Middle Grades Festival


Each year, KTA celebrates the best Middle School Theatre produced in the state. Middle School Theatre programs interested in competing as part of the KTA Middle School Theatre Festival are encouraged to submit productions of cuttings or short plays. Your students will perform for accomplished theatre professionals, but also for other drama students from middle school programs across the state and forming friendships with like-minded, creative youth in an experience that is second to none. Equally important are the ideas shared, skills learned and experience gained—plus, inspiration to grow as actors and theatre technicians from watching their peers.

The theme for the 5th Annual Middle Grades Festival is “Treasure of Talent” – bring out your inner pirates, mermaids, and sea monsters! 



  • Only member organizations of the Kentucky Theatre Association may participate in the Middle Grades Theatre Festival.
  • All members of performing casts must be middle grades students with the member school. Schools with a mixture of middle and elementary students are allowed to participate. Students eligible to perform at the high school festival (grades 9-12) are not permitted to perform in the KTA Middle Grades Festival.
  • Once the Festival schedule is full (anticipated at eight [8] entries for 2018,) any entries above that number may request in writing to be placed on a wait list in the event of a cancellation or opening in the schedule.
  • Festival entries will be scheduled in the order in which they are received and verified by the Festival Chair.
  • A standard of excellent sportsmanship and behavior is an expectation for all who participate in the Festival.



  • A Festival entry may select from any genres of plays (comedy, drama, musical, etc.). The play may be a published work or it may be original. The only strict consideration is that the participating school follows these Guidelines that have been established for the Festival. Only one play per school may be entered.
  • A Festival entry must secure production rights from the playwright/publisher. The Kentucky Theatre Association shall not be held responsible for any faults or discrepancies that occur with royalties under any circumstances.
  • Each Festival entry must provide a complete program (production name, director, cast, crew, etc.) electronically to the Festival Chair by March 2, 2018.



  • All Festival entries must provide their own technical materials including but not limited to make-up, costumes, props, set pieces, sound effects. Neither the host venue nor KTA shall provide any set pieces or props to any Festival entrant.
  • It is recommended that technical requirements be minimal. Please see tech information – ground plan and load-in information.
  • All scenery, props, etc. must load in at a scheduled time and must fit into a 10’x10’square (“the box”) offstage at the venue until the schedule set-up time.
  • If technical equipment is needed for the performance, all Festival entries must use the technical equipment provided by the host school’s theatre (i.e. entries shall not bring their own light/sound boards.)
  • All Festival entries must use the host venue’s technicians to run technical equipment including lights, sound and fly system, if needed. Festival entries are encouraged to provide technicians and/or a stage manager to call the show or work with house technicians.
  • A technical rider and ground plan of the host theatre will be provided to each registered Festival entries.
  • Directors shall not access the stage area, tech booth, etc. prior to their scheduled load-in time in the interest of fairness to all entries.
  • Any communication regarding production and / or technical elements must be directed to the KTA Middle School Festival Chair(s) at least two weeks prior to the Festival.



  • A Festival entry may occupy the designated make-up / dressing area during a time appropriated by the Festival Chair preceding performance.
  • If any entry’s time exceeds the 45-minute time limit, the entry will not be eligible for award. Individual student performances may still be recognized.
  • A Festival entry may hold the stage for no more than 45 minutes total. This time allotment is for the setting of the stage, running time of the play, and strike.



  • The plays will be judged on an objective basis by a panel of judges who represent Kentucky’s professional, educational, and community theatre using a scoring rubric that will be provided to each director prior to the Festival.
  • In the tabulation session each school’s lowest score from the judges will be dropped. The remaining scores will be tabulated for the play awards. Trophies or Plaques are awarded for best plays and best performers.
  • All Festival entries agree the decisions of the adjudicators, the Festival officials and / or KTA Board are final.
  • Adjudicators will provide brief oral critique to each Festival participant immediately following the strike of each group.