Freestyle Theatre

Freestyle TheatreDo you have a new script you'd like to test on a live audience? Freestyle Theatre is a great place to experiment with any one-act or cutting up to thirty minutes in length!

Participating in Freestyle Theatre

Note: To give as many schools as possible the chance to perform at ITF, schools may present in only one venue: main stage, Freestyle Theatre, or the Chapter Select Showcase. If your school is performing in Freestyle Theatre then your school cannot perform as part of ITF main stage or Chapter Select Showcase.

Any school not performing in another venue at ITF may participate in Freestyle Theatre which takes place in the Johnny Carson Theatre, Tuesday through Saturday of ITF week. Each performance has to be between ten and thirty minutes with an additional ten minutes to set and five minutes to strike. Set and strike time may not be used as additional performance time. Possible performances include one-act plays, cuttings from plays, and readers’ theatre. Productions with small casts work best. Participants must be registered for the entire ITF week. Submit the Freestyle Theatre Acceptance Sheet to be considered for the event. Submission deadline is May 1, 2019.

Seating for Freestyle shows: Freestyle shows are open to all ITF delegates. There are no assigned seats and no tickets are required.

Royalties: Troupes without a performance license or waiver on file will NOT be allowed to perform.  
  • Published material: Troupes must secure written permission from the publisher for presentation at the Festival during Festival dates. Troupes are responsible for payment of royalties. Upon written request, some publishers will waive royalty fees for Festival performances.
  • Original works: Troupes must have a written statement of originality from the author/playwright—even if it’s you or one of your students—on file with the EdTA National Office.
  • Works based on non-dramatic material: Troupes must obtain permission to use said material from the publisher. This applies to textbooks, children’s books, novels, short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, etc.
  • Works translated from another language: Troupes must have written permission from the publisher of that translation. This applies to non-dramatic material as well as dramatic.
  • Music: Troupes must secure permission for all music used in a performance.
  • Cuttings: Troupes must secure permission to present a cutting from a play from the play’s publisher. The statement of permission must be attached to the Freestyle Theatre Acceptance sheet.

Pre-performance: Troupes will not be given rehearsal time or space. No sooner than one hour prior to their scheduled performance time, troupes should report to the Carson Theatre Stage Manager. Performers and directors are not allowed on stage until called by the Freestyle Theatre Coordinator. Performers should be prepared to go on stage one half-hour prior to their scheduled performance time. The troupe will be assigned a dressing room which must be kept orderly and free of clutter. Troupes must clear all belongings from dressing rooms immediately following their performance.

Flyers and programs: Troupes may distribute flyers during ITF week. Troupes must bring flyers with them. Flyers will not be photocopied onsite at ITF. Flyers may be hung on campus bulletin boards, kiosks, and the ITF callboard in the Lied Center. Do not post flyers on the walls, inside or outside, of the Carson Theatre or any other campus building. Troupes must pay full repair costs for any damage caused by improper postings. Troupes may bring programs, but must provide two people to distribute them. Include your troupe number in the program.

Tech: The Johnny Carson Theatre is a black box space with an open stage 30’ wide, 18’ deep, and seating for 220. Use of all Carson Theatre technical equipment must be directly supervised by appropriate Carson Theatre personnel. Each troupe must provide an individual responsible for executing light and sound cues.
  • Lighting: Only general area lighting is available in the Carson Theatre. Special lighting effects, colors, and follow spots are not available. Plan in advance which areas you would like to use (stage right, center, stage left) and general intensities of the stage lighting.
  • Sound: The Carson Theatre will provide a CD player, mp3/iPod/computer input, amplifier and stereo speakers for use in the Carson Theatre. No microphones will be needed or provided. Groups may use their own boombox set at one-half to three-quarter volume for best results. If your production contains a gunshot or other loud noise, you must indicate this on the Freestyle Theatre Acceptance sheet. You must also mention the noise in your program, and make an announcement about the noise prior to your show. When you arrive at the theatre, you must discuss the noise with the Freestyle Theatre Coordinator and receive permission to use the noise in your show. The Lied Center and the ITF reserve the right to not allow any effects and noises deemed inappropriate.
  • Props, sets, and costumes: A prop is any item that can fit through a single door and be carried by a single person. Set pieces are anything bigger. Set pieces such as platforms, multiple step units, flats, and large furniture pieces are not allowed. Do not bring a van or truck full of props. Review the list of props provided and indicate on the Freestyle Theatre Acceptance form which props you wish to use and how many. International Thespian Festival, LLC and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are not responsible for props, costumes, make-up, valuables, or any item not on the provided list. If you plan to discard any of your props in the Lied Center dumpster, please indicate that on the Freestyle Acceptance form. Limit the size and number of props you bring to what is essential. Costumes, make-up, and hand-props must be furnished by the troupe. Productions involving lavish sets, numerous props and costume changes, and complicated staging are not suitable for Freestyle Theatre. Absolutely no pyro, smoke, fog or open flame effects of any kind may be used. No messy food, drinks, props, fruit or other items may be used. No equipment requiring the use of large, heavy-duty extension cords is allowed.
Stage floor plan and lighting areas: Areas will be lit with amber and blue washes (Rosco #05 and Rosco #62), and with a lavender backlight (Rosco #51).

All set pieces, props, and costumes must be either brought with you in a truck or on your bus or they may be shipped to a local UPS or FedEx office. Please do not ship your materials to the theatre or the ITF office as there is not enough room to store them.

All show trucks must be parked in the remote lot just south of the Devaney Sport Center off of Court Street in Lincoln. Parking passes may be acquired at the 24 hour front desk of your residence hall.

Performing Troupes: The below troupes have been will be performing their shows in the Freestyle Theatre. Please check back frequently, as more shows will be added throughout the season.

This is Your Brain on Social Media
Troupe 88607, Coppell Middle School West, Dallas, Texas

I "heart" WS
Troupe 7275, Hayden Catholic High School, Topeka, Kansas

Regina Flector Wins the Science Fair
Troupe 3161, Owensboro High School, Owensboro, Kentucky

Familial Ties
Troupe 6647, Academy of the Pacific Rim, Canton, Massachusetts

Good Cop Bad Cop
Troupes 89328, 88752, 88805, Dandan Middle School, Francisco Sablan Middle School & Northern Marianas International School, Saipan, Northern Marianas Islands

Magic Theatre
Troupe 830, Pennsbury High School, Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania

'Round the World and Back Again
Troupe 1154, Springfield Township High School, Oreland, Pennsylvania