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Guide for Directors: The Contest


Contest Structure

Definitions and Exceptions regarding Directors of the High School OAP contest.

A maximum of four (4) directors may be listed in the Online Entry System.

Directors in the high school One-Act Play Contest shall be full-time employees of the school districts the plays represent.

Full-time means that the person is under contract to the school board of the school that the one-act play represents and the person has enough contractual duties to be considered a full-time employee by the Teacher Retirement System and state law.


  1. Retired teachers/administrators who have 20 or more years of experience may be hired and paid for directing the one-act play.
  2. Full-time Co-op employees may direct or assist in directing the contest play for one of their co-op member schools if all the superintendents in the co-op agree. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached by the superintendents, the co-op employee could serve as a consultant for the one-act play director at the member school but could not assist with directing the students or designing any element.
  3. Student teachers may volunteer to assist in directing the one-act play during the semester they are assigned to a participant school while fulfilling their student teaching requirements. They may be listed as directors on the eligibility notice and program but they do not count against the allotment of directors. Schools shall not pay student teachers for assisting.


The Contest

Planning Meetings

We urge all Directors to attend your UIL district's OAP planning meeting in order to have input into specifics of your contest. Contact your Prinicpal or your UIL Coordinator or District Academic Chair about the scheduled dates.

Levels of Competition

There are six levels of competition: zone, district, bi-district, area, region and state. Not all districts conduct zone contests.

Advancing and Awards

  1. Three unranked plays advance from each zone, district, bi-district and area contest.
  2. Two unranked plays advance from each region contest.
  3. Plays are ranked first (champion) through sixth at the State Meet.
  4. Individual acting awards are given to the:
  • 2 Best Performers
  • 8 All-Star Cast members.
  • 8 Honorable-Mention All-Star Cast members.
  • Awards recognizing technicians or crew may be given at the discretion of the Contest Manager and are strongly encouraged by the League.
  • No other acting awards may be given.
  • There are no points assigned to Tech awards.
  • The two Best Performers shall be individuals, not groups, even though they may be playing similar or ensemble roles or a chorus.

Time Limits - Setup, Performance and Strike only

Time Allowed Function
7 Minutes/per Setup and Strike *
1 Minute Time allowed to start the performance after declaration of end of setup **
40 Minutes Performance Time (minimum of 18 and maximum of 40)*

* Companies in violation shall be ineligible for advancement or ranking but are eligible for acting awards.
** Violations shall be reported to the appropriate executive committee as an ethics violation.


  1. The company shall have 7 minutes to set and 7 minutes to strike. (You shall receive countdown warnings at 1 minute intervals starting at 5 minutes left). A warning will also be given at 30 seconds and 15 seconds remaining.
  2. No more than 60 seconds  shall elapse between the set time and the beginning of performance time unless the Contest Manager calls a “time-hold.” (You shall be told when the 60 seconds start. An official timekeeper backstage shall give the company audible warnings at ten-second intervals beginning at sixty seconds through “10 seconds.” (i.e. "10 seconds remaining.") 
  3. No play shall run less than 18 minutes or exceed 40 minutes of performance time. (You shall receive a warning when 15 minutes have elapsed and when 35 minutes have elapsed. A warning will also be given at 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds and 15 seconds remaining.) You will be asked to confirm. No other warnings are given.

Rules Violations

Entries may be declared ineligible for advancement or ranking for any of the following violations:

  1. Use of ineligible students.
  2. Exceeding the number allowed in the performing company.
  3. Exceeding the time limits on performance or set-up or strike.
  4. The use of firearms, explosives or combustible materials.
  5. The use of additional unit set.
  6. The director communicating with the company during the performance.

Ineligible Companies shall be considered for individual acting awards, the associated points and the oral critique.

Other Violations

Violations of other rules are considered ethics violations and shall be reported to the appropriate executive committee. The full range of penalties may apply.

Contest Administration

Like an umpire or referee in a sporting event, the Contest Manager serves as the official during a one-act play competition.

The Contest Manager

The function of the Contest Manager is to organize and operate the contest in strict accordance with the most recent edition of the Constitution and Contest Rules and this Handbook.

  1. Every UIL One-Act Play Contest Manager should be certified through the TTAO certification process. 
  2. Information on Contest Manager Training can be found on the TTAO Website.


Adjudicators for the contest at all levels (including Junior High) shall be selected from the certified judges found on the Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials ( TTAO) website.  “Strike lists” are not acceptable.

Adjudicators for zone and district contests are recommended by directors during planning meetings and then approved by the District Executive Committee. A single critic or a judging panel of three shall be used.

The League strongly discourages the use of panel judging in zone contests with four or less schools.

Bi- District Contest- Adjudicators for bi-district are recommended by OAP directors from the paired districts. See "Planning Procedures for the Bi-District Meet".  A single critic or a judging panel of three shall be used.

Judging panels for area, regional and state contests are assigned by the State Theatre Director.

Directors may suggest adjudicators for area, region and state contests using your adjudicator evaluation form. Evaluations should be submitted no later than June 1st. 

Contest Entry Procedures

The Online Entry System  (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

One Act Play Enrollment - IMPORTANT

On or Before October 1 - You MUST Update your school information EVERY YEAR and ENROLL your school for OAP contest via the Online Entry System and follow the instructions.

Play Title

On or before February 10 - Register your title via the UIL Online Entry System

Contestant Information - Zone or District - IMPORTANT

At least 10 days before your first contest, you must complete the following three (3) steps:

  1. Complete contestant entry, play and set information and enter up to 4 directors via the Online Entry System.
  2. Have your administrator sign the "Community Standards and Copyright Compliance Form." The form can be downloaded from the UIL Theatre home page. This form shall NOT be signed until the administrator signing has seen the production as it will be performed at that level.
  3. Send signed form to the State Theatre office via email or standard mail.

Advancing to Bi-District or Area

If you advance to Bi-District or Area - Go to the "Bi-District" or  "Area" page under "High School One-Act Play" and complete the appropriate Contestant Entry Form.

Advancing to Region or State

If you advance to Region or State, you must complete the following two (2) steps:

  1. Make any necessary corrections to contestant entry, play and set information and additional directors via the Online Entry System
  2. Have your administrator sign the "Community Standards and Copyright Compliance Form." The form can be downloaded from the UIL Theatre home page. This form shall NOT be signed until the administrator signing has seen the production as it will be performed at that level.

Pdf documents containing step-by-step instructions may be downloaded from the UIL website on our Online Entry System page.

No play may be presented in contest unless the Online Enrollment, Play Title Registration and Contestant Entry Form have been submitted.

* Note: Some Contest Directors set the contestant entry date deadline earlier than the ten calendar days.

Substitutions After the Ten-Day Deadline

You may find it necessary to change or add members to your company after the ten-day contestant entry deadline. There are two basic scenarios:

  1. The "Substitute Eligibility Form" may be downloaded from the UIL's Resources & Forms page.
  2. A letter certifying eligibility that is signed by the school’s administrator may be used in place of the certificate. You may do this up to the second your play is about to begin.

Substitutions and Additions After Advancing

When you advance from zone, district and bi-district, changes may be made to your advancing entry when you submit the "Contestant Entry Form" at each level.

When you advance from area and region, changes may be made to your advancing entry:

  • a.) when you submit the "Contestant Entry Form" at each level and
  • b.) on the OAP Entry System. A red button labeled "Make Changes" will appear on the Theatre homepage during the weeks of area and regional contests.
  • c.) The system will open for a 36-hour period on Sunday at noon and close Monday at midnight following area week and regional week.

Procedures for Using 8th Graders in 1A

1A SCHOOLS ONLY - Students in Grade 8 from middle or junior high schools feeding into the high school may participate in One-Act Play at the high school level, ONLY when the play would be withdrawn from competition due to lack of student interest or eligibility. This does not affect the student's high school eligibility. The substitution shall be requested by the administrator ONLY at the end of the grading period prior to the contest.

The "Appeal to use and 8th Grader", found under "Resources and Forms" shall be sent to the appropriate Executive Committee Chair for approval by the majority of that committee. (Zone through Bi-District to the District Executive Committee (DEC) and Area through State to the State Executive Committee (SEC).

If approved, the director shall provide a copy of the DEC or SEC decision to the Contest Manager at each contest.

The 8th Grader does not have to relinquish their spot in the company if the ineligible student at the time of the substitution becomes eligible.

Where do we send substitution forms or additions letters?

Level Contact 1 Contact 2
Zone and District Contest Manager District Academic Chair
Bi-District Contest Manager  
Area Contest Manager State Theatre Director
Region Contest Manager Regional Academic Chair
State State Theatre Director  


Failure to Participate

Schools that withdraw or fail to show for the contest shall:

  1. Contact the District/Region Academic Chair, the Contest Manager and the State Theatre Director immediately.
  2. The principal of the withdrawing school shall file a written report to the State Theatre Director and State Executive Committee stating their reasons for withdrawal by June 1st.

The State Executive Committee shall consider each case and inform the school if any penalties have been accessed. The State Executive Committee may impose the full range of penalties.

The Contest Play

Photocopied, computer-generated or typed copyrighted scripts will not be accepted by the League or at contest, unless accompanied by publisher permission.

Your contest play shall be selected from:

  1. The Approved List of plays (Directors are not required to submit cuttings of plays on the approved lists for approval), OR
  2. Be approved by the League’s Play Appraisal Committee through the Play Approval process found in Handbook.

A great resource for potential titles are the annual Participation Lists that can be downloaded from the UIL website. (see Resources and Forms) These lists include the directors and title produced by each participating school for that particular school year.

NOTE: Even though a play has previously been produced for contest, this does NOT mean that play is "automatically approved" for entry in the UIL One-Act Play Contest. If the play you are considering does not appear on one of the Approved Lists, then it must be submitted to the office of the State Drama Director for the play appraisal committee's approval prior to the deadline.

Play Selection Policy

The following types of plays shall not be used in the UIL One Act Play contest.

Plays which are, by nature, monologues, duet acting scenes (plays with fewer than 3 actors), predominantly narration, choral speaking, readers theatre (predominantly direct address to the audience with minimal interaction between actors), or chamber theatre, with minimal to no interaction between characters, shall not be used in this contest.  

Plays, when performed running less than 18 minutes shall not be used.

Musical theatre where the use of music advances the story, shall not be used in this contest. This includes some versions of titles found on the approved lists where "various dramatizations" are permissible. (i.e. Alice in Wonderland and Man of La Mancha have several musical versions.)

Dangerous Myths on Approved Play Lists

  • Do not assume that a play approved in the past will be approved again. Your school's play approval is valid for two years. **Note: This policy applies to each individual SCHOOL, not to individual directors**
  • Plays that are approved for a specific school are not automatically added to the approved play lists. Check the current Approved List and secure performance rights before starting work on a production. There must be a stong history of production before a play goes on the Approved Play List.

Performing Plays on the Approved Play Lists

  • The list of Approved long plays and short plays can be found on the UIL website
  • Directors and administrators shall eliminate profane references to a deity, as well as indecent and obscene language, actions or scenes from plays on the Approved Lists of Plays.
  • Although a play may appear on the Approved Play List, it does not guarantee that the publisher will license the play or allow you to perform "scenes from" or allow you to substitute or eliminate profane, indecent or obscene language.


  • In addition to the plays on the lists, all plays written by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, Moliére, George Bernard Shaw, Eugene O'Neill, Calderon de la Barca, Lope De Vega, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus are approved.

    This blanket approval does not include any adaptations unless those adaptations are specifically listed on the Approved Play lists. If not, they must be submitted for League approval by the December 10 deadline. E-mail the League’s Theatre office for clarification.

    EXAMPLE: Sophocles’ Antigone is found in “ Approved List of Long Plays” and its translations do not require League approval. Jean Anouilh’s Antigone is an adaptation of the play by Sophocles that is also on the approved list of long plays and also does not require League approval. However, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Antigone is an adaptation that is not on the approved lists and requires League approval. Phrases like “adapted by,” “a new version” or “a new adaptation” found on the title page or cover should send up a red flag. Please email the State office for clarification.

Standards (Read Carefully)

When selecting your play, remember that League rules require directors and administrators to eliminate profane references to a deity, as well as 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Indecent and obscene language shall also be eliminated. Foreign language that is profane, indecent or obscene shall also be eliminated.
  3. Since most competitors are minors, particular attention shall be paid to any action that insinuates sexual activity and physical violence. School Administrator shall review the production to make sure it complies with the Standards rule before the "Community Standards and Copyright Compliance Form" is signed.
  4. Each school’s administrator must affirm that they have seen the play as produced for that level of competition when they sign the “Community Standards and Copyright Compliance Form.”
  5. Plays Not On the Approved Lists: The League’s Play Appraisal Committee may eliminate language, actions or scenes as a condition for approval of plays not on the approved lists.
  6. Plays on the Approved Lists: They shall be edited by the director and administrator to comply with this rule. All profanity, indecent and obscene language and action shall be eliminated. Their appearance on the lists does not imply that the unedited play meets the Standards Rule.

    If the play cannot be cut to meet community standards, then the play should not be selected for contest use. It is the duty of each director and their administrator to make a responsible selection for the students you work with and the community you represent. Make sure that you discuss the choice of script and questionable language and risky staging with your administrators. 

    If the script has been read and the staged production viewed and determined to be in compliance with League rules by the administrator of the producing school, the production is eligible for presentation at any contest site.
  7. Plays returned "requiring clarification" or a "Letter of Support" shall submit required documentation within two weeks of the UIL's request date.

Performing Plays Not On the Approved Play Lists, Including Adaptations and Original Plays

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.

To request an approval you will need to do the following:

Submit the current year's online One-Act Play and Scenery Approval Request Form found on the Theatre website.

Here's what you need to package up and mail to UIL:

• a printed copy of the confirmation form that was emailed to you

• your marked script:
      • The exact portions of the script to be used. This includes both dialogue and action (HIGHLIGHT in yellow)
      • Deletion of all dialogue and action not to be used (Strike-through in PEN)
      • Deletion of all language and action that violates the "Standards Rule" (Strike-through in PEN)
      • Deletion of scenery that might restrict approval (Strike-through in PEN)

        NOTE: If you are doing the play in its entirety (with no cuts), YOU MUST include a note saying that. (A post-it note works!)
        Sending a completely unmarked script, without a note, will mean that your play is returned to you, unread

• A $30 evaluation fee payable to: The University of Texas at Austin, UIL  (Checks or money orders only)
      If you are submitting a play approval request with a scenic request for the same play, you only need to pay one $30 evaluation fee
      If you are submitting multiple plays for approval, each play submission requires a $30 evaluation fee​

IMPORTANT: If you are submitting a one-act play and there are no deletions, please include a note with your submission.

Submissions that are returned as disapproved or incomplete may be resubmitted for an additional fee. However, this must still be done by the December 10 deadline. Submit as early as you can to allow for necessary corrections or re-submittals.

As a policy, anything that is rejected by the first reader is then sent to a second reader.

  • If both readers disapprove, then it is rejected.
  • If one reader approves and the other disapproves, the play is sent to a third reader for a tie-breaker.
  • Any script that is disapproved has had anywhere from two to four reads as it is sometimes sent to the State Theatre Director.
  • Most disapprovals are based on procedural issues. They fail to pay or use pencil instead of pen or we can’t follow the cut due to bad or unclear markings.



Plays returned "requiring clarification" or a "Letter of Support" from the local administrator
shall be resubmitted with the required information within two weeks of the UIL's request

Play Approval is valid for two years. This applies retroactively to plays submitted for 2022-2023, and applies going forward to plays submitted for 2023-2024. 
**Note: This policy applies to each individual SCHOOL, not to individual directors**

Scenic Items and Properties Requiring Approval

Scenic additions and restricted properties will be approved only if they are “without which the approved play cannot be produced.”

The League’s Play Appraisal Committee considers all properly submitted requests for High School between August 1 and December 10.

No request will be approved:

  • If directorial desire is the sole justification.
  • If stage directions and scenic descriptions are the only justification.
  • If elements of the Unit Set will serve the same purpose or achieve a similar effect.
  • If the requested item(s) exceeds eight feet or does not fold to four feet.
  • If it requires casters. (Some exceptions for properties)

If you find that scenery or properties beyond what is allowed under current rules is required, the director shall submit on or before December 10, the following:

  1. For Plays On the Approved Lists: Complete and submit theappropriate Scenic Only Request Form

    For Plays Not on the Approved Lists: Complete and submit the appropriate Play and Scenic Form along with your play submission
  2. You will receive a receipt/ copy of your form via e-mail immediately after submission. Check SPAM/ junk files if you do not receive it. 
  3. Send a copy of the form, a copy of the play (if not on the approved list), and a payment of $30 made out to UT-Austin / UIL. Combined requests (script and set) require only one $30 fee.

    Remember that if a play is not on the Approved Lists, essential additions to the basic set shall be submitted with the play request. A set addition submitted separately will not be accepted.

    The director will receive an e-mail indicating whether or not the use of each item shall be permissible for the approved play. A copy of that e-mail shall be provided to the Contest Manager at each level.

    Set additions not approved in writing by the League shall not be used. Should unapproved additions be used, the Contest Manager shall report the violation immediately to the UIL State office to the appropriate executive committee.

    Incomplete requests will be rejected. The League shall not request additional information or corrections for clarification.

Please note that script approval does not guarantee set additions will be approved.

Licensing and Royalties (This is not necessary for plays in the Public Domain.)

  • You must request and receive publisher permission to produce the play you have selected. Written evidence must be produced before you will be allowed to perform.
  • Permission to perform the play for contest from zone through state should be requested. This should prevent withdrawal of production rights during the contest season.
  • Your Contest Manager will ask you to produce a license from the publisher to perform and, in the case of a "scenes from," written permission to cut.
  • Your Contest Manager will ask you to produce written evidence from your school administration that royalty for each performance has been paid. A cancelled check, check copy, purchase order, or a letter from your administration on school letterhead will suffice.



Performing a "Scenes From"

  • Always request permission to do a "scenes from" if you are requesting "internal cuts".  Publishers may have a specific definition of "scenes from,  internal cuts, or selections from...". Check with them first.
  • Getting help with editing a play for contest use is not a violation of the professional assistance or full-time employee rules.
  • Sharing a "scenes from" edited script is permissible under League rules.
  • When borrowing a "scenes from" edited script from the approved lists, it is important to make sure that it complies with current contest rules.


The addition of material, relocation of dialogue or scenes, changing gender, adding characters, splitting characters or any other revision that alters the text or plot is considered an adaptation of the play. Contact the UIL office with questions. 

After completing your "scenes from," ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have I added characters to scenes where their presence changes the plot or story? Exceptions: The number of actors used in a listed “ensemble group” such as children in I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Schoolgirls in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie or The Children’s Hour, Townspeople in The Diviners, EXAMPLE: Dividing the role of Hamlet among three actors in Hamlet would be considered an ADAPTATION and would require submitting the play through the Play Approval process.
  2. Have I added or relocated dialogue or scenes? Exceptions: Logical vocal reactions or ad-libs, not written into the script, are permissible as long as they do not change the plot or writer’s intent.
    EXAMPLE: A student who gets hit on the thumb with a hammer saying “OW!”, although not written into the text of the script, is permissible. The all-too-familiar setting of the party or the courtroom where “responses and conversations” are heard is another example. These logical reactions, utilizing words or sounds, are appropriate.
  3. Have I reassigned lines? Exceptions: This is not meant to restrict directors from redistributing lines that are assigned to choral or other ensemble type groups. This could include the Furies in The Insanity of Mary Girard or the chorus in Wiley and the Hairy Man.
  4. Have I changed character gender, added new characters, or split characters? Exceptions: Gender-blind casting, also known as nontraditional or integrated casting, does not require approval where there are no gender references to the character in the text of the play. However, changing the gender of a character where a gender is specified or implied by the text requires approval. An example of an implied gender would be the butler in The Importance of Being Earnest. This does not prohibit a female from playing a male character or a male from playing a female character. For example, a female may play Buddy Layman in The Diviners as a male but cannot turn him into a female character. Check your performance license from your publisher for restrictions.
  5. Have I made off-stage voices into on-stage characters? On-stage to off-stage? Examples of this situation might involve the Interviewer in The Shadow Box, the Loudspeaker in I Never Saw Another Butterfly or Charley in Flowers for Algernon.
  6. Have I used substitutions for words deemed profane or obscene? 
  7. Has there been any other revision of the text or structure of the play other than deletions to comply with League rules?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you have adapted the work and will require League and publisher approval. If you have any doubts, e-mail the League’s Theatre office for clarification.

Select a Script
Select a Script
Contact the play’s publisher to see if performance rights are available and if editing is allowed ( internal cuts, scenes from, etc...) Contact the play’s publisher to see if performance rights are available  if editing is allowed ( internal cuts, scenes from, etc...)
Obtain a license to perform for contest Request permission to use the title from the League.
The deadline is December 10 for High School entries and 45 days prior to the contest for Junior High Contests.
Pay Royalties to Publisher If permission is obtained, obtain a license to perform
for contest.
  Pay Royalties to Publisher


Drama Loan Library

The UIL's Drama Loan Library is maintained to assist UIL play directors in the selection of their scripts. They may be borrowed by any faculty member of a UIL member school or by members of the TTAO for a period of three weeks. The borrower's school is held responsible for all borrowed materials. Additional materials will not be available until the original order is properly cleared.

Information and forms can be found at the UIL Drama Loan Library webpage.

Aid In Directing

Please remember that critics at festivals cannot give official interpretations or opinions or be the justification for violations of OAP rules. Official opinions must be obtained ONLY from the State Theatre Director or the State Executive Committee.


Directors shall not accept nor solicit aid in designing or in directing including staging, coaching dialogue,choreography, casting, or designing any technical elements of the contest play except as follows:

  • 1.) OAP Festivals: Unlike theatre workshops and demonstrations where sessions deal with general topics, festivals are specific to and for the benefit of the specific OAP entries that are participating.
    • Schools are restricted to a total of FIVE sessions at non-UIL contests or festivals per school year.
    • Three sessions may be scheduled during school days; however, only one non-UIL contest or festival session is permitted during any one school week.
    • Each session shall not exceed two hours.
    • During any school year, companies are restricted to no more than two sessions with the same critic per school year.
  • The minimum number of schools at a host site is not required. A school may bring a critic to their home campus. (NEW)
  • 2.) Professional Suppliers and Volunteers: Directors may obtain costumes from entities that will rent or loan costumes to all schools. Theatrical supply companies, parents or volunteers may construct or provide scenery, properties or costumes.
  • 3.) Workshops and Conventions: Directors and students may attend workshops and conventions. The League encourages these programs and urges your participation. Please contact the League office if you have questions regarding participating specific OAP workshops that may or not involve members of the OAP entry.

Directors and adjudicators should take care to avoid festivals where the critic may adjudicate the production at any level of OAP competition. Bi-District, Area, Region and State adjudicators are posted online by August 10th each year.

A school that allows a potential adjudicator to see their production prior to contest shall be in violation of the ethics code. The "Clinic Conflict" form may be downloaded here and shall be filled out by the host. The critic shall sign the form acknowledging that they have reviewed it and have no conflicts. The form shall be sent to the state office and placed in the critic’s file. A host school who has not executed the conflict form and allows a critic to see a play they may be judging shall be in violation of the ethics code. The participating school and clinician shall also be in violation of the appropriate ethics code.

Finding or Hosting a Festival

You can find a festival or register your festival at the “Statewide One-Act Play Festival Information" website.

  • a.) The minimum number of schools at a host site is not required. A school may bring a critic to their home campus. 
  • b.) Festival hosts have the responsibility of making sure that the critics are provided a list of the plays and the school they are seeing. 
Cast and Crew Assignments

The League strongly supports "Non-traditional casting and gender-blind casting" as an educational tool. This is an educational event and students should be cast based on their abilities and not the circumstances of their birth.

  • A male may play a female role and a female may play a male role as long as they play the part as the gender that the playwright intended. Publisher permission may be required. Please consult with them.
  • Offstage voices that do not appear on stage may be recorded by anyone, amplified or spoken live offstage by a crew member or a cast member who plays an onstage role.
  • Offstage voices are not eligible for any awards and shall not be listed in the Online Entry System or program.
  • Each cast member may play multiple roles.
  • There are no League rules specifying how or when you cast a play or make crew assignments.

The TEA-UIL Side-by-Side Document

The UIL publishes this document to provide member schools notice of Texas Education Agency regulations which relate to UIL and all other extracurricular activities sponsored or sanctioned by the school district. This document provides explanations and interpretations of Commissioner of Education rules, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, and statutes



There are state laws and UIL rules that restrict the amount of time a student may rehearse for an extracurricular activity:

  • During School - The State of Texas limits rehearsals or practice during the school day to one class period (defined as 60 minutes) during the school day.
  • After School - For each extracurricular activity*, a school district must limit students to a maximum of eight hours of rehearsal or practice outside the school day per school week. School week means the week beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the first instructional day of a calendar week and ends at the close of instruction on the last instructional day of the calendar week, excluding holidays. A Theatre Production class that is scheduled after school may be used for rehearsals and does NOT count towards the eight hours.
  • Sundays - The League does not prohibit regular school OAP rehearsals or festivals on Sundays. Since they are considered a part of the competition, official rehearsals held at the contest site shall not be held on Sunday. 

How many hours may I rehearse or practice?

* See Definition of "Extracurricular" in the "Extracurricular Defined" section further down.

Day After School
Rehearsal Time
After School Theatre
Production Class
Notes on the 8 hour Rule/ TEA Law
Monday 2 Hours 1 Hour TEA laws restrict the amount of time dedicated to rehearsals or practice for ALL extracurricular activities.
Tuesday 2 Hours 1 Hour TEA limits rehearsals or practice during the school day to one class period (defined as 60 minutes). This includes a Theatre Production class that meets after school.
Wednesday 2 Hours 1 Hour The school week begins at 12:01 AM on the first instructional day of the calendar week. The school week ends at the close of instruction on the last instructional day of the calendar week.
Thursday 2 Hours 1 Hour There is no limit on the number of hours a school may rehearse or practice on the weekends.
Friday Unlimited 1 Hour There is no limit on the number of hours a school may rehearse or practice during holidays.
Saturday Unlimited No Class Schools may rehearse or practice an unlimited amount of hours during spring break and winter break.
Sunday Unlimited No Class  

School Performances
There are state laws and UIL rules that restrict the number of performances or games (extra-curricular activities) that are allowed.

For any individual extracurricular activity*, a student may not participate in more than one performance per school week, excluding holidays. For example, a student may participate in a single play performance, a choir concert and a basketball game during a school week. This applies to performances of their contest play for their schools and communities. 

Scenarios for Legal Extra-Curricular Performance Schedules

Extracurricular Defined


An extracurricular activity is an activity sponsored by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), the school district board of trustees, or an organization sanctioned by resolution of the board of trustees.

The activity is not necessarily directly related to instruction of the essential knowledge and skills but may have an indirect relation to some areas of the curriculum. Extracurricular activities include, but are not limited to, public performances, contests, demonstrations, displays, and club activities.

(1) In addition, an activity shall be subject to the provisions for an extracurricular activity if any one of
the following criteria apply:

  • (A) the activity is competitive;
  • (B) the activity is held in conjunction with another activity that is considered to be extracurricular;
  • (C) the activity is held off campus, except in a case in which adequate facilities do not exist on campus;
  • (D) the general public is invited; or
  • (E) an admission is charged.

The Commissioner of Education recommends that a school district avoid the scheduling of extracurricular activities or public performances to occur on the day immediately preceding or evening immediately preceding the day on which the administration of state-mandated testing is scheduled.

Table of Contents

  • Notice of Non-Discrmination
  • Theatre Constitution and Contest Rules
    • Section 1033: One-Act Play Contest
    • Section 1034: One-Act Play Contest Ethics Code
    • Section 1035: Theatrical Design Contest
    • Section 1036: Film
  • Official UIL Calendar
  • Deadlines, Eligibility and Accommodations
    • The Contest Structure
    • Student Company Size
    • Special Needs Accommodations or Modifications
  • Guide for Directors: The Contest
    • Contest Structure
    • The Contest
    • Contest Administration
    • Contest Entry Procedures
    • The Contest Play
    • Aid in Directing
    • Cast and Crew Assignments
    • Rehearsals
    • Extracurricular Defined
  • Guide for Directors: The Contest Site
    • The Contest Site
    •  The Unit Set, Doors and Windows
    • Scenic Elements and Properties
    • Special Issues Regarding Properties
    • Music and Sound Issues
    • Properties Allowed with Size or Quantity Restrictions
    • At the Contest
    • The Performance
    • Academic Team Points / Advancing / Evaluating Your Adjudicator and Contest Manager
  • Guide for Adjudicators
    • The Function of the Adjudicator
    • Adjudicator Qualifications
    • TTAO's Code of Ethics and Professional Standards
    • Pre-Contest Procedures
    • Contest Procedures
    • Working Conditions for the Adjudicator
    • Judging the Play
    • Emergency Judge Replacement Procedures
    • Selection of the Acting Awards
    • Oral Critique Instructions for the Adjudicator
    • Evaluation Form Instructions for Adjudicators
    • Useful Glossary of Theatre Terms
    • Panel Judging Procedures
  • Guide for Contest Managers: The Contest
    • Meet Authorization
    • Contest Manager Certification through TTAO
    • The Function of the Contest Manager
    • Procedures: Planning Meeting (Zone and District)
    • Bi-District Procedures
    • The Planning Meeting
    • Bi-District, Area and Region Early Planning
    • TTAO Connect - Contracting Contest Officials
    • Post Planning Meeting To-Do Checklist
    • While You Wait Until February
    • Procedures by February 1st
    • Downloading School Information (9 Days Prior to Contest)
    • UIL OAP Contest Site Crew: Job Descriptions
    • Timekeeper Instructions
    • What should I look for when I get the School Contestant Entry Form?
    • To-Do List 3 Days Prior to Rehearsals
  • Guide for Contest Managers: The Contest Site
    • ​Lighting at the Contest Site
    • Sound, Storage and Dressing Rooms
    • Rules Regarding Official Rehearsals
    • Procedures: Official Rehearsals
    • To-Do List Contest Day
    • The Contest Manager's Toolbox
    • Procedures: Before the Contest
    • To-Do: Contest Day When They Arrive
    • Suggested Agenda
    • Performances: Rules Related to Set and Strike
    • Starting and Stopping a Performance
    • Before Each Play Performance
    • Rules Related to Announcements and the 60 Second Rule
    • Rules Related to Performance
    • Rules Regarding Violations
    • Procedures: Violations
    • Emergency Judge Replacement Situations
    • Procedures: Conclusion of the Contest
    • Procedures: Awards Ceremony and Critique
    • Procedures: After the Contest
    • Panel Judging Procedures
    • OAP Points for District, Region and State 
    • TTAO OAP Tabulation Tool