Information and Rules


Information and Rules

General Information:

The event will take place over two days – Tuesday, June 2 and Wednesday, June 3 from 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM – at the UCPAC’s Hamilton Stage in Rahway.

All participating schools will perform on the stage in the main theatre at Hamilton Stage and will receive feedback and encouraging critiques from qualified judges.

Productions are entirely run by students during the competitions, so student actors and crews have an opportunity to develop strong leadership, as well as, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Students are recognized for individual and group achievements. Awards will be given for outstanding performers in more than five categories at the end of the competition.

Best Overall Presentation will win an opportunity for their school to present a full production on the Mainstage at the Union County Performing Arts Center in November 2015. The winning school may produce a production that is not the one used in the competition.

In addition to the one-act play competition, the event will feature a full day of theatre workshops and additional learning opportunities.


How to get started:

Complete the online Registration Form. Once this form has been completed, a full Participation Packet will be mailed to the Drama Director at the school’s address as designated on the Registration Form.

Be familiar with the Competition Rules (noted below, and required for registration). Please note that each school assumes full responsibility for royalties and any other limitations on the play that is selected.

Once received, review the Participation Packet.

Complete the Stage Layout and Tech Specs Form, found in the Participation Packet, and send it in no later than Friday, May 8, 2015. The form is included in the Participation Packet with additional instructions.


Competition Rules:

Each school may have 1 entry in the Union County Teen Arts Theatre Showcase, which must consist of a drama coach (school staff or faculty) and at least 3 characters.

Throughout the competition, participants will be identified and announced by the name of the production rather than the name of the school.

Productions are entirely run by students during the competition.

Performance pieces are to be a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 40 minutes. The official time will be kept by an assigned official time keeper.

Musicals/plays used in the competition may be a one-act, a cutting from a longer play/musical, or an original play/musical. Schools choosing to enter a musical production may not use a reproduction of the original soundtrack as part of their presentation.

Both the Drama Director and the school Principal must review and sign off on the presentation selection.

Each school assumes full responsibility for royalties and any other limitations on the play that is selected. Proof of royalty is required the day of the performance.

Each presentation shall have up to 10 minutes for setting the stage and up to 5 minutes for striking the stage.

Technical needs (including sets, sound, and lighting) are minimal, so that the focus of competition is on strong acting, script interpretation, and character development.

Professional, basic lighting and sound is provided. Schools are responsible for providing both lighting and sound cue sheets in the Stage Layout and Tech Specs Form to be submitted no later than May 8, 2015. Schools must also provide sound elements on an mp3 player or disk.

Schools are responsible for their own set pieces. A maximum of five free standing set pieces may be used. A description of the set pieces is required in the Stage Layout and Tech Specs Form to be submitted no later than May 8, 2015. No part of any set may be attached to any part of the stage, curtains, draperies, or other existing equipment of the host site.

Schools are responsible for their own props to be used in plays. No flame of any type can be used, including candles. Real weapons of any kind, such as a sword or knife, etc., cannot be used. Use of simulated weapons cannot be in violation of any local board of education policy of the participating school. Violation of this rule will result in disqualification (zero tolerance rule). Because of safety and clean-up concerns and out of respect for host site, materials and substances that may spill (such as water and other liquids, sprays, straw, glitter and other substances that cannot be easily picked up and/or cleaned up by hand, and other potentially “messy” substances), the use of any real food or beverages, and deliberate breaking or smashing of objects during performances are prohibited.

Schools are responsible for their own makeup and costumes. Each school will be provided the use of one dressing room for a limited time prior to their performance.

Curtain calls are not permitted.

No video taping of any On-Act Play competition is allowed.



Theatre workshops will be offered throughout the two-day competition. All students (tech crew and acting students) are invited to participate. The workshops are a great opportunity to enhance student learning and creative thinking, explore imagination, and promote teamwork and collaboration. A detailed description and schedule is included in the Participation Packet.