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Changes Highlighted for OAP

By Luis Muñoz, Theatre Director | Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:44 AM

Welcome back!  Jenny, Connie and I hope you were able to rest during your summer break.  We have been busy at the League office preparing for what will shape up to be an exciting year.  It’s a year full of changes and, we hope, improvements to the UIL One-Act Play Contest and Theatrical Design.  We also are excited with our roll-out of the Focus: Young Filmmaker’s Festival. 

It is crucial that you download the 20th edition of the Handbook for One-Act Play and the eighth edition of the Guide for UIL OAP Contest Managers.  The two pdf documents can be found on the “Resources and Forms” page under the Theatre section of the UIL website:

There are many changes this year.  Here are some of the major ones.

  • Broadway Play Publishing – Broadway Play Publishing has been added to the list of Approved Publishers.  We welcome them and look forward to seeing some of the wonderful literature that their library carries:
  • Range of Penalties - Entries may be disqualified for violations regarding the number in the performing company, time limits on performance and set-up and strike, the use of firearms, explosives and combustible materials, offstage to onstage prompting, use of additional unit set and the director being in the backstage areas or communicating with the company during the performance. Other penalties shall be considered ethical violations.
  • Contest Manager Certification - Every contest manager must be certified for UIL competitions by passing the online Contest Manager Certification Program. Instructions and the test link are now active. Click on the “Spring Meet Entry” link on the Theatre homepage.  The exam must be completed by Jan. 31.
  • Architectural Necessity - If the apron exceeds 12 feet or the apron depth is greater than the stage area, no permission from the League is required. It is a local decision.
  • Lighting - Six portable, lighting instruments and/ or projection devices provided and controlled by the company may be used. They may be used downstage of the house curtain/proscenium line if hand-held, placed on the floor or on a light stand that does not exceed one foot in height. Gobos, without limit, may be used with these instruments to project static images. Gobos are no longer limited to two at a time. They may be masked with small boxes or other properties (i.e. made to look like footlights, placed in or on standard properties, etc.)
  • Softgoods - It is permissible to use up to 160 square feet of unframed softgoods, projection material or trim in any way you choose but under the following size limitations: No one piece shall exceed 8 foot wide X 10 foot long. No other restrictions apply.
  • Capitals and Bases - Six lightweight capitals and six bases may be used on unit set pylons. They shall not exceed more than one foot in any direction from the top or bottom edge of the pylon. Hardware or supports may be attached to capitals in order to support battens when used to hang soft goods between unit set elements. Bases shall not be used to support or elevate unit set elements. A base should either completely encircle the pylon or fit like a horseshoe around it. The pylon shall not stand on the base. Busts, statues, flame units, lighting sources and similar items placed on top of pylons may not extend more than one foot in any direction from the pylon's top edge. Plants used as capitals do not count towards the twelve allowed.
  • Fence and Railing - The width at the base has been increased to 8 inches. Any jacks or supports shall not exceed the height and width and shall count towards the total length of the section (maximum 8 feet) and the total allowed (maximum 12 feet). Plastic trellis/lattice used as fence and railing is permissible. Softgood or soft plastic floral trim and vines may be used on fence and railing (hedge) without restrictions. As a trim property, they do not count towards the plant allotment.
  • Standing on Properties – After years of discussion and some confusion, the UIL Advisory Committee came up with this clarification on this rule: “Standing on furniture pieces/props, whether motivated by character action or style, and if momentary in length, is permissible as long as the actor(s) is not in jeopardy.” The key is “momentary.”
  • Props used as Lighting Fixtures - Light sources normally considered properties, when used for their intended purpose in the action of the play and not as a primary source of illumination on the stage, shall not count against the allotment of six instruments (i.e. flashlights, kerosene lamps, oil lamps, table lamps, etc.).
  • Architectural Trim - Lightweight and portable architectural trim may be used on unit set elements.  They shall not cover more than 50 percent of the visible surface of the unit set elements.
  • Lighting Effects - Lighting fixtures that produce lightning, fire, water, rain or other environmental effects are permissible. This includes strobe and UV lights. These instruments shall count towards the six allowed. Please let the contest manager know if you are using strobe lights. The audience needs to be warned about their use prior to the performance. They are no longer considered “robotic” because they have a motor. Motorized mirror balls may be used on a light tree or suspended from unit set elements. The lighting fixture used to illuminate it will count towards the six allowed.
  • Evaluation Form - The evaluation was revised by the adjudicator’s group.  A copy can be found online under “Resources and Forms” and is also found in the Handbook and Contest Manager Guide.

Film Contest
Information on the film contest can be found at  Your administration will be receiving a link to survey in the next few weeks.  In it your school will be asked to state your “intent” to participate in the contest.  This is not a binding enrollment like the one for OAP.  The information will be used for determining the number of judges needed for the “estimated” entries.  We will be offering film workshops at our Student Activities Conferences this year.  The online entry forms are still being developed but should be up by December.

Theatrical Design
The Theatrical Design Contest continues to grow.  This year’s title is Tartuffe by Moliere.  The Lit Crit teams will be studying the same play.  There are some major changes to the Makeup Contest and to the way pieces should be matted for submission.  The prompt can be found at:

State Judges
This summer the Administrative Committee of the judging organization met and recommended the following judges for the 2014 State Meet:
• 5A - Roger Schultz, Susan Loughran, Charlie Hukill
• 4A - Mark Pickell, Beverly Murray, Jim Rambo
• 3A - Aaron Adair, Kelly Russell, Ezekiel Morgan
• 2A - David Crawford, Rod Caspers, Lynae Jacob
• 1A - Jackie DeMontmollin, Terry Lewis, Rick Garcia

Recently some questions were raised about the state judge selection process. I personally feel that individual and institutional transparency is important in anything we do for our students and our teachers and thus feel compelled to share it with you.

The TETA-AO utilizes a specific process to recommend judges to the state drama director.  The selection system is based on ranks and sums. It is not unlike tabulations for any other contest. Adjudicators are selected by their peers based on positive evaluations provided by the play directors. The process is one where the judges, like the students participating in the contest, have been judged, vetted and, as I say every year at the State Meet, “made it to state.”

State Judge Selection Balloting Procedures

  1. After reviewing every evaluation form submitted by the play directors, the members of the Administrative Committee of the AO are each given a ballot that includes every Area/Region certified member of the organization. This is done so that every potential candidate can be evaluated and no one is left out of consideration. The Committee does not consider judges who have judged the state conference for two consecutive years.  Those judges are still considered for regional assignments.
  2. Committee members are asked to select 20 unranked judges. The results are entered into a spreadsheet.
  3. Those who receive four votes or more are then placed on a second ballot.
  4. Each committee member is asked to rank those on the second ballot in order of their preference from first to last.
  5. The results are entered into a spreadsheet. The sum of ranks is calculated by the program and then sorted to list the judges in order of rank based on preference.
  6. If there is a clear break between the cumulative rankings of Adjudicators 15 and 16, then the voting is over.
  7. If there is a tie, additional ballots are created and the committee votes until they have a clear result.
  8. Should the State Theatre Director accept the AO’s recommendations, the top five are each assigned to a conference. These five serve as the “Awards Judge” for that conference. The others are then assigned to fill the panels for each conference.

Conferences for 2013-14

  • Sept. 14 – Student Activities Conference – UT – Arlington
  • Sept. 28 -  Student Activities Conference – Texas Tech
  • Oct. 5 - Student Activities Conference – UT – Austin
  • Oct. 11-12 – TSCA Convention – Corpus Christi
  • Oct. 18-19 – Directing Workshop at Texas Tech
  • Nov. 2 – Rules Presentation at San Antonio College (10am – noon)
  • Nov. 9 - Student Activities Conference – Sam Houston State University
  • Nov. 16 – Film Contest Presentation at Cine Sol Film Festival - McAllen
  • Nov. 21-23 – Texas Thespians – Dallas
  • Jan. 30 – Feb. 2 – TETA Convention – Dallas
  • May 19-21 – State Meet – UT-Austin PAC