A digital version of the program booklet will be posted here, about a week before the festival, when completed.

Parking, food, and other campus information available in the "Logistics" menu > Venue/Stages.

State One-Act Contest

Pulaski High School cast and crew at festival

Schools wishing to participate in the one-act contest must be members of the WISDAA, and must begin their qualification process by entering the district level in mid-October, followed by the sectional level in late October/early November. One-act plays advancing to the State level are scheduled Friday and Saturday (and Thursday evening, if necessary), concurrent with workshops. All students attending the festival are welcome to watch. One-act performances are a great educational opportunity for students and their directors to receive constructive criticism from trained theatre professionals.

Thespian Excellence Awards (Thespys)

Thespian Individual Events

(“Thespys;” previously, Individual Events – IEs) is offered alongside one-acts (students can participate in one-acts and Thespys). Every student/group who participates performs their piece(s) or speaks on a tech portfolio and receives immediate oral feedback (and written feedback, available at the end of the contest) from adjudicators. Students earning a majority of Superior ratings earn the opportunity to compete at the International Thespian Festival in Bloomington, Indiana in June!

Tech Challenge

Tech Olympics
Tech Challenge Sponsor

Tech Challenge (formerly “Tech Olympics”) is a great way to test your technical skills in a fun and friendly competition with your peers. Actors, designers, directors, technicians, and theatre enthusiasts are invited to participate. Pre-registration for this contest is not necessary, but participants must be pre-registered with the festival.

Theatre-Tech-Challenge-Info

Examples of Events
  • Focus a light (individual)
  • Knot tying (individual)
  • Costume quick change (pair)
  • Wire a plug (individual)
  • Cable relay (team of 4)
  • Sound setup (pair)

See the “Results” section for past honors earned.

Workshops

Interactive workshops, taught by experienced educators and professionals, immerse participants in technical and performance activities. As the festival draws nearer, a full listing of workshops will be posted here.

Director Networking/Showcase Support

Auditions/Tech Presentations

Due to a lack of student interest, auditions will not be held in 2022.

Eligibility is limited to students enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade the same school year in which the festival is held, who plan to enter college to study theatre. Juniors are strongly encouraged to apply. University-level theatre programs from across Wisconsin and the upper Midwest have been invited to attend. The goal is to give students an opportunity to audition/present for college representatives while refining and enriching their auditioning/presenting skills.

While we wish to give as many students this opportunity as possible, spaces are limited and the time for our college representatives to see talented students is at a premium. Please register ONLY if you are seriously considering a career in the theatre. The Theatre Festival reserves the right to limit the number of students a school may have based on overall numbers and available time slots.

Only students from schools registered for the festival may participate, and an employee or vetted volunteer adult from the school must complete the school’s overall registration. Students  also must personally complete a separate audition registration on this site, either with assistance or permission of their parents/guardians. A nonrefundable $10 fee must be paid by credit card or e-check at that time; we will NOT accept checks by mail, nor cash on arrival. Applications must be received by 10pm, November 1, 2022. Late submissions will not be permitted.

Ahead of the festival, a schedule will be shared with students auditioning/presenting. A warm-up workshop session will take place earlier in the festival to help prepare student actors. To help make the process as user-friendly as possible, we will discuss audition/presentation information during this meeting.

NOTES:

  • We will format your resume data (you will not be able to upload your own PDF or Word doc). View a sample résumé to see how your information will be formatted:
    Actor Resume
    Technician Resume
  • You may submit your initial entry prior to the deadline, and may update it as necessary.
  • Auditions must not exceed two minutes, including introductions and transitions. Auditions will be timed.  Students should prepare…
    • A single monologue, or
    • Two short contrasting monologues, or
    • A short monologue and 16 bars of a song. An accompanist will be provided. Please bring appropriately marked sheet music in your key.
  • Presentations will be scheduled simultaneously with the performance auditions.  Presentations are for any student wishing to pursue technical theatre, technical design (costume, sound, set, lighting, etc.), directing, or stage management.  Students will…
    • Display their work (i.e. portfolios, pictures, displays) to a rotating group of 6-8 college/university representatives
    • Give a 5-7 minute presentation at each group
    • Answer questions from the college/university representatives
  • All student auditionees/presenters must be registered with their school for the Festival.
  • Each auditionee/presenter must pay a non-refundable $10 audition/presentation fee.  This will be collected when filling out the online college auditions registration form.
  • NOTE REGARDING CALLBACKS: Students must use their own email during registration, NOT the sponsor’s email.  After auditions and presentations, students will receive emails regarding colleges and universities who wish to speak to them further.  It is the student’s responsibility to visit each college representative at their exhibit booth.
  • All colleges and universities intending to participate in the audition process must book an exhibit booth (please note when registering for an exhibit if you wish to participate in auditions and/or presentations).
  • Only TWO designated organizational representatives (one for audition and one for presentation) may attend the college/university auditions and presentation sessions.
  • Please be aware that each college/university attending the auditions and presentations will be emailed an electronic file of student résumés. No paper résumés will be handed out, though students are encouraged to bring copies for callbacks.*
  • Please bring your own laptop, smartphone, tablet, or other technology to use for Auditions and Presentations.
  • NOTE REGARDING CALLBACKS: Students will be emailed a list of those colleges wishing to see them. It is the student’s responsibility to visit college representatives who wish to see them on the exhibit floor.

Eligibility is limited to students enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade the same school year in which the festival is held, who plan to enter college to study theatre. Juniors are strongly encouraged to apply. University-level theatre programs from across the upper Midwest have been invited to attend. The goal is to give students an opportunity to audition/present for college representatives while refining and enriching their auditioning/presenting skills.

Please register ONLY if you are seriously considering a career in the theatre.

Students must complete their own registration on this site, either with assistance or permission of their parents/guardians. A nonrefundable $10 fee must be paid by credit card or e-check when applying. Applications must be received by 10pm, Nov. 1, 2022. Late submissions will not be permitted.

Requirements — have ready before applying.

Before submitting and checking out, you should first have the following ready:

  1. If under 18, permission from a parent/guardian whose name and contact information you must provide.
  2. Link to a single video uploaded to an online video sharing service (such as YouTube or Vimeo)
    • If auditioning for acting, one video with two contrasting one-minute monologues (classical + contemporary)
    • If auditioning for musical theatre, one video with two 32-bar cuts of musical theatre selections (traditional + contemporary) plus a one-minute monologue
    • If auditioning for technical theatre, a 5-7-minute presentation to accompany a portfolio, which also is uploaded to a file sharing service.
  3. Actor and/or technician résumé, accordingly. Sample résumés:
    Actor Resume
    Technician Resume

Notes:

  • After applying, students will be contacted by colleges and universities who wish to speak to them further.  It is the student’s responsibility to respond to inquiries.
  • All colleges and universities intending to participate in the audition process must book an exhibit booth (please note when registering for an exhibit if you wish to participate in auditions and/or presentations).
  • Each college/university partner will be emailed instructions for accessing student submissions housed on the WHSFA website.
  • Each college/university partner must complete a form indicating which students they plan on contacting, so we can follow up with students as well.

High school 11th and 12 grade students interested in demonstrating their skills to several institutions at one time, and recruiters interested in accessing high school students from across Wisconsin will again have an opportunity to connect in a meaningful way. Only students seriously considering a career in theatre should apply; space is limited.

Showcases

Thursday, Nov. 17 • 8pm

Almost, Maine

Produced by Kenosha Indian Trail HS & Academy

 

Following the pandemic, an apt reminder for audiences is that everyone struggles. Yet,  through that struggle we can find love and happiness but also disappointment.

Friday, Nov. 18 • 4pm + 8pm

Mean Girls - School Edition

Produced by Kenosha Bradford HS

Pilot performance for Music Theatre International!

Being mean, like being kind, is a choice. Whether we choose one over the other is often motivated by our unique set of circumstances, such as the social situation, setting, and our emotions.

Logo of the International Thespian Festival.

Starting in 2023, the showcase will take a slightly different form. The festival is partnering with the School District of Janesville and Wisconsin Thespians to produce a statewide musical, where students from across the state in grades 9-11 would audition during the spring semester, come together to rehearse a few times over the summer and early fall, perform for the public as well as showcase during the festival, before advancing to the Educational Theatre Association’s International Thespian Festival, held at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

Watch for announcements in fall 2022 pertaining to auditions in spring 2023.

Inclusion & Safety Resources

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Speech & Dramatic Arts Association is committed to fostering safe and supportive learning environments for all student participants and adults at our interscholastic events. This requires mutual respect on the part of all people present. Accordingly, WISDAA prohibits all forms of harassment and discrimination by and to any person, whether written or oral, based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by any applicable federal, state, or local law. Individuals found to have violated this policy will be subject to a full range of sanctions, up to and including removal from the festival premises.

We follow recommended guidelines for Belonging and Inclusion Stations (BIS) provided by the National Speech & Debate Association.

If you have a concern about how people are treating you that you want to make known to the WISDAA and, if appropriate, legal authorities, or you have witnessed behavior inconsistent with the Harassment and Discrimination Policy, please report to the festival headquarters, and request to meet with an equity officer, who will confidentially discuss the matter with you, who shall in turn, investigate the complaint.

We follow recommended guidelines for Belonging and Inclusion Stations (BIS) provided by the National Speech & Debate Association.

WHSFA is committed to ensuring we provide all-gender restroom facilities at our State Festivals. Please see signage in the building and on event venue maps, which will note locations.

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