Nebraska Association of Community Theatres
Nebraska Association of Community Theatres

Festival rules (short version)

Who may enter? Any amateur theatre company organized for at least one year prior to the state festival, which has produced at least two shows prior to the state festival entry, is eligible to enter the festival process. 


What can be entered? A production entered in the festival process may be a cutting of a full-length play or musical, a one-act play, or any performance of a theatrical nature, including children’s theatre productions. The total length of the play, including introductions, scene changes and curtain calls, may not exceed 60 minutes. Each production is allowed a maximum of 10 minutes set-up time and 10 minutes strike time (in addition to the 60 minute performance time), for a total of 80 minutes.  However, if a set-up or strike is intended to set mood, establish character, or entertain the audience in any way, it will be considered part of the 60 minutes performance time.


What is required to participate? In order to proceed to the next level, every production must, at each level, provide the following to the festival chair by deadline dates:

a. Warranty of permission to perform the production from the leasing agent and/or author.

b. Warranty of permission to perform the production as cut or altered.

c. Warranty that the theatre has obtained all other necessary rights including the right to use music (incidental or other), photographic images (still, movie, video) or any other work that is protected by copyright, trademark or other law.  

d. Four copies of the performance script (please do not photocopy any scripts without prior permission).

e. Entry fees as required by specific festivals.  Entry fee for NACT FESTVAL will be $ 200.  This entry fee includes registration for ALL members of the production troupe (cast, crew and director).  Registration includes admission to all shows and workshops.  It does not include meals.

f. Entry-Information Sheet provided by specific festival host.

g. Technical questionnaire provided by specific festival host.

h. Affidavits of AACT/Fest Eligibility for each performer. Participating actors must not receive any kind of payment for participation in the Festival; must not be an active member of Actor’s Equity, Screen Actors Guild, or American Federation of Television and Radio Artist.

i. Program information.

j. Each theatre entering must be a paid member of NACT (Theatre Membership of $45 for a two-year membership); and each member of the participating troupe (includes all actors, crew and director) must have a current paid individual or family membership in NACT ($25 per individual membership for 2 years of $40 per family membership - includes up to 4 family members in the same household).

k. Each theatre entering must be a paid member of AACT (American Association of Community Theatre) OR pay an entry fee of $60 (payable to AACT) to participate in the State Festival.


Adjudication Guidelines Plays are to be adjudicated based on the overall production with acting and directing values as the major elements. All types of productions (comedy, drama, original works, musicals, revues, avant-garde, “controversial”, etc) are acceptable entries to the festival and must be considered on a similar basis. Technical competence is to be given consideration as to its effectiveness as an integral part of the total production experience.


What does the host theatre provide? The host theatre will provide a 100 ft square on-deck area immediately adjacent to the performance If there is not sufficient space to provide an on-deck area of 100 square ft for EACH participating theatre, the host will provide a separate storage area for each theatre which is sufficient in size to hold all materials that will be placed in the on-deck 100 square foot area.. Participants should notify the festival host of any needed special assistance. Each participating theatre is responsible for furnishing set, props or furniture needed for its production.

The host will provide rehearsal/technical time of 80 minutes for each performing group in the performance space. The time will be scheduled in relation to the performance time. Dates and performance times for festival productions are set by NACT in advance by random drawing. The host theatre shall provide a minimum basic lighting plot. Special lighting effects are the responsibility of the entrant and permission for their use must be obtained from the host theatre. Lighting special are limited to 6 instruments and must be set up during the 80 minute rehearsal period, unless the host allows, at the host’s discretion, setting up specials prior to the company’s rehearsal, and if so, the same level of accommodation must be provided to all groups.  All specials together may use no more than 6 circuits, dimmers and/or control channels.

The Host theatre will provide a functioning sound system with a minimum of a CD player, house speakers, a means of communication between all operator positions including backstage, a mixing board capable of accommodating the available sound sources, and at least one house microphone for use by both the companies and the adjudicators.   The host must provide all entering companies with drawings, magic sheets, etc  clearly illustrating the instrumentation, gel colors, circuiting, and wash areas, size and other specifics regarding the stage, lighting and sound.  No scenic devices may be hung, placed or positioned in the playing area prior to each company’s  set-up.  See the AACT 2015 Festival Handbook for more detailed information  regarding these rules. 


*NOTE: The above information is only a PARTIAL listing of the official festival rules. A complete set of rules will be furnished to all participants, and anyone else who requests a complete copy. You may view and/or download a complete copy of the Handbook at the following:,   or contact Christine Cottam  at; 402-489-7529 (Lincoln Community Playhouse); 402-984-4099 (cell).

Stay connected to NACT

Nebraska Association of Community Theatres

Mailing Address:

205 E 12th St. 

Hastings NE 68901



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