Guide For Directors: The Contest Site
- The Contest Site
Any access to facilities or equipment at the contest site that a single school is allowed to use shall be made accessible to all companies competing in the One-Act Play Contest at that site. This includes rentals and site visits beyond the official rehearsal. Their availability shall be approved by the DEC. The Contest Manager shall make any decision concerning the use of the facility and that decision shall be final.
There are three primary restrictions:
- No rigging from any part of the facility is allowed.
- Nothing shall be done to the facility or equipment that may damage it or endanger the site crew, audience or participants.
This includes placing lighting, sound and scenic equipment where it may damage the site or endanger the site crew, audience or participants.
The Contest Manager and/or host may require you to eliminate, reduce quantities or restage a scene where action or materials used (i.e. blood, water, food, glitter, etc.) may damage the host site, unit set or endanger the site crew, audience or participants. The performing school shall be responsible for any damages.
Any action that would damage the unit set, participants or audience members, is prohibited.This includes the slamming/smashing/dropping of any unit set element to the floor for a sound or special effect.
- Stacking- Pylons shall not be stacked HIGHER than 12 ft. (measured from the floor)
- NEW: No item (including set pieces, properties), unit set element or combination of the unit set shall be taller than 12ft. (measured from the floor)
- No Pylons shall be stacked on 1’x1’ CUBES.
- No item (including set pieces, properties), unit set element or combination of the unit set shall be taller than 12ft.
Music Playback and Intercommunications Equipment
Sound playback equipment and an intercommunication system for the crew should be provided at the site and made accessible to all participating companies. If not available, the Contest Manager may borrow the equipment.
- You may bring your own sound/ music playback equipment.
- Phones, tablets and similiar devices may be used only if set in airplane mode.
- An intercommunications system used exclusively by any performing company is not permitted.Only ONE system will be used by all schools and for the entire contest.
Please check with your Contest Manager if you need additional headsets, etc. Additional items must be available to all companies for rehearsal and performance.
Lighting at the Contest Site
A standard light plot containing a minimum of six or more areas (preferably 6, 9 or 15 areas) and at least one follow spot should be provided and be accessible to all companies.
Follow spots shall not be moved backstage during the course of the contest.
The lighting plot shall be disclosed to all the participating schools or potential participants no later than 10 days prior to the official rehearsal.
- Lighting that is not disclosed and used exclusively by any performing company shall be considered a violation of the Ethics Code.
The Contest Manager may provide you with lighting “specials." These “specials,” however, shall be made available to all participating companies.
A “special” is the name given to a lighting instrument hung specifically for one show, but made available to all companies as part of the basic set.
Storage and Dressing Space at the Contest Site
The amount of storage space that you are given is not regulated by League rules. Each site is limited by what they have available. There is no standard alloted storage area size rule. The Contest Manager is urged to make certain that an equitable and safe procedure is used for storage, set and strike. No one should have to lose valuable time as a result of site limitations. Directors may be asked to take items to their dressing room/truck if overall storage space is limited or affects backstage movement.
The type of dressing areas that schools are given is not regulated by League rules. Like storage, each site is limited by what is available. The Contest Manager is urged to make certain that it is equitable.
REMINDER: ONLY those directors and students entered online may be in the dressing room.
- The Unit Set and Doors and Windows
The use of any walls, flats, platforms, self-supported scenery, other than that which is specifically allowed in the contest rules and handbook, require special approval.
The UIL Unit Set contains 28 medium gray scenic pieces. Every competing play company is allowed the use of one, and only one, complete Approved Unit Set. Construction drawings and lists of materials are found on the Theatre page of the UIL website. (Resources and Forms/ Handbook Supplements)
The complete set contains: (Key to Chart)
A - (4) 3-Fold Flats E - (2) 4' Pylons I - (2) 4'X4' Platforms B - (4) 2-Fold Flats F - (2) 6' Pylons J - (2) 4'X8' Platforms C - (2) 2' Steps G - (2) 8' Pylons K - (4) 1'X1' Cubes D - (2) 4' Steps H - (2) 4'X4' Ramps
Rules for Unit Set Use and Stacking the Unit Set
1. Nothing shall be done with the unit set that may damage it or endanger the site crew, audience or participants.
The use of unit set in front of the curtain line or on the apron is restricted to a 6' combined height (no change) UNLESS APPROVED BY THE CONTEST MANAGER AND THE HOST SITE AT THE SITE REHEARSAL. Not allowed at the State Meet.
Nothing shall be done with the unit set that may damage it or endanger the site crew, audience or participants. THE CONTEST MANAGER RULING IS FINAL.
- The Contest Manager and/or host may require you to eliminate, reduce quantities or restage a scene where action or materials used (i.e. blood, water, food, glitter, etc.) may damage the unit set, host site or endanger the site crew, audience or participants.The performing school shall be responsible for any damages.
2. The quantity and color of unit set elements is restricted to what is listed above. The use of any walls, flats, platforms, steps, self-supported scenery, other than that which is specifically allowed in the contest rules and handbook, require special approval.
3. Unit set elements shall only be supported or elevated by other unit set elements.
- Pylons shall not be stacked higher than 12 feet.
- Flats may be used horizontally (i.e. supported by other unit set elements); however, the points of contact on the flats shall be restricted to the covered wooden surfaces and not the canvas-only surfaces.
- Casters or other rolling devices shall not be attached to or used in conjunction with the unit set.
- 4X8 Platforms standing on the 4' end are not permissible.
No Pylons shall be stacked on 1’x1’ CUBES.
4. You may hang and attach properties, architectural trim and approved scenic items on unit set elements.
- Only standard "store-bought" devices and stage weights or sandbags may be used to stabilize the unit set and to attach or hang properties on the unit set. (Hanger irons, magnets, strap hooks, c-clamps, hanger hooks, furniture clamps, quick clamps or similar devices.)
- No more than 40 pounds of standard stage weights or sandbags may be used inside each upright pylon to stabilize it. The Contest Manager may add more if deemed necessary.
- No attachments may be made with adhesive materials or devices that penetrate, tear or peel the paint, including spike tape or glow tape.
- If the unit set elements can stand, at any angle, without the use of a support device, the configuration is permissible. Standard store-bought devices may then be used, with minimal strain on the unit set elements, to make the configuration stable.
Actors on Elevated Unit Set Elements
Safety for all involved is the first principle for unit set use. Unstable stacking and clamping should be avoided at all costs. No scenic effect is worth it.
1. No participants shall be staged on unit set elements elevated over six feet.
2. No participants shall be staged under unit set elements when elevated over four feet high and other participants are staged on them.
3. The following shall not be used to elevate unit set elements when actors will be staged on or under them.
- Ramps standing on end.
- 4X8 Platforms standing on the 4' end.
- Platforms with 1" X 2" railing - Those with 2"X4" railing may be used on their sides.
4. Carrying actors in or on unit set elements must be “without which the approved play cannot be produced” and requires League permission. (i.e. a boat in Yellow Boat or a casket in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.)
5. Actors shall not be used to support or elevate unit set elements in order to create a scenic background.
Standard Door and Window Units
UIL Standard doors and windows must be made available to all participants at the contest for rehearsal and performance.
Standard-sized medium gray door and window units, including screen doors, may be used without restriction as to number.
Details for the construction of these units can be found in the “Handbook Supplements” link on the UIL website. (Resources and Forms)
The following is permissible with the standard doors and windows if easily attached and removed during the set and strike period or during the course of the performance:
- a) A lightweight flat medium-gray header may be temporarily attached to the top of the door frames using standard store-bought devices. The combined door and header shall not exceed a total elevation of 8’. Details for the construction of these flat headers can be found in the “Handbook Supplements” link on the UIL website. (Resources and Forms)
- b) A lightweight decorative header, like a capital, may be temporarily attached to door and window frames using standard store-bought devices or using the standard flat header found in the Unit Set drawings. The combined door and header shall not exceed a total elevation of 8’6", 8” in thickness and shall not exceed more than 6” from the side edges of the door or window unit.
- The door may be removed and the frame used on its own.
- Window and door dressings (Curtains, beads, etc.) used to create curtains suspended inside standard stage windows, french doors and standard stage door frames do not require approval. These dressings do not count towards the softgoods allotment.
- Doors may be constructed to swing either on or off stage.
- Standard stage weights or sand bags (not to exceed 40 pounds) may be used on each stage jack to support standard stage door and window units. The jacks shall not be removed. A Contest Manager may request that more weight be added if the official deems it is required for safety.
Special Doors, Entrances and Windows
Two special no larger than 4’ wide X 8’ tall X 6" thick lightweight, non-metallic and non-wooden doors, entryways or windows (i.e. constructed from softgood or foam) may be used. They shall be supported by or suspended between unit set elements using standard "store-bought" devices. They may be hinged. They may be used as two consecutive pieces (side by side). Non-unit set flats, used as scenic flats require special permission and must be " without which the approved play cannot be produced."
- Scenic Elements and Properties
1) Lighting and Projectors
In addition to the lighting provided at the contest site, projection devices provided by the company and theatrical lighting instruments-floodlights, spotlights, PAR, Strip, LED and other stage lamps and projectors, may be used, but the combined total shall not exceed a total of six (6). Projectors and lighting instruments may be used but the combined total shall not exceed six (6).
NOTE: Multiple Lighting/Projector instruments and devices may not be "daisy-chained" or connected together to equal one instrument. This does not apply to actual string or "Christmas" tree lights used as properties to decorate an indoor or outdoor setting. Call the League for clarification.
It is the responsibility of the company to locate the backstage electrical outlets and test their electrical equipment during the rehearsal period. A performance shall not be stopped for technical difficulties (failure of lighting, sound or special effects) under control of the company in performance.
- They shall be portable.
- They shall be controlled by the performing company and be independent of the site's lighting system.
- They shall be hand-held or safely mounted from the floor on either a static light stand that does not exceed 8’ in height or on any part of a unit set element.
- Light stands shall not serve as scenic elements. (i.e. trees, windmills, etc.)
- They may be used downstage of the house curtain/proscenium line but must be hand-held, placed on the floor or on a light stand that does not exceed 4' in height. They may be masked with small boxes or other properties. (i.e. made to look like footlights, placed in or on standard properties, etc.)
- Conventional lighting instruments shall not exceed 1000 watts each.
- Automated, motorized, and Intelligent lighting instruments which have the ability to pan/tilt with the use of motors are not permissible.
- Gobos, pattern changers and gel changers, without limit, may be used with these instruments to project static images. The use of these images shall be in compliance with copyright law.
- EXCEPTION: Animated gobos that produce or represent lightning, fire, rain, snow flakes or other weather or elemental effects are permissible.
- 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.
- They shall be provided and controlled by the performing company.
- They shall be portable.
- When used upstage of the house curtain/proscenium line, they shall be hand-held or safely mounted from the floor on either a static light stand that does not exceed 8’ in height or on any part of a unit set element. They may be masked with small boxes or other properties.
- When used downstage of the house curtain/proscenium line, they shall be hand-held, placed on the floor or on a stand that does not exceed 4' in height. They may be masked with small boxes or other properties.
- They may be used to project static images including actors in the one- act play entry or moving images. Images of public figures, models, media footage or other copyrighted footage shall be in compliance with copyright law.
- Video recorded dialogue and action from the One-Act play entry (for example, flashback scenes, dream sequences) may not be used in performance. Contact the State office for clarification.
- Video monitors/ television sets, not to exceed 4 feet in width, are considered projection devices. The combined monitor and stand shall not exceed 8 feet high x 4 feet wide and 2 feet in depth. Each stand can only support one monitor/TV. The director and the Contest Manager shall insure that they are stable and properly weighted.
2) Fabric, Textiles and Other Softgoods
It is permissible to use unframed scenic fabric or projection material in any way you choose but under the following limitations:
- The material, without limit, shall be easily transported and stored. It may be rolled on a tube(s) or a batten not to exceed 12' in length or may be folded into a 4X4 square,
- No adhesive materials may be used to secure or attach the fabric or softgoods (textiles).
- For safety reasons, the fabric shall not be used on the stage floor or unit set where actors will have to walk on it.
- Poles for flags/ banners (hand-held or on stands) shall not exceed 8' in height.
- Battens for drops and curtains shall not exceed 12' in length.
- Architectural trim and fabric should be separate pieces.
Scenic ground covering is prohibited. The covering of the stage floor with fabric, vinyl materials or other textiles, where participants stand/move, is prohibited. The following items are prohibited if participants will walk/stand on it-
- No Camo-netting or Artificial turf. Wrestling/boxing flooring (contact State office)
- Rugs shall not cover more than 50% of each visible unit set item.
3) Capitals and Bases
Six lightweight capitals and (6) six lightweight 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 softgoods.
- Bases shall not be used to support or elevate unit set elements. A base should either completely encircle the pylon or fit like a horsehoe 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 six allowed.
4) Trees, Bushes, Plants
Twelve self-supported, lightweight and non-metallic trees, shrubs or other plants are permissible.
- (6) Six items shall not exceed 4’ wide by 4' deep by 8’ high. (including stands and containers)
- (6) Six items shall not exceed 2’ wide by 2' deep by 3’ high. (including stands and containers)
Items of this size may be used consecutively (separately) to create single units that do not exceed 8' in length. (i.e. flower boxes or beds)
- These items do not include other self supported scenery used in an exterior setting.
5) Self-supported Scenery (Fences, Railing, Groundrow scenery and other Self-supported Scenery)
Twelve linear feet, measured along the base, of lightweight, non-metallic and self-supported scenery is permissible. Sections may be used in conjunction with or attached to unit set elements.
- No one section of Self- Supported Scenery may exceed 4’ high by 8’ long. Note that the rail measurements do not allow for it to stand on end as a 4X8 piece of scenery.
- The width at the base shall not exceed 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') and the total allowed. (max 12')
- Plastic lattice may be used under these conditions:
- Soft plastic floral trim and vines may be used in the construction of fence and railing (i.e. a hedge, vine on a fence, etc.) without restrictions. As a permanent part of the fence/railing, they do not count towards the plant allotment.
Scenery shall not be used as as handheld properties, they must be self-supported.
6) Stage Properties
Stage properties may be used downstage of the house curtain/proscenium line.
You may use:
- Any and all indoor and outdoor furniture and appliances whether realistic or abstract (i.e., sofas, chairs, benches, stoves, counters, bars, gliders, table lamps, caskets. Small boxes, not in excess of 3’x3’, may be used as substitutes for furniture or appliances.)
- Any and all items used to decorate the interior or exterior of a setting. (i.e. pictures, garden decorations, string lights, household lamps, clocks, books, ornaments, dishes, plaques, coats of arms, mirrors, standard area rugs and runners; not carpeting)
- Decorative trim properties suspended from or attached to unit set elements shall not cover more than 50% of the visible surface of the unit set elements.
- Soft plastic floral trim and vines may be used on unit set elements but shall not cover more than 50% of the visible surface. As a trim property, they do not count towards the plant allotment.
- All hand-held items necessary to the play’s action which are carried on the set by actors. (i.e., flashlights, lanterns, pipes, briefcases, electric candles, books, letters, dishes, flowers, umbrellas, etc.) Theatrical lighting instruments not used as stage or hand properties will count towards the allotment of six lighting instruments.
- EXAMPLE: A group of people searching in the dark with flashlights in They Dance Real Slow in Jackson or in The Women of Lockerbie would be using the lighting sources for their intended purpose and as part of the action of the play. They would not count against the lighting allotment of (6) six fixtures.
Above Left: The cast is searching for Elizabeth in And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson. The use of the flashlight is plot-driven and therefore it is considered a hand prop.3
4. LADDERS- Commercially-made A-frame ladders (6’ max height) are permissible and not limited in quantity whether used as properties or used to facilitate set and strike.
- Without anything attached or suspended from them, they may be used as abstract representations of properties or scenery.
- They may be painted colors other than medium gray.
- Actors may stand on them. Participants shall not stand or sit on the top rung of the ladders. This applies to ladders of any height. Follow all safety notifications placed on the ladders at the time of purchase.
- They shall not be used to support or be attached to the unit set.
- Items shall not be attached to or supported by ladders if actors use them for any type of support.
- If ladders are only used scenically ("with items attached or supported by"), they shall each count towards the allotment of trees.
- Ladders shall not be used as light trees or light stands.
- They shall not be cut or altered in any fashion.
5. ARCHITECTURAL TRIM-Lightweight and portable architectural trim may be used on individual unit set elements (i.e., moulding, pylon trim, wall textures, wainscoting, mill-work style).
- Trim shall not cover more than 50% of the visible surface of the unit set element.
- They shall not extend more than 6" in any direction from the edge of the unit set element.
- Each section of trim shall be constructed so as to fit a specific unit set piece. You shall not use a single piece of trim to cover multiple set elements.
- Trim should not be attached to fabric to create one piece.
- Special Issues Regarding Properties
Properties With Casters
All furniture, indoor and outdoor, that is commercially constructed with casters and any other devices with wheels or casters may be rolled/ ridden during the action of the play if they are “without which the approved play cannot be produced." In no case shall properties with casters be used in a way that will destroy or remove spike marks from the stage floor.
- They may be rolled or ridden during the performance only when prescribed by the plot of the play.
- Items used as carts and wagons are restricted in size to: 6.5' high x 7' long x 4' wide/ 32" wheels. These dimensions include the handles.
- The performing company is responsible for protecting the spike tape.
Elevating Actors on Properties
Standing on furniture pieces/props or other scenic items, whether motivated by character action or style, and momentary in length, is permissible as long as the actor's safety is not in jeopardy.
Safety for all involved is the primary directive for any director. Risky staging shall be avoided at all costs. No scenic effect is worth it.
- No participants shall be staged on properties elevated over four feet in height.
- No participants shall be staged under properties when elevated over four feet high and other participants are staged on them.
Tobacco/ Alcohol, Other Illegal Substances and Weapons
It is against state law for a minor to be in possession of a tobacco product or alcoholic beverage. Participants, regardless of age, shall not use a tobacco product in UIL competitions. This includes unlit cigarettes, herbal cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Prop electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes that contain charges that contain zero nicotine are permissible if the host site allows it. Some may be found at http://www.newrulefx.com/collections/actor-cigarette. These were studied by Actor's Equity and Equity-League Smoke and Haze Study.
Firearms and explosives of any type shall not be used. This includes, but is not limited to, cap guns, BB guns, pellet guns, starter pistols. Toy, stage and replica firearms may be used. It is highly recommended that directors keep all weapons or replicas used as properties safely locked and stored at all times. Directors should provide these to students during setup and collect them at strike.
There are no League restrictions involving the use of blunt-tipped/ dull swords or daggers. However, any director using stage weapons should seek training from certified experts before starting rehearsals. State and federal laws shall be observed. Visit the Society of American Fight Directors website. (www.safd.org) Workshops are offered at TETA’s Theatrefest, the Texas Thespian Conference and at many of our Student Activities Conferences.Please check State Law regarding the use and possession of certain types of knives.
All weapons and any action where there is a possibility of injury shall be shown to the Contest Manager at each contest. (For example, slaps, punches, gymnastics, falls, sword/dagger fights, etc.)
Rules and Procedures for Stage Weapons
- School are required to indicate on entry form if stage weapons (swords/guns...) are used onstage.
- Contest Manager must inform the host site of the schools bringing stage weapons. Contest will adhere to site policies.
- Contest manager will check all weapons for safety at tech rehearsal.
- Participating schools shall never leave weapons unattended.
- Participating schools shall not rehearse outdoors, in hallways or dressing rooms with replica firearms.
- Participating schools shall not make entrances through the auditorium with replica firearms during rehearsal or performance.
- Participating Schools shall keep all stage weapons secured at all times in a box and under their supervision post performance.
Fog, Snow, Water, Fire and Other Special Effects
- The Contest Manager and/or host may require you to eliminate, reduce quantities or restage a scene where effects used may damage the unit set, host site or endanger the site crew, audience or participants. The performing school shall be responsible for any damages.
- Effects devices that simulate environmental conditions such as snow, water, clouds, smoke, fog, wind, rain, thunder and lightning flashes or fire are permissible provided they are not created by an explosive device or a volatile substance and do not present a safety hazard and are permitted by the host site.
- Effects devices that utilize water-based fluids are permissible.
- Some theatres will not allow smoke and fog effects. This includes the use of particulates such as powder, flour, etc. Participating schools shall adhere to local site rules.
- Candles or other open-flame devices are not allowed at any site. Electrified candles, lamps, lanterns, flicker lights, fire effects and torches are permissible.
- Effects devices that simulate environmental conditions such as snow, water, clouds, smoke, fog, wind, rain, thunder and lightning flashes or fire are permissible provided they are not created by an explosive device or a volatile substance and do not present a safety hazard and are permitted by the host site.
Live animals may be used as properties so long as they are “without which the approved play cannot be produced." They must be integral to the plot and not just in the stage directions. League approval must be requested. Please provide handling details. A certificate of good health will be required at each level of competition. The "Live Animal Request Form" requesting League approval can be found at the UIL website under "Resources and Forms."
Example: a rabbit may be used (following League approval through the "Live Animal Request Form") for a production of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, a goat for Mr. Roberts. Consult with the League on their use as characters such as “Toto” or “Nana.”
- - Music and Sound Issues
Use of Music Under Copyright
Your school is responsible for acquiring any and all clearances for any copyrighted music you use. This is not the League's responsibility. The UIL cannot give opinions on copyright issues.
Use of Original Music or Music In the Public Domain
Your school will be responsible for acquiring any and all clearances for any original music produced "for hire." Your school will be responsible for researching and determining whether or not a piece of music is in the Public Domain.
Original compositions are permissible and encouraged.
Your administrator will be required to sign a statement stating that your show is in compliance with copyright law. The statement is included in the Standards and Copyright Compliance Form. The link to the form can be found on the main theatre page of the UIL website and under "Resources and Forms."
Use of Live Musicians Onstage and Offstage
The use of live musicians or singers onstage is permissible only if their presence on stage is dialogue driven or prescribed by the playwright. They shall count towards the allotment of cast members and shall play roles in the play.
Live musicians or singers used off-stage do not require approval. This shall be accomplished using the allotted cast and crew members.
All music selections used live on or offstage must comply with copyright law.
Live music shall not exceed nineteen (19) minutes of the total performance time.
Directors shall indicate all live music cues in the integrity script.
Recorded or live sound effects (ie. rain, crickets, wind, explosions) are permissible without time restriction.
Electronic Amplification of Voices
Electronic amplification of voices is limited to offstage voices. They may be recorded by anyone.
- - Properties Allowed With Size or Quantity Restrictions
Item Description Maximum Size Additional Notes Bookcases / Shelves Furniture 6’ high x 4’ wide x 2' 6" deep Dollies or Hand Trucks- commercially made, no scenic wagons Utility Item or Prop
Limit of 2 total
not to exceed 52" L x 41" W x 44" H
May only be used for set/ strike. If used as a prop, it must be script-driven. Fireplace Units Furniture
5’Hx6’W x 4’ deep
Includes the Mantel Fountains Exterior Decorative Property 5’ high x 4’ wide x 4' deep.
Exterior Decorative Property
6ft H x 4’ W
Glitter / Sand / Powder, etc. Must be approved by contest site. Not allowed at the State Meet facility. Must be cleaned in the 7-minute strike. It is not allowed at State. Hand-held Doors / Jail Bars Hand-held Property 6’ tall x 4’ wide Other Special Doors are discussed elsewhere. Knives & Swords Weapon All laws apply. Must be approved by Contest Manager for use. Logs Property 6’ long x 18" high x 2' deep. Puppets Property Sticks shall not exceed 6' tall x 4' wide
Prop Storage Boxes
Utility Item or Prop
May only be used for set/strike. If used as a prop, it must be script-driven.
2’ wide x 18" high x 3' long.
Lightweight Sound Carts/ speakers Utility Item or Prop May only be rolled in offstage areas. If used as a prop, it must be script driven. Statues and Plant/ Decorative Stands Decorative Trim 5' High Street Signs, Commercial Signs and Lamp Posts Property 8’ high x 3’ wide This includes stands. Stilts/Platform Shoes/ Painters Stilts Costumes Must be "without which the approved play cannot be produced" and have League approval. Stumps Property 24" high x 24" wide X 3' long Trampoline (Mini) Property Must be "without which the approved play cannot be produced" and have League approval. Trap doors i.e. The Foreigner Must be "without which the approved play cannot be produced" and have League approval. Well(s) Property 5’ high x 4’ wide and 4' deep. A circular well would be 5' high x 4' in diameter. It fits on top of a 4x4 Platform.
- At The Contest
You are specifically responsible for the conduct of your company and fans.
Poor sportsmanship will be reported to the League and is considered a violation of Constitution and Contest Rules Spring Meet Code of the “Spring Meet Plan” and the One-Act Play Contest Ethics Code and subject to the range of penalties prescribed in the C&CR. Distribute and discuss the codes to your students and supporters annually and instill in them the prime importance of courtesy for other visiting students, the local crews, the Contest Manager, the adjudicators and the facilities.
At least 10 Days Prior to the Contest (Upper level contests may have different requirements.)
- Adjudicator Scripts: Prior to the contest you will be asked to supply your adjudicators with scripts that are clearly marked to reflect your performance (highlight and strike-through). Make sure that you contact your Contest Manager about procedures for delivery. Failure to do this will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and may be reported to the appropriate executive committee. Sometimes a quick turnaround between contests makes it impossible to do this.
- Register (Zone and District) or Edit (Bi-District, Area, Region and State) in the Online Entry System: Enter your contestants, play information, set information and additional directors online via the Online Entry System: No play shall be presented in contest unless this information has been submitted in a timely manner.
- Submit the Contestant Entry Form: (All Contest Levels) Enter your contestants, play information, set information and additional directors into a "Contestant Entry Form." A new form is required at each level. The form for each level can be found under "Advancing Information" under each level found at the High School link at the UIL website. No play shall be presented in contest unless this information has been submitted in a timely manner.
Documents You Will Be Required To Have At the Contest
- Any correspondence, if any, from the League approving scenic items, special properties.
- Written evidence of royalty payment.*
- Publisher’s approval to produce a one-act or scenes from a long play for contest.*
- If the play is not on one of the approved lists, written evidence that you have received League permission.
- A signed “Community Standards and Copyright Compliance Form.”
- A clearly marked "Integrity Script" reflecting the performance text and music cues. (this is in addition to the script or scripts provided to adjudicators.)**
- * Items 2 and 3 are not required for plays in public domain.
- **Item 6 is required prior to beginning rehearsal. You will not be allowed to rehearse unless you provide these items.
The Integrity Script is a complete published playscript which specifically and clearly reflects the performance at that level of competition:
- a) The exact portions of the total script to be used. (Highlighted in Yellow)
- b) 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)
- c) Any adaptations, including added text and music required approval by the League and/or the publisher shall also be indicated.
Arrival At the Contest Site and Load-In
Arrive early. Provide your Contest Manager with:
- All paperwork required by rules.
- In order to be allowed to rehearse, you must have the integrity script.
The amount of storage and dressing space that you are given is not prescribed by League rules. The Contest Manager is urged to make certain that an equitable and safe procedure is used for storage, set and strike; however, each site is limited by what they have available.
Your Rehearsal and Preparation
Rules require that the Contest Manager provide your company a rehearsal period of not fewer than 40 minutes on the contest stage.
It is highly recommended that you run the complete opening and closing sequence during your rehearsal. (Required at State) This will help Contest Officials and Site Crew see when to start and stop the watches at the beginning and the end of the show. It can also encourage practicing how a company (particularly the crew) takes the show from the Contest Manager introduction to starting and ending the show without confusion.
Rules Regarding Official Rehearsals
- The Contest Manager shall be present or available at all times.
- The rehearsal shall include a complete unit set, the actual running crew and scenery, lights and properties which are permissible or have been approved.
- The use of the basic set, unit set, properties, scenic items and approved additions shall be fully disclosed by the performing school to the Contest Manager at rehearsal. (Full Scenic Disclosure) The items the Contest Manager sees at rehearsal should be the same in performance. No surprises.
- The Contest Manager and/or host may require you to eliminate, modify or restage a scene where action or materials used (i.e. blood, water, food, glitter, etc) may damage the host site, unit set or endanger the site crew, audience or participants. The performing school shall be responsible for any damages.The items the Contest Manager sees at rehearsal should be the same in performance. No surprises.
- Weapons, stunts, stage combat must be disclosed to the contest manager and/or host. What the Contest Manager sees at rehearsal should be the same in performance. No surprises.
- "Safe entrances" through the auditorium are permitted so long as there is nothing that requires the audience to perform with the actor. Disclose these to the Contest Manager for local approval.
- Time warning procedures to be followed shall be reviewed by the Contest Manager with each company at the beginning of the official rehearsal.
- Sound levels and light cues must be set during the rehearsal period.
- Companies are responsible for testing lighting and other powered items, like projectors.
- Official Crew members on the official entry must have a specific tech assignment. Official crew may not serve as audience members.
- ONLY those directors and students entered on the official entry may be in the dressing room/holding areas.
- An alternate may participate as a dressing room assistant but shall not be allowed to participate in the set, strike or run of the contest entry during rehearsal and performance. They may, however, spike the set and help technicians and actors in adjusting sound levels by providing feedback from the house.
- Alternates may not be backstage during the official rehearsal.
- Students not on the Eligibility Notice must be in constant supervision by an employee of your school district or adult chaperone from your school. They will not be allowed in the dressing room or backstage.
The Directors Meeting
Attend the meeting with the Contest Manager, adjudicator(s), and all directors prior to the beginning of the contest. The directors meeting usually takes place the day of the contest and is conducted by the Contest Manager. At the meeting:
- You are introduced to the adjudicator(s) and given an opportunity to address them.
- You give your opening and closing cues to the timekeepers in order to assist them in accurately timing your play.
- Time warning procedures shall be reviewed.
- Critique length and order is also discussed.
- Publisher and League correspondence regarding permission, royalty payments and licensing is collected.
- - The Performance
The Set and Strike Period
- Set and Strike may be accomplished with a closed or open curtain. Cast, Crew or director(s) may set properties or set pieces in front of the curtain line.The director shall declare that choice during the official rehearsal period. The Contest Manager or Host may rule that either one of these setups may endanger the cast, crew or audience. The Contest Manager's decision shall be final. Any laws applicable to local fire codes shall be enforced.
- If setting up with an open curtain- stage lighting, under company control, including lamps and candles- shall be turned off when set up is complete. All stage lighting, under company control will need to be turned off along with the closing blackout.
Choreographed or staged "set-ups" or "pre-show rituals" shall be considered a part of the action of the play. The Contest Manager will instruct you to stop. If you fail to do so, the clocks will start on the performance time. If in doubt, check with the State Office.
As directors you are required to be present during the set and strike periods in case of emergencies.
- A minimal amount of glow tape may be used on the floor and properties belonging to the performing company. It shall be set and struck during the seven-minute set and strike periods.
- When set and strike happen with an open curtain, the set and strike shall be accomplished with work lights and house lights on in order to avoid false starts. The adjudicator(s) do not have to be removed from the house.
- You may do an audible sound check by using the pre-recorded Sound check MP3 available on the UIL website under "Resources and Forms." This rule may be waived when technical problems or other valid circumstances require testing the house or company system. Official timers should be notified to avoid a false start. The Contest Manager is the final authority concerning sound issues at the contest site.
- Lighting fixtures and projectors under company control may be focused and checked during the set period.
- An official timekeeper backstage shall give the company audible warnings at one minute intervals beginning at five minutes through “1 minute.” (i.e. "5 minutes remaining.") A warning will also be given at 30 seconds and 15 seconds remaining. The designated person shall acknowledge receiving the warning. (i.e. "Thank you.") Reminder: exceeding the time limit is a contest violation, which means your school your school is ineligible for ranking or advancement.
- The director or director’s designee shall walk up to the stage manager or Contest Manager and clearly and decisively declare when the official set-up or strike is completed by stating "We are finished." The company shall stop all activity at that moment.
- The time it takes to go back to a designated spot or behind "magic lines" shall not be timed.
- Directors shall depart during the set period or during the 60 seconds allowed. They shall not return backstage until after the end of the performance or as directed by the Contest Manager. Reminder: exceeding the time limit is a contest violation, which means your school your school is ineligible for ranking or advancement.
- Strike shall commence when the company is told to start by the Contest Manager or local stage manager.
- Actors should remove all costumes and, as much as possible, all make-up before going into the theatre, lobby or other public areas. This includes contemporary clothing used as costumes.
What happens if a costume piece or prop is left onstage?
It is not the intent of these rules that time violation be declared for items inadvertently left on-stage during strike while time still remains. The stage manager or contest manager should visually inspect the stage and shall insure that all items have been struck before allowing the performing company to leave. The Site crew may help. Items hidden by any part of the basic set (drapery, house curtain, unit set, dim work lights, etc.) should not be the basis for a violation. The stage manager or Contest Manager should make sure that the stage has been cleared before dismissing the company.
The performance time shall begin no more than 60 seconds after the end of “set” is declared or the setup is stopped unless the Contest Manager calls a “time-hold.”
If announcements are made after setup, the Contest Manager must clearly indicate to the performing company that announcements have concluded and when the 60-second period begins.
- An official timekeeper backstage shall give a designated company member (stage manager) an audible warning when the 60-second clock has begun. 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.") The exact procedure shall be reviewed at rehearsal and the director's meeting.
- An official timekeeper shall give the company two time warnings during the performance of the play. The first shall indicate when 15 minutes have elapsed. The second shall indicate that 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. Procedures to be followed shall be determined at the Planning Meeting (Zone and District), reviewed with each cast at the official rehearsal (All Levels) and reviewed with directors at the Director Meeting (All Levels). The person giving the warning shall use this language: "You are at 35 (or 15) minutes ... now. Please confirm."
- Reminder: exceeding the time limit is a contest violation, which means your school your school is ineligible for ranking or advancement.
- Directors shall not make contact or communicate with cast or crew during the performance. This includes the use of any communications devices including but not limited to intercom systems, text messaging, hand signals or other verbal or non-verbal communication, etc. Light and sound spaces are considered backstage and offstage.
- Cell phones are not permitted backstage unless they are used as props and have no battery
- CELL PHONES/IPADS/TABLETS- Used to play sound effects or music shall be set on "airplane mode."
- Crew shall not appear onstage in costume or in character. They may only participate onstage during scene changes during a blackout, blueout or where the action is not taking place.
Your actors shall not be prompted for lines by anyone offstage, backstage or out of the acting area during the performance.
Use of Scripts (On Stage and Off)
- Scripts may be used for any technical purpose backstage or offstage so long as they are not used for prompting an actor onstage.
- A script may be used offstage by an actor to review lines as long as it is not used to prompt actors onstage.
- Scripts shall not be used onstage. When the script or properties that contain passages that are "read" in the action of the play becomes a property in the action of the play, the League requires that a script or other property that does not contain the text of the play be used.
Stopping a Performance
Problems with the house lighting or sound system, injuries, a missing adjudicator and other circumstances out of the performing company's control may require that the Contest Manager stop a performance. The director shall not do this on their own. The director shall discuss it with the Contest Manager who will make the final choice.
“Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute.”– Bill Russell
Accepting the adjudicator’s decision requires graciousness on the part of those who advance as well as those who don’t. Receiving an award in the One-Act Play Contest is no reason for a "riotous demonstration." Applause is the ONLY acceptable method to pay tribute in the theatre. Your task as a director is to instruct your students and your fans on acceptable theatre etiquette. "Riotous demonstrations" shall be reported and may be considered ethics violations.
Directors and students should realize that the motivation for judging is extension teaching and the promotion of secondary theatre in Texas. They should respond toward the adjudicator with the same respect that they would give a guest teacher in a theatre arts classroom. (See C&CR Section 1034)
The entire company is required to attend their critique. Exceptions may be made for health issues or conflicts with other contests.
A waiver may be requested for events where the absence is approved by the school's administrator and the State office. Only those students that are directly involved and previously approved by the State will be allowed to leave. The "Critique Waiver Form" can be found under "Resources and Forms."
In all cases, arrangements will be made to formally discuss the critique with those students.
Failure to attend or follow through on the approved protocol may be considered a violation of the ethics code.
Notify the Contest Manager prior to the beginning of the contest when health issues or conflicts prevent you or any company member from hearing your critique by providing the approved waiver provided by the State Office. Notify the Contest Manager of emergency situations that arise after the beginning of the contest. Failure to do so shall be considered a violation of the One-Act Play Contest Ethics Code. Recording the adjudicator’s critique requires the permission of the critic adjudicator.
- - Academic Team Points / Advancing / Evaluating Your Adjudicator and Contest Manager
Academic Team Points
THEATRE UIL C&CR Section 902 (k)
One-Act Play Ranked Plays from:
District 20 20 20 15 0 0
Region 20 20 15 0 0 0
State 20 16 12 10 8 6
Awards 10 8 6 0 0 0
Note: One-Act Play Points. The three unranked plays advancing from district (two from region) each receive 20 points. The alternate play receives 15 points. At State One-Act Play, points are awarded through sixth place. Points for individual acting awards are: each best performer receives 10 points; each all-star cast receives eight points; and each honorable mention all-star cast receives six points. An individual acting award assigned to a chorus or other group of players counts as only one individual award and shall be allocated the appropriate points. One-Act Play points shall not be awarded for zone, bi-district or area contests. No points awarded to local technical crew awards.
The specifics of each contest vary and you should know everything that may impact your performance.
Contest information for bi-district, area, regional and state meets is found on the UIL website. If not, contact the Contest Manager as soon as possible.
Evaluating Your Adjudicator and Contest Manager
The director should have a thorough knowledge of criticism, UIL rules and judging standards.
At the end of each contest some of you may have some strong opinions about the process and your adjudicator, Contest Manager and contest facilities. It is critical to the process that you fill out the "EVALUATION FORM for Play Directors." They can be found on the UIL website at each contest level and under "Resources and Forms." It is only through constructive criticism from the directors that our adjudicators and Contest Managers can be made aware of what they are doing.
Directors need to reinforce the strengths and bring to light the areas where improvement is needed for each and every one of our adjudicators. Feel free to be honest but make sure you support your contentions with valid and constructive criticism and do not turn the process into a way to anonymously vent your displeasure with the results or critique. Adjudicators do their best to evaluate your work objectively and with a thorough knowledge of theatre, UIL rules and your script. You need to evaluate their work with the same respect.
During the summer each and every evaluation is read. Good work is recognized and recurring problems are addressed.
Copies of your responses are sent to the adjudicators. Directors names and school will not be identified.
The quality of performance in UIL contests has improved over the years as a result of constructive criticism from our adjudicators. How can the quality of adjudication continue to improve without constructive criticism from our directors? There is no place for personal attacks in the critique or the evaluation.
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
- 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