Do 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 Festival, schools may present in only one Festival 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 Festival main stage or Chapter Select Showcase.
Any school not performing in another venue at Festival may participate in Freestyle Theatre which takes place in the Johnny Carson Theatre, Wednesday through Saturday of Festival week. Each performance has 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 Festival week. Submit the Freestyle Theatre Acceptance Sheet to be considered for the event.
Registration: Freestyle Theatre shows will be scheduled first-come, first-served. To participate in Freestyle Theatre, your troupe must:
- Be registered for the entire week of Festival.
- Complete and submit the Freestyle Theatre Acceptance form by May 1 to the EdTA National Office.
- Complete and submit all royalty information by June 1 to the EdTA National Office.
The EdTA National Office prefers to receive the Freestyle Theatre Acceptance form and all royalty information at the same time. However, you may submit them separately as long as they are received by the above dates. The Freestyle Theatre Acceptance form can be found in the Performance Opportunities entry of the Thespian Festival resource library
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.
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 Festival week. Troupes must bring flyers with them to UNL. Flyers will not be photocopied at the Festival. Flyers may be hung on campus bulletin boards, kiosks, and the Festival 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.
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 Festival 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).
To date the following shows have been invited to perform at Freestyle Theatre:
Exit, to be presented by Troupe 6185, The Performing Arts Academy OCVTS, Lakehurst, NJ
Mutually Assured Destruction, to be presented by Troupe 3161, Owensboro High School, Owensboro, KY
Semicolon, to be presented by Troupe 5524, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Ranch Santa Margarita, CA
Magic Theater, to be presented by Troupe 830, Pennsbury High School, Levittown, PA
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, 15 Plays in 30 Minutes, to be presented by Troupe 7275, Hayden Catholic High School, Topeka, KS
Locked In, to be presented by Troupe 5644, Mountain Pointe High School, Phoenix, AZ
Love Heals, to be presented by Troupe 5374, Marianas High School, North Marianas Islands, Saipan
The Great Nebula in Orion, to be presented by Troupe 1539, Edina High School, Edina, MN
What is There to Worry About?, to be presented by Troupe 7944, Los Alamitos High School, Los Alamitos, CA