When I was in high school I had never heard of play competitions. We did a full length play every fall and a musical every spring. But competitions? How did that work?
Maybe it was because I went to high school in the dark ages. But maybe it’s because I went to high school in a state that didn’t have One-Act competitions. Not all the states do, and the ones that do, do it in different ways.
For instance, in South Dakota play competition, they alternate every year with a comedy or drama. On comedy years, EVERY school does a comedy and on drama years, EVERY school does a drama.
In Wyoming, at the Wyoming State Thespian Festival in addition to the play competition, students can compete in solo and ensemble competitions as well as other aspects of theater such as costume design, sound design and makeup. Seniors who plan to major or minor in theater arts are eligible to audition for scholarships in theater, musical theater, acting, dance and/or tech.
In many states such as Nebraska, they pretty much have free rein in choosing plays, as long as it is age and venue appropriate. There have been a few kerfuffles in the past about what was appropriate, but usually common sense wins out.
Back east, schools such as New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island send their state champions on to the New England Drama Festival, where they compete against other New England state winners.
If anyone knows how they do things in other states and wants to share, let me know! I will post it here. Sometimes it’s fun to know what other people are doing!