Production awards

3.3 SET/STRIKE THE SET: Only three (3) people, one of whom may be the director, in addition to the cast, shall assist in the setting and striking if the set.

3.4 STAGE FURNITURE: The Festival organisers can provide the following basic furniture, if requested, at the time of entry: – medium table, 4 straight chairs, 2 easy chairs, sofa. The entrants must provide any other required furniture.

3.5 STAGE PRESENTATION: all entrants must use the black curtains , tabs and legs provided as the basis for their setting, but they may also bring such additional scenery as is considered essential for the production.

3.6. FESTIVAL STAGE MANAGER: The Festival Organisers will appoint an overall Stage Manager, whose decision on all backstage matters shall be final and binding on all entrants. The 2018 Festival Stage Managers is TBA

3.7 STAGE PLAN: A stage plan with details of dimensions and lighting will be supplied to each entrant. It will be the responsibility of each entrant to return a copy of the completed stage plan with their entry application. This must indicate clearly the position of any set/furniture/equipment used

3.8 LIGHTING: It will be the responsibility of each entrant to see that the lights for their entry are correctly set, through liaison with the Festival’s Lighting Technician at the technical rehearsal, and that the curtains are opened and closed at the proper time. (Entrants are requested to keep lighting and effects simple as it is unrealistic to expect the Festival Lighting Technician to master a complicated plot at short notice)

NOTE: If special lighting is required beyond the basic lighting rig, the entrant must contact the ITA before the technical rehearsal and provide their own lights at the time of the technical rehearsal. Entrants may be required to rig the lights themselves at the Host Clubs discretion.

3.9 SPECIAL EFFECTS: entrants must indicate, on their entry forms, if they propose to use additional lighting equipment, or if their entry requires unusual special effects (naked lights, strobe lights, guns, explosive devices, smoke machines etc.) If it is found necessary in the interests of safety or for insurance purposes to place limits on the proposal of entrants to use such devices, the entrant will be notified in writing. If using gunshot sounds it is the responsibility of the entrant to alert the Host Club’s local police.

3.10 FESTIVAL LIGHTING TECHNICIAN: A lighting technician appointed by the Festival organisers will be responsible for control of the lighting desk under the direction of the stage manager of the entrant or their assistant.

3.11 SOUND EFFECTS: Entrants will responsible for their own sound effects. A CD player will be available. CD’s or a USB with effects on its must be provided at the technical rehearsal.

3.12 BACKSTAGE RESTRICTIONS: No visitors, no alcohol and no smoking will be allowed backstage or in the dressing-rooms at any time.

3.13 TECHNICAL REHEARSAL: The Festival organisers will provide a technical rehearsal period of 15 minutes per entry during the week prior to the Festival, at which time entrants may:

  • Discuss lighting needs with the Festival technician
  • Check sound levels and sound effects with the actors
  • Check the stage dimensions, entrances/exits, wing space and storage areas.
  • No actual rehearsing of the entry will be permitted, however actors will be allowed to try out the acoustics by reciting a few lines of text.
  • NOTE: All entrants are required to provide 2 copies of the script as it is to be performed to the Festival Stage Manager, at the technical rehearsal.
  • The decision of the Festival Stage Manager shall be binding on all technical matters.

3.14 ARRIVAL TIME: All cast and crew for a production are expected to be in attendance at least half an hour before the beginning of the session in which they are performing. Plays will be expected to perform (15) minutes after the conclusion of the preceeding play and participants should be aware that plays may not always run to the predicted schedule.

Any play unable to perform at its allotted time may be disqualified.

In the event that a production is unable to perform in its allotted time there will be a twenty (20) minute grace period prior to the set up time of the following production if required.

In the event of a genuine emergency, an entry may swap its allocated place in the running order with another play from the same session if both parties are amenable. These arrangements are NOT the responsibility of the ITA.