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Shakespeare Competition Rules and Regulations

Important Dates

May 23: Intent to Participate opens

August 1: Intent to Participate due

August 8: Registration opens

September 14: Registration due

September 16: Late Registration due

September 29–October 1: Shakespeare Competition 

To compete in the competition, follow these steps:

1. Assemble your competition team.

Decide what events your school wants to compete in. Decide which students will be competing in which events.

2. Complete the Intent to Participate form.

Please submit this by August 1. This form will help us better prepare for the competition and will inform us which division your school should be in.

3. Register your team at competition.bard.org.

You can make changes to your registration any time while registration is open. After September 14, 2022, any changes are susceptible to a $50 fee and must be made by emailing Stewart Shelley at educationprograms@bard.org. No changes can be made after September 16, 2022.

4. Pay registration fee.

An invoice will be sent to each school by September 21, 2022. Payment can be made by mailing a check or paying with a credit card over the phone at 435-586-7878. Please do not try to pay for the competition until you have received your invoice.

5. Join us for the competition in Cedar City! 

September 29–October 1. For the full calendar of events, please refer to the schedule available here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the competition?
September 29–October 1, 2022.

Where is the competition?
The competition is hosted by Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. Events are scheduled in various locations in Cedar City including the SUU Campus, other venues with performing spaces in Cedar City, and the Heritage Center.

How do we register?
An intent to participate form should be submitted by August 1, 2022.  Registration must be submitted online at competition.bard.org no later than 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, September 14, 2022. Any change of registration after September 14, 2022 is subject to a $50 fee per change. No changes of entries will be allowed after September 16, 2022.

How much does it cost to compete?
The base registration fee for each participating team is $200. Each additional competitive category (acting, dance, music, tech) is an additional $75.

Because of a grant from the Utah State Office of Education (Professional Outreach Program in the Schools) registration fees are waived for all public and charter schools in Utah. 

The Ye Olde Improv Competition is separate and has its own registration process and fees.

What Southern Utah University performances will take place during the competition?

Macbeth. Call 435-586-7872 for the SUU Ticket Office.

What Utah Shakespeare Festival performances will take place during the competition?

The Sound of Music, Clue, The Tempest, and Thurgood

Is there a discount for group tickets?

Yes. Anyone associated with the Shakespeare Competition will get 50 percent off all Utah Shakespeare Festival performances.  Call the Ticket Office for more information: 800-PLAYTIX.

What are the time limits for competition pieces?

Mono (one person): two to four minutes

Duo/Trio (two or three people):  three to five minutes

Ensemble (no less than four people): six to ten minutes

Dance Duo/Trio (two or three people): three to six minutes 

Dance Ensemble (no less than four people):  three to six minutes

Music Troubadour: one piece, up to six minutes

Music Minstrel: one piece, up to six minutes

Music Canzonetta: one to three pieces, up to ten minutes

Music Madrigal: one to three pieces, up to ten minutes

How many students can compete?

Acting Monologues: Three participants

Acting Duo/Trio Scenes: Two groups of two to three participants

Acting Ensemble Scenes: One scene of four or more participants

Dance Duo/Trio Dance: One group of two to three participants

Dance Ensemble Dance: One group of four or more participants

Music Troubadour: One group of 6-10 participants (Instrumental, vocal, or both)

Music Minstrel: One group of 1-5 participants (Instrumental, vocal, or both)

Music Canzonetta: One group of 6-16 participants (Vocal)

Music Madrigal: One Group of 17+ participants (Vocal)

Tech Olympics: One team of one to eight participants

Portfolio Competition: Three participants

There is no limit to the total size of group any school can bring to the competition as long as you adhere to the numbers in the above descriptions.

Can students compete in multiple events?

Yes! There may be scheduling conflicts if students compete in multiple categories (i.e. acting and dance), but schools can let us know ahead of time of the potential conflict on the Schedule Conflict Form, and we will be sure to avoid overlap. If students compete in multiple events in the same category (i.e. acting monologues and acting duo/trio scenes, or music madrigal and music minstrel), there will not be any conflicts.

Do I need props and costumes?

Use of props and costumes is optional. Scenes will not be judged based on costumes, make-up, or props. 

Can my team rehearse on the stage before the performance?

No. Unfortunately because of limited space and the large number of students we cannot accommodate rehearsal space or time. To create a level playing field, schools cannot rehearse in the space even if the school finds the space empty and not being used.

What time and where can I check-in at the event?

Check-in will be completed online. More information will be provided before the competition begins.

When should I book my hotel?

ASAP! Once Cedar City hotels have been booked, other areas to consider are Parowan, Hurricane, Brian Head, Beaver, and St. George.

How can I get more information?

Visit www.bard.org/competition for more information about the competition. 

Mission Statement

The Shakespeare Competition cultivates the art of theatre, dance, and music by providing active observation of peer and professional performance, educational creations based on Shakespeare’s plays and poems and personal evaluation by working theatre and dance professionals.  

Divisions

Any school, public or private, is eligible to participate in the competition. No student may compete for more than one school or group.

Competitors at the Shakespeare Competition are divided into six divisions: Buckingham, Oxford, Cambridge, Westminster, Stratford, and Essex.

Buckingham, Oxford, Cambridge: The public high school divisions are determined by school enrollment and state activities association alignment. School enrollment of the current year only includes grades ten to twelve. Schools should not count ninth graders in their enrollment total, but are welcomed and encouraged to have ninth graders compete as part of their team. When registration begins, the largest third of schools will be assigned to the Buckingham Division, the next third to Oxford, and the smallest third to Cambridge. 

Westminster: The Westminster Division will primarily be composed of charter schools. Because of their state activities association alignment, some charter schools may be placed in Buckingham, Oxford, or Cambridge.

Stratford: The Stratford Division includes any junior high school or middle school, regardless of school enrollment. Eighth or ninth graders may participate in the Stratford Division if they are enrolled in that school. They may not compete for a high school if they’re not enrolled at that high school. 

Schools with enrollment that includes high school and junior high school grades should register as two separate schools, one in Stratford and the other in the appropriate high school division.

Essex: The Essex Division includes schools or groups that are not members of state middle school or high school associations. This includes private schools without a state activities association, homeschool groups, alternative schools, and after-school clubs.

Workshops

Acting, dance, music, and tech workshops will be offered for the students and coaches. These are taught by professional artists and technicians. Students and coaches are encouraged, but not required to attend. 

A workshop schedule will be sent to participating schools one week prior to the competition.

Competition Scoring

All acting, dance, and music performances will receive a rating score and a rank by three different adjudicators. 

Rating score: The total points given to a piece, as identified by the judge’s sheet.
Rank: First place, second place, third place, etc.

Final placings are tabulated based on rankings. If there is a tie for any of the first three places, rating scores will be used to break the tie.

Any performance going over or under time in two or more rounds will drop in rank one place and 10 sweepstakes points will be deducted. 

Rating scores are determined using the following scale for each of the different criteria on the judge’s sheet. All of the categories are added up to give a rating score up to 100 points for acting and dance, or 70 points for music. The three rating scores from each judge are added together to give a final rating score up to 300 points for acting and dance, and 70 for music. A well-rehearsed and prepared competition piece should expect to receive a score of 50 from each judge. Anything above a 50 is exceeding the expectation.

Fair: The competitor has not displayed any mastery of the particular skill. One point

Emerging: The competitor has shown a beginning level of understanding and application of the particular skill. Three points.

Standard: The competitor has displayed a good understanding and application of the particular skill. They have met the basic expectation, but there is room for growth in this area.  Five points.

Above Average: The competitor has exceeded the basic expectation and has displayed an excellent understanding and application of the particular skill. There is little room for growth in this area. Seven points.

Superior: The competitor has mastered the particular skill. There is little to no room for growth in this area. Ten points.

Acting Competition

Acting Materials and Events

The Shakespeare Competition is limited to text from William Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets, and poems. All words spoken or sung by performers must be Shakespearean text. In each division a full contingency consists of the following: three monologues, two duo/trio scenes, and one ensemble scene. The acting sweepstakes score is calculated based on these three events.

Monologues: A monologue is one person portraying the role of one person. A monologue may also consist of an interpretation of a sonnet or one of Shakespeare’s poems. The time limit is two to four minutes, with a fifteen-second allowance. Timing begins after the introduction. Any performance going over or under time in two or more rounds will drop in rank one place and 10 sweepstakes points will be deducted.

Duo/Trio Scenes: A duo/trio is a scene between two or three characters with an emphasis on interpretation and relationships. Time limit is three to five minutes, with a fifteen-second allowance. Timing begins after the introduction. Any performance going over or under time in two or more rounds will drop in rank one place and 10 sweepstakes points will be deducted.

Ensemble Scene: The ensemble scene will consist of no less than four participants. Scenes may be from any of Shakespeare’s plays with an emphasis on interpretation and ensemble work. Time limit for scenes is six to ten minutes. Timing begins after the introduction. Any scene thirty seconds under time or overtime will drop in rank one place and 10 sweepstakes points will be deducted. Ensemble scenes must have a minimum of four individuals participating.

Final Round—Monologues and Duo/Trio Scenes

New for 2022, the Shakespeare Competition will be hosting a finals round for the acting monologue and acting duo/trio scene categories. The top ten pieces in each division will compete against each other at the Shakespeare Competition in Cedar City. Pieces will be selected to compete in the finals round if they have the best overall score, the best score with their lowest score dropped, or the best overall rating.

Regulations

A participant should not use a cutting in monologues or duo/trio scenes from a play or be involved in an ensemble scene from which they havealready participated in previously at the Shakespeare Competition. Material performed by a participating school in the last three years, should not be repeated by that school. It is encouraged that schools use a variety of Shakespeare’s works from year to year to expose students to different titles.

Use of props, costumes, make-up, and sound is optional. All audio equipment must be provided by the participating school, and electrical power is not guaranteed in every performance space. The scoring of the scenes is based on the quality of the scene, and adjudicators do not consider costumes, make-up, and props when scoring pieces.

Evaluation Criteria

Scenes will be evaluated based on voice (diction and projection), body (physicalization, blocking, and movement), character (objectives/motivation, tactics/actions, presence, and communication), and text (language, understanding, rhythm, and tempo). Specific ballots can be found on bard.org/competition.

Scholarships and Awards

The first place senior of a high school in the monologues and the duo/trio scenes will be awarded scholarships to Southern Utah University.

A best performance award, the Larry Lott Acting Award, will be given in the ensemble scene, accompanied by a $1,000 scholarship to winners who are graduating seniors from sanctioned high schools. The awards for best performance in the ensemble scene will be chosen by the panel of adjudicators. 

Awards for first, second, and third place will be given in monologues, duo/trio scenes, and ensemble scenes in each division. Additionally, afirst, second, and third place sweepstakes award will be given in each division. Sweepstakes will be calculated by adding the rating scores of each piece. Duo/trio scenes and ensemble scenes are weighted so that each category is worth 900 points. The final rounds for monologue and duo/trio are not added into the sweepstakes score. The acting sweepstakes score is out of a total 2,700 points.

Monologues: 3 monologues x 3 judges x 100 points = 900 points

Duo/Trio: 2 scenes x 3 judges x 100 points x 1.5 = 900 points

Ensemble: 1 scene x 3 judges x 100 points x 3 = 900 points

Dance Competition

The dance competition is limited to choreography inspired by literary text, sonnets, poems, or thematic subjects of William Shakespeare. It is required that each dance has a brief paragraph description of the concept, which is provided during registration and recited during the verbal introduction by a member(s) of the cast. Oral critiques are given by the adjudicators, and dance workshops are offered for teachers and students in technique and composition. 

Evaluation Criteria

  1. The choreography must be inspired by literary text, sonnets, poems, or thematic subjects of William Shakespeare.
  2. The verbal introduction should include the title of the dance, justification of sound accompaniment, as well as a brief description of the concept in relation to the Shakespearian inspiration. 
  3. Time will begin after the introduction.
  4. All genres of dance are welcome.
  5. Schools may enter a duo/trio dance and/or an ensemble dance.
  6. The evaluation will be based on the choreography/composition as well as the skill of performers.
  7. Any recorded music used as accompaniment must be able to play through a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. It is the responsibility of the school representative to provide any necessary adapter(s).
  8. Any dance going more than fifteen seconds under time or over time will have their overall score reduced.
  9. Awards will be given in each division.

Scholarship Auditions

High School Seniors will have the opportunity to audition for several Utah University/College Dance Programs—as well as potential scholarships for said programs - as part of the workshop/competition experience. The audition sign-up, a complete list of University/College Dance Programs, and other pertinent information  will be available on bard.org/competition prior to the competition.

Music Competition

The purpose of the Music Competition is to encourage students to explore and develop a relationship with the music of the Renaissance. Students are encouraged to utilize creative combinations of instruments. The use of period instruments is not required.

At this time there will be no divisions in this competition. There are four categories of competition:Troubadour, Minstrel, Canzonetta, and Madrigal.

Troubadour (formerly known as “Minstrel Small”)

• One entry per school. A solo or small ensemble of one to five individual parts. Groups may be a mixture of voice and instrument, all instruments, all voices, or unaccompanied/accompanied solo.

• Repertoire: Please reference the Music Repertoire List at bard.org/competition and sources to purchase music. NOTE: Repertoire of the period with any instrument combinations is desired. Creativity in combinations is encouraged. 

• Performance includes one piece up to six minutes. Groups will have fifteen-minute slots including onstage comments from adjudicators.

• It is helpful to the adjudication if schools provide at least one copy of the music. 

Minstrel (Formerly known as “Minstrel Large”)

• One entry per school. A small ensemble of six to ten people; Groups may be a mixture of voice and instrument, all instruments or all voices.

• Repertoire: Please reference the Music Repertoire List at bard.org/competition and sources to purchase music. NOTE: Repertoire of the period with any instrument combinations is desired. Creativity in combinations is encouraged. 

Live accompaniment only; all performers must be students only. This includes accompanists.

• Performance includes one piece up to six minutes. Groups will have fifteen-minute slots including onstage comments from adjudicators. 

• It is helpful to the adjudication if schools provide at least one copy of the music. 

Canzonetta (Formerly known as “Madrigal Small”)

• One entry per school. A choral group of six to sixteen people without multiple instruments.

• Repertoire: Any madrigal up to the year 1650.

Live Accompaniment Only

• Performances include one to three pieces up to ten minutes. Groups will have fifteen-minute slots including onstage comments from adjudicators. 

• It is helpful to the adjudication if schools provide at least one copy of music. 

Madrigal (Formerly Known as “Madrigal Large”)

• One entry per school. A choral group of 17 people or more without multiple instruments.

• Repertoire: Any madrigal up to the year 1650.

Live Accompaniment Only

• Performances include one to three pieces up to ten minutes. Groups will have fifteen-minute slots including onstage comments from adjudicators. 

• It is helpful to the adjudication if schools provide at least one copy of music. 

Awards

Awards for first and second place will be awarded in each of the four music categories. New for 2022. A music sweepstakes award will be given for the school with the highest cumulative score from each of the four categories. A separate choral awards ceremony will be held on the Friday night of Competition (Sept 30).

Workshops, Concert, and Scholarship Auditions

Various workshops, an SUU Choir Concert, and an SUU scholarship audition will all take place during the competition. Refer to the schedule and bard.org/competition for more details.

Tech Competition

Tech Olympics

One team of one to eight members per school is allowed. A team member completes one or more of the following events: audio, lighting, props, carpentry, costumes, stage management, hair and make-up, and rigging. Specific tasks for each of these categories are not revealed until the team competes. Awards are given to individual event winners as well as overall team winners, based on timing, execution, and accuracy. 

Portfolio Competition

Students can enter their technical and/or design portfolios for review by professionals at the competition and receive a written and verbal evaluation. More specific information regarding the Portfolio Competition is available at bard.org/competition.

  1. Each school is allowed three entries.
  2. Students will submit a PDF version of their portfolio to the Tech Competition which will then be uploaded to a website. Students’ work will be displayed digitally throughout the competition as well as during their interviews.
  3. The PDFs must be a portfolio of work showing the student’s design/technical skills. It should include a resume, and any pertinent draftings, renderings, models, photos, sketches, and research designs. Please include high resolution images of three-dimensional items (i.e. costumes, models, etc.) including multiple angles as there will be no physical displays or spaces available.
  4. By entering the Portfolio Presentation Competition students acknowledge that their portfolios may be used during a Portfolio Adjudication and Workshop.
  5. Students will sign up for a time to present their portfolio to the panel of judges. This presentation does not affect the portfolio’s score.
  6. The first place winner will receive a scholarship to SUU if the winner is a high school senior.

Portfolio Evaluation

A panel of judges will review the portfolio and judge them based on ease of comprehension, presentation, and overall effect. The judges will provide written and verbal critiques to each participating student.

The panel of judges will consult and pick the top portfolios. The best overall portfolio will be awarded a scholarship.

Productions Showcase

The production showcase features selected performances from acting, dance, and music in four different venues. Each production showcase will feature a variety of performances from a variety of divisions. The production showcase occurs Saturday afternoon, and all invited performances will be notified beforehand. Judges identify work in each round they believe merits being a part of the production showcase, even if it hasn’t been ranked especially high. The tabulation room makes the final determination as to which selections are seen in each of the four venues. Schools choose which showcase they attend.

Hosts and Sponsors

The Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Southern Utah University College of Visual and Performing Arts host this event. It is sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association.

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2022 www.bard.org