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About the Festival

Each year, KTA celebrates the best High School Theatre produced in the state. High School Theatre programs interested in competing in the Festival submit productions of cuttings or short plays to our qualifying Regional Festivals where a panel of adjudicators will provide feedback and determine which productions advance to the state competition. To determine your region, consult our region map.

At the State Conference, up to twelve qualifying schools will present their 45-minute productions in front of their peers and a panel of adjudicators and compete for awards.

Participation at the State Conference is open to all members of KTA. Those schools who do not advance from the Regional Festival are encouraged to attend not only to see the productions that do advance but also to take part in the exciting workshops offered and meet with representatives from area colleges and universities.


Come back in August to find out about the 2024 High School Division schedule!

Participant Qualifications

Festival Rules

    • A participating secondary school may select from all types of plays.  The play may be a published work or it maybe original.  The only strict consideration is that the participating school follows these regulations that have been established for the production.
    • All members of the cast must be enrolled as secondary school students with the school entered. No teachers or other adults are permitted to perform in the production.
    • A participating school must secure production rights from the playwright/publisher. If a published play, the publisher must be identified in the program.  The Kentucky Theatre Association shall not be held responsible for any faults or discrepancies that occur with royalties under any circumstances.
    • Only one play per school may be entered.
    • A participating school 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.  If any school’s time exceeds the 45-minute time limit, the school’s play will not be eligible for a play award.  Individual student performances will still be considered for awards.
    • All participating schools must provide their own technical materials including but not limited to make-up, costumes, props, set pieces, sound effects. It is recommended that your technical requirements be minimal. Please see tech information - ground plan and load-in information.
    • All participating schools must use the technical equipment provided by the host school’s theatre. Operators will be furnished through local host venue. Crews will work with the director, cast and crew of each show in facilitating the performance.
    • All participating schools must use the host school’s technicians to run technical equipment including lights, sound and fly system if needed.  Schools are encouraged to provide technicians and/or a stage manager to call the show or work with the house technicians.
    • A technical rider and ground plan of the host theatre will be provided to each registered school.
    • Any communication regarding the production elements of the entry must be directed to the KTA High School Festival Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the Festival.
    • All scenery will load into a 10’x10’ square backstage at the venue.
    • A participating school may occupy the house make-up/dressing room facility during the hour preceding that school’s production.
    • The plays will be judged on an objective basis by a panel of judges who represent a professional, educational, and community theatre using a score sheet and scoring rubric. 


      • Trophies will be awarded for Outstanding Production, First and Second Runners Up, Outstanding Performers in Lead Role (up to 2), Outstanding Performers Supporting Actors (up to 2) and All-Star Cast. Judges may also award Discretionary Awards. The top five plays will be recognized and shared at the annual meeting. 
      • The plays judged Outstanding Production and First Runner Up are eligible to enter as the state’s selection to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference High School Play Festival in March.
      • Adjudicators provide written feedback for all performances.
      • Together adjudicators choose a "Best Newcomer". A school that has been coming 3 or fewer years. Best Newcomer may not be one of the top performances.
      • Together adjudicators may choose to award an unlimited number of Judges Discretionary Awards. These are “special acknowledgements” for things about the performances that adjudicators based on their experience believe are worthy of acknowledgement, but for which no award category exists.

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