Festival Info

Nebraska State Thespian Festival 2021 is going virtual! Check back in here as the event nears for details about registration, our special guest artists, and changes being made for this year's events!

Each school should bring their financial contribution to Festival for the 2020 Service Project. Ask your state board representative for more information

Lodging Information

DoubleTree in downtown Omaha.

Improv Challenge Guidelines

Each school may bring one team for qualifying competition on Thursday night. From this qualifying event, 15 teams will be selected to move forward to semi-finals later on during festival.

  1. Teams are limited to six actually performing at one time, although if you have alternates or extras, that’s fine—you will need to decide as a team who will actually perform each round of competition.
  2. Teams need a school appropriate name.
  3. Audience is encouraged to watch the events.
  4. Profanity, sexually explicit scenarios, or other inappropriate material will result in forfeiting of the round. Decisions on what is profane etc. is up to the improv judge(s).
  5. All rounds will be judged by outside judges that are professional improvisation artists.
  6. Each team is required to attend check-in 30 minutes prior to the start of the semi-final rounds.
  7. Games may be announced prior to Festival via Nebraska Thespians website, Facebook or twitter.

Improv Preliminary Rounds

There will be three preliminary rounds. Each round will consist of one improvisational exercise. A judge will be posted at each of the three events to tally points for each team. At the end of each round, judges rotate to the next room to start a new round. Once all three rounds are completed, the top teams with the most points will advance to the Improv Finals.

Improv Finals

The top four teams will compete in the final improvisational event for all three judges at once on the Mainstage in The Holland.

The top three winning teams will be announced at awards. Ballots will be sent home with the troupe director

National Individual Events (NIES) is an educational program that offers Thespians the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on prepared theatrical material and technical designs.

The performance Individual Events include:

  • Monologue
  • Duo Acting
  • Group Acting
  • Solo Musical Theatre
  • Duet Musical Theatre
  • Group Musical Theatre

The Technical Individual Events include:

  • Costume Construction
  • Costume Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Scenic Design
  • Short Film
  • Sound Design
  • Stage Management
  • Theatre Marketing

Rules for all performance events

1. Individual Events have strict time limits. After the introduction (slating), time begins with the first word, musical note or acting action (if it precedes the first word or note). If a student exceeds the time limit, the judge will notate the time on the form and a final eligibility ruling will be determined in the tabulation room. If the student exceeds the time limit by 30 seconds, the timekeeper must stop the performance. No warnings are required from the timekeeper.

a. Time limits for performance events are as follows: i. Monologues, 3 minutes;

ii. All other performance events, 5 minutes.

  1. Each entrant is permitted to participate in only one event.
  2. Entrants who qualify for Individual Events through participation in a Chapter Conference/Festival must present exactly the same work at both the chapter and national levels. Other qualifying entrants are expected to present the works listed on their registration.
  3. Substitutions are not allowed. Entrants who qualified at a Chapter Conference/Festival and who are listed on the chapter qualifier form are the only ones qualified to perform at ITF.

a. However, in the category of Group Musical and Group Acting, drops will be allowed, but no substitutions are permitted in any category.

  • Acceptable material for all Individual Performance Events:
    1. Published scripts written for the theatre ONLY. If the participant is using a piece that is also a movie, theperformance must be from the play/musical, not the movie script.
    2. Songs from a musical that have been written for the theatre (regardless of its previous publication as aclassical or popular song – e.g., Forever Plaid, Mamma Mia, etc.).
    3. It’s difficult to address every situation in this document, but fundamentally, the guide is that the piecemust either:
      i. Have publisher permission (NOT author-only permission); orii. Be available for sale in a libretto, play, vocal selection, or musical score.
  • Unacceptable material for Individual Performance Events:a. Poetry
    b. Fiction
    c. Scripts or songs from films
    d. Scripts or songs from television
    e. Stand-alone monologues found on the internet or in monologue books
    f. Popular songs not used in a published work for the theatre
    g. Classical songs not used in a published work for the theatre
    h. Props or costumes - including the use of hair, non-prescription glasses, earrings or other personal items.
  • Disqualification. The Individual Event program is meant to challenge, inspire, and educate students. As you’ll note throughout this document, there are very clear rules to ensure equity among all participants. Violations of these rules can lead to disqualification.
    1. Disqualification reasons can be noted by individual adjudicators. The judges should note the issue(s) under their printed name and signature.
    2. Regardless of individual disqualification reason(s), it is the responsibility of the tabulation room officials (or pre-defined designate) to rule on any disqualifications.
    3. Disqualifications at the International Thespian Festival will be ruled by Deputy Executive Director Doug Berlon.
  • Filming. Individual Events may not be filmed for rebroadcast or other use.

Technical rules (excluding short film)

The entrant must prepare a presentation and design for one published work written for the theatre. Designs for performances of original work, poetry, fiction, screenplays, television, or any other medium are not permitted.

  1. Time limits for technical events are as follows: a. Presentation, 8 minutes.b. Question and answer, 4 minutes.
  2. The entrant must give an oral presentation no longer than 8 minutes justifying the design and guiding theadjudicator through the entrant’s creative process. Notecards are permitted. The introduction to the presentation must include only the entrant’s name, troupe number, title of show, and writer(s). A thirty-second oral synopsis should be prepared as part of the presentation. After the presentation, adjudicators will have up to four minutes to ask questions. The overall session, including the introduction and follow-up questions, cannot exceed twelve minutes.
  3. Students from states requiring electronic submissions may present their work electronically. However, they must bring their own equipment.a. For costume construction, students must bring the actual costume constructed.b. For stage management, students must bring the actual prompt book used during the production.
  4. Read and follow exactly the task sheet for your technical entry.
  5. Complete the checklist sheet, sign it, and have your troupe director sign it.
  6. Put the checklist sheet at the front of your production book or artifact binder.
  7. Wear professional all-black clothing and shoes for the presentation before the adjudicators.