One-Act Play Contest

Tech Challenge Contest

Explanation of Awards and Festival Backgrounder


Festival Site & Showcase Summary

YearFestival SiteShowcase ShowProducer
Moon Children
The Cherry Orchard
Racine Theatre Guild Shorewood HS
UW-Milwaukee (PTTP)
1992UW-La CrosseThe Heidi Chronicles
Crimes of the Heart Oklahoma!
Viterbo College
Madison West HS
Waukesha Civic Theatre
1993UW-Stevens PointSteel Magnolias
Nicolet HS
UW-Stevens Point
Dancing at Lughnasa
Brookfield Central HS
1995UW-Stevens PointInto the Woods
Wild Oats
Wausau West HS
UW-Stevens Point Dominican HS
1996UW-WhitewaterNoises Off
The Colored Museum and
Pullman Car Hiawatha
42nd Street
The Crucible
Kettle Moraine HS Milwaukee Plus XI HS Verona Area HS
Appleton West HS
1997UW-Stevens PointCabaret
Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat
The Diviners
Hartford Union HS Luxemburg-Casco Sr HS Greendale HS
1998UW-WhitewaterOut of Order
Middleton HS
Kenosha Bradford HS
1999UW-La Crosse and Viterbo CollegeWorking
The Wizard of Oz
Shorewood HS
La Crosse Logan HS
2000UW-WhitewaterThe Night Thoreau Spent
in Jail
Superior Senior HS Appleton North HS
2001UW-Stevens PointOur Town QuiltersNorthland Pines HS
Wis. Rapids Lincoln HS
A Chorus Line
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Ellsworth HS
Wauwatosa West HS
Nicolet HS
2003UW-La Crosse and Viterbo CollegeRags
Bat Boy the Musical
Appleton West HS
Kenosha Bradford HS
2004UW-WhitewaterPirates of Penzance
Of Thee I Sing
Dominican HS
Verona Area HS
2005UW-OshkoshScapino!Middleton HS
2006UW-WhitewaterThe Three Sisters Urinetown: The MusicalDominican HS
Shorewood HS
2007UW-Stevens PointMarvin’s Room
Anything Goes
The Prairie School, Racine Verona Area HS
2008UW-La Crosse and Viterbo CollegeCharley’s Aunt
Miss Saigon
Nicolet HS
Appleton North HS
2009UW-WhitewaterA Midsummer Night’s Dream Dark of the MoonJefferson HS
Beloit Memorial HS
2010UW-OshkoshRabbit Hole
Kenosha Tremper HS
Gibraltar HS
2011UW-WhitewaterThe Torch Bearers
The Phantom of the Opera
Waterford Union HS
Appleton North HS
2012UW-Stevens PointThe Birds
Once on This Island
Shawano Community HS
Dominican HS
2013Waunakee HSLeaving Iowa
Badger HS
Verona Area HS
2014Viterbo UniversityJourney to the West
Hello! My Baby
Appleton North HS
Indian Trail HS & Academy
2015UW-WhitewaterThe Scarlet Heart
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Wis. Rapids Lincoln HS
Middleton HS
2016UW-Stevens PointRwanda & Juliet
La Cage Aux Folles
UW–Madison Arts Institute UW-Stevens Point
2017UW-WhitewaterNoises Off
Peter and the Starcatcher
Waukesha West HS
Middleton HS
2018Viterbo UniversitySeveral contest one-acts 
2019UW-MilwaukeeAll My Sons
Joseph and the Amazing
     Technicolor Dreamcoat
A Piece of My Heart
Whitefish Bay HS
Reedsburg HS
2021UW-Stevens Point
2022UW-WhitewaterAlmost, Maine
Mean Girls, HS Edition
Kenosha Indian Trail HS & Academy
Kenosha Bradford



WISDAA (WHSFA) begins contest in “dramatics.”

For many years, the contest was held in Stevens Point.


WISDAA teams up with UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies to offer a more comprehensive festival with educational programming and outreach along with rotation to several partner universities (see list to the left).

The Alliance for Wisconsin Theatre Education (AWTE) also plays a pivotal role in supporting educator professional development and support of programming at the festival.


Renovations at UW-Whitewater forces the festival to be held at a high school — for its first and only time to-date, Waunakee High School.


The Wisconsin Thespians (Educational Theatre Association affiliate) begins offering Individual Events at the festival.


UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies discontinues programming in Theatre; WISDAA takes over coordination of the overall festival.


Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is offered in a fully virtual format, including multiple one-acts from schools, video recorded in-person, social distanced and masked performances as well as recordings of videoconference performances. Online workshops and exhibit booths also were held.


Continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is offered both as a return to in-person performance (with various public health measures in place), as well as a virtual option. Besides one-act plays, only online, asynchronous workshops and Thespys events were offered.

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