Submitting a Play or Scenic Item for Approval
DECEMBER 10, 2021 is the POSTMARK deadline for high school. Your play submission MUST BE POSTMARKED no later than December 10, 2021 if you are planning on performing a play that is not already on one of the approved lists.
PLEASE NOTE: we do not give estimates of how long it takes to get your play decision.
The League's Play Appraisal Committee evaluates from August 1–December 10 for high schools and August 1-April 15 for junior high schools. No plays will be accepted after those dates.
REQUESTS WILL BE CONSIDERED FROM AUGUST 1, 2021-DECEMBER 10, 2021 (High School only) Junior High play submission deadline is 45 days prior to contest.
Paula Rodriguez, State Theatre Director
University Interscholastic League
P.O. Box 8028
Austin, Texas 78713
For Plays Not on the Approved Lists
To request an approval you will need to do the following:
1. Fill out and submit the current year's online "One-Act Play and Scenery Approval Request Form 2021-22."
LINK TO THE HIGH SCHOOL FORM Opens August 1
LINK TO THE MIDDLE SCHOOL FORM Opens August 1
2. Mail the following:
a) A copy of your "One-Act Play and Scenery Approval Request Form 2021-22."
b) The complete published play which specifically and clearly indicates:
i) The exact portions of the total script to be used. This includes dialogue and action. (Highlighted in Yellow)
NOTE: If you are doing the play in its entirety, with no cuts, you do not need to highlight your script.
However, YOU MUST include a note with your submission with this information. (Post-it notes work just fine!)
Sending a completely unmarked script and no note will mean that your play is returned to you unread.
ii) Deletion of all dialogue and business not to be used. Make it clear that you are cutting but light enough that a reader can look at the
material that has been eliminated. (Strike-through in pen)
iii) Deletion of all language and action that violates the "Standards Rule." (Strike-through in pen)
iv) Deletion of scenery that might restrict approval. Make it clear that you are cutting but light enough that a reader can look at the
material that has been eliminated. (Strike-through in pen)
Need a visual reference? SAMPLE Script marking
c) A $30 evaluation fee payable to: "The University of Texas at Austin, UIL." (Checks or money orders only). (Billing address your school
finance office may have on file: University Interscholastic League / P.O. Box 8028 / Austin, Texas 78713). If you are submitting a play
approval request along with a scenic request, you only need to pay one $30 evaluation fee.
NOTE: If you are doing the play in its entirety, with no cuts, YOU MUST include a note with your submission with this information. Sending a completely unmarked script and no note will mean that your play is returned to you unread.
For Scenery for Plays Already On the Approved Lists
1. Fill out and submit the current year's online "UIL One-Act Set Approval Request Form."
HIGH SCHOOL LINK Opens August 1
MIDDLE SCHOOL LINK Opens August 1
2. You will need to attach a combined pdf document containing the folowing:
1. A scale drawing of the complete ground plan of the proposed set.
2. A scale drawing of each proposed addition to the basic set.
3. A full description of all materials to be used in construction of each proposed addition to the basic set.
3. A $30 evaluation fee payable to: "The University of Texas at Austin, UIL." (Checks or money orders only). (Billing address your school
finance office may have on file: University Interscholastic League / P.O. Box 8028 / Austin, Texas 78713).
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are some of the common reasons that plays are rejected or are sent back unread?
Common reasons why plays are sent back unread:
• strike-throughs are made in pencil. (strike-throughs should be in pen)
• script is sent only partially marked--large passages are neither highlighted or marked-through. The reading committee, while very talented, cannot make guesses as to your intentions
• script is entirely unmarked, and no note has been enclosed stating that the play is to be performed in its entirety. Again, the reading committee, while very talented, cannot make guesses as to your intentions
• the play is already on one of the approved lists
• you sent a xeroxed copy of the script, in violation of copyright law
• the play was sent after the deadline (Dec 10 for high schools)
Common reasons why plays are rejected:
• the play is "story theatre" or "reader's theatre" with dialogue primarily directed to the audience. If it features too many monologues and/or lacks character interaction, it cannot be judged by UIL standards.
• the play hasn't been cut enough, i.e. a 75-page play with only 10 pages of dialogue/action cut
• little to no attempt has been made to clean up the script for language and/or action that is not appropriate for school competition
• the play lacks literary merit, it resembles a bad Saturday Night Live sketch with no character development or story through-line
2. In terms of content, language and action, what do I need to cut from the play?
Straight from the OAP Handbook:
When selecting your play, remember that League rules require directors and administrators to eliminate profane references to a deity, obscene language, actions or scenes from the approved production. It is up to each school’s administration to determine that all profanity and obscenity has been eliminated and that their play and production does not offend the moral standards of their community.
Profanity is characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or any sacred principles or things. The use of any deity’s name when not in reverence or prayer would be profanity by definition. The use of “Jesus,” “Oh, God,” “God knows," etc. is considered, by definition, profane when not used in reverence or prayer and shall be removed. This is not an option.
Indecent and obscene language shall also be eliminated. Foreign language that is profane, indecent or obscene shall also be eliminated.
Since most competitors are minors, particular attention shall be paid to any action that insinuates sexual activity and physical violence. School Administrators shall review the production to make sure it complies with the Standards rule.
3. My play was rejected by the reading committee, what should I do?
If your play was rejected for lack of literary merit...you need to find a new play. There are close to 1000 titles on our approved lists for you to consider, HERE
If your play was rejected because it is "story theatre" or "reader's theatre", if it features too many monologues and lacks character interaction...you need to find a new play. There are close to 1000 titles on our approved lists for you to consider, HERE
If your play was rejected because you didn't follow the directions above--you didn't cut enough or you left in all of the @#$! curse words, you may resubmit your play for approval, as long as it is before your submission deadline (Dec 10 for high schools and 45 days before contest for junior high). Please note that you will need to submit a $30 reading fee again, as it is considered a second submission.