Join us at the Lexington Children’s Theatre on March 2, 2023, for the Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival. To submit your production for consideration, read the important details on this page, then click the red “Submit Now” button.
About the Festival
The TFY festival strives to highlight, promote and enhance the quality of theatre for young audiences by presenting professional and/or amateur productions that embrace the broadest possible range of genres and styles, and by subsequent adjudication of those productions. The SETC TFY Invitational Festival is a non-competitive exhibition of theatre produced for or by young audiences by companies during the annual Convention.
Over the last quarter century, the TFY Festival has showcased more than one hundred works to more than 25,000 young people. As part of the annual SETC Convention, the festival brings together Artist and Audience, Playwright and Publisher, Performer and Producer to explore the infinite world of Theatre for Youth and to work with and get feedback from some of this country’s preeminent figures in the field.
Festival Submissions Open:
September 1, 2022
November 1, 2022
December 1, 2022
March 2, 2023
Who Selects Productions?
SETC Theatre for Youth Chair Octavia Biggs and Vice Chair Rebecca Yeager lead the selection process for performances to produce a program that is varied in type, origin, intention, audience and geography. Shows are selected on a juried basis. All accepted or declined shows will be notified via email. If your show is selected, you will receive a time slot for your production with further instructions. Each approved applicant will receive one 60-minute time slot to perform.
Festival productions may be (but are not limited to) the following:
- Stage Productions
- Puppet Theatre
- Paper Theatre
- Original Work
Festival selection is based on the following criteria:
- Preference shall be given to companies within AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, and WV. (Festival Selection Committee shall have the discretion to make exceptions.)
- The reputation of the organization.
- The choice of the play to be presented.
Important Details for Theatre for Youth Festival Participants
- Contact Person (title, email, phone, address)
- Brief History
- If accepted, proof of performance rights
- Title, Playwright
- Director, Stage Manager
- Cast and Crew Size
- Names and Emails of All Company Members
- Target Age Group
- Script PDF
- Brief Play Description
- Production Photo(s)
Run Time: Each production is limited to a maximum runtime of 60 minutes.
Audience: Your audience size could range from 20 to 100 people. If your production contains content that may not be suitable for all audience members, please note this on your application and on your flyers at the convention site.
Applications: All applications must be submitted via the online application by November 1, 2022.
SETC Responsibilities: SETC is ONLY responsible for presenting the show, which means we will provide you with a venue, time slot, and assist with publicity.
Festival Participant Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of the artist or producing company to secure appropriate rights and royalty contracts, travel accommodations, staff, crew, run rehearsals, etc.
SETC will assist you with publicity by publishing your promotional materials on its website and through social media outlets and publications.
We encourage you to create flyers/postcards to promote your show. Posters and flyers can only be put up in approved locations and with blue painter’s tape. Any marketing pieces distributed at the Convention must be approved. To get approval for distribution or assistance with publicity please contact Program Manager, Bradley Branham at Bradley@setc.org.
Minimal Technical Assistance: Please keep your technical requirements to a minimum. The venue is typically a ballroom that is equipped with general stage lighting, a sound system, a 20’ x 16’ riser stage, back drape, and theatre seating. Performers are not mic’d unless the group brings their own equipment.
Production Manager: A production manager will be on site to assist you, but you will be responsible for the initial set-up and for providing your own technician should you need to run sound or lighting cues.
Rehearsals in performance space: Due to time constraints on the space, no rehearsal time in the performance space is scheduled for Theatre for Youth Festival performances. Prior to the convention, you will receive a schedule from the production manager outlining available times to be in the space for general acclamation.
Load-In/Load-Out: Typically, 30 minutes are allocated to the end of one production prior to the beginning of the next. This 30-minute window is a shared time for you to load your show on stage while the previous show strikes. There are no exceptions to this policy.
Storage: There will be minimal storage backstage space. Prior to your performance, you will be provided storage on a temporary basis. Space is shared with other performing groups. Please do not plan for long-term storage of props and equipment.
Shared Spaces: In addition to your show, there will be other festival shows and events in the same space throughout the day. Please be conscious of time and space. The maximum runtime for a show is 60 minutes with an additional setup of 15 minutes and a strike of 15 minutes.
Last year’s TFY productions included:
Birmingham Children’s Theatre Theatre ETC
Birmingham Children’s Theatre
Stay tuned for the 2023 performance lineup.
How can I view the festival performances?
Each convention participant will receive a link to log in to the convention platform. Once in, look for the “Festivals” tab. A drop-down menu will appear with options to connect to all the available festivals via galleries. You will be able to watch the shows via the festival gallery pages from Wednesday, March 3, until Wednesday, March 31.
How do the galleries work?
The galleries contain on-demand videos entered in the festivals. Once you select a festival, you can choose a pre-recorded show to watch by clicking on the name of a producing organization. A new page will open with the recording of the selected organization’s production.
Thank you to our 2022 Respondents!
Jason E. Gerhard
Jason currently works as the Director of Theatre Education for Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN and is a member of TYA/USA and AATE. He earned his BFA in Theatre Performance from The University of Memphis and worked on his MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida (thesis pending). At Playhouse, he created the Play Slam! Young Playwrights Competition and Festival. Jason performs with Funny Bones Improv which, pre-COVID, gave monthly performances with St. Jude and other area hospitals. Some credits include: Never Never Land (Director), Heroes, Gods, and Monsters (Creator/Director), Firefly (Creator/Director), Life Amongst the Stars (Writer), and And Then Came Tango (Movement Director). He recently appeared in The Goodbye Levee as part of the Playhouse New Works at The Works series. He is currently working on his solo show, No Chubs, Please, a comedy which explores his struggles through weight loss and dating in the LGBTQ+ community.
Rhonda Wilson is the Founder and Executive Director of the Star Center Theatre in Gainesville, FL. She founded the Star Center without any funding, just a vision and hope. Rhonda is a graduate of the University of Florida and a Middle School Educator. For the past 21 years, she has volunteered her time, energy and resources to the community by using the arts to educate and empower. She understands the need for making space, not only as a Producer/Director/Educator but as a performer who didn’t find many spaces on her journey as an artist. Not only is Rhonda behind the scenes, but an award-winning actress as well. Rhonda has been honored and recognized nationally, statewide, regionally, locally for her perseverance and hard work and even invited to do a TEDx Talk. Rhonda was recently featured in USA Today for her contributions to theater education. Other recognitions include Excellence In Theatre Education Finalist from The Tony Award And Carnegie Mellon, National Youth Director of the Year (AATE), Allstate National Champion For Good, Sara Spencer Child Drama Award (SETC), Distinguished Career Award, Diversity And Inclusion Award, Governor’s Award For Community Investment in Youth and more. Rhonda’s dream is to continue to provide a platform where everyone can SPARKLE and SHINE!
Theatre For Youth Submission Timeline
Festival Submissions Open