High School Play Festival Adjudication​

Two adjudicators for each site will be chosen by the NCTC staff and board. Adjudicators will provide a positive experience for all participants, recognize hard work, celebrate achievement, and encourage further growth. After each performance, adjudicators will speak to the cast, crew and director at the front of the house (with audience members observing). Adjudicators are not permitted to see a participant’s entry prior to the Festival performance.

The adjudicators will provide brief verbal feedback to the group, addressing the following items:

  1. In my opinion, the strongest acting/staging elements of this piece were…
  2. If you continue to work on this piece, I would suggest you concentrate on…
  3. When I think back and remember this show, what I’ll remember most is…

Written feedback will also be provided, and mailed to you after the Festival. Click here to review the adjudication form, to see what the judges are looking for from each performance.

High School Play Festival Awards

An awards ceremony will take place approximately one hour after the conclusion of the last play. Awards will be announced, but certificates and written feedback will be sent to teachers after the Festival, to allow participants to leave for home as quickly as possible.

All awards are determined by the judges, unless otherwise noted. The following awards will be presented:

  • Festival Spirit Awards (see below)
  • Theatre Arts Awards: 10 awards will be given – these are “judge’s choice” awards and may honor excellence in a variety of ways.
  • Ensemble Acting: 2 awards will be given for Excellence in Ensemble Acting and 1 award for Outstanding Achievement.
  • Acting: 10 awards will be given for Excellence in Acting and 2 awards will be presented for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. Recipients of the Outstanding Achievement in Acting awards will receive a full scholarship to attend NCTC College Discovery Day.
  • Barbizon Design and Production Awards: Up to 10 Excellence awards may be given. Awards are chosen by the NCTC Representatives (more information below). 2 awards may be presented for Outstanding Achievement in Design and Production. Recipients of the Outstanding Achievement in Design and Production Awards will receive a full scholarship to attend NCTC College Discovery Day.
  • Excellence in Directing: 3 awards will be given.
  • Honorable Mention Distinguished Play: This production may have the opportunity to advance to the State Festival, in the event that one of the Distinguished Play recipients from their site may not attend.
  • Distinguished Play Award: Two awards will be presented; one by the judges and one by the participants, if minimum voting requirements are met (see Cast Your Vote below). These two productions will be invited to participate in the NCTC State High School Play Festival.

Award Descriptions:

Each school has the opportunity to “Cast Your Vote” for one of the Distinguished Plays that will represent your site at the State Festival. Participation in this process is completely voluntary; schools are not required to participate. Your school must have at least one representative in the audience for each play, in order to participate. A representative may be a student, teacher, parent, or any person that can represent your vote. The NCTC representative will conduct a roll call prior to each performance, to verify attendance. After watching all performances, your group will deliberate and decide on one vote for your school (even if you bring two shows to the Festival, you are limited to one vote). The NCTC representative will give each teacher one index card with your school name and a line for your vote, which you will return to the representative within 30 minutes after the last performance. Votes will remain confidential. No votes will be accepted until the conclusion of the Festival. At least 50% of the schools at your site must participate in “Cast Your Vote” for the award to be presented (otherwise the judges will choose both Distinguished Plays). You may not vote for your own show, but you will be able to vote for your favorite of all the others.

We encourage your group to attend the entire Festival and watch every show! There will be a fun roll call before each show begins, and schools that are present for all performances will receive a Festival Spirit Award! By attending the full Festival, you are supporting other schools by being an enthusiastic audience, you are able to use the Festival as a tool to meet Essential Standards that focus on analysis, your students are able to learn from the adjudication after each performance, you will qualify for Cast Your Vote, and everyone will make new theatre friends!

Design and Production is typically recognized in the Theatre Arts Awards category, with the award often shared by the whole cast or an adult design team. The Barbizon Design and Production Awards will recognize achievement that may not be easily seen onstage. This could be excellence in stage management, public relations, design, crew leadership, etc. Awards will be presented to students who have demonstrated excellent skills and (when appropriate) leadership qualities, which enhanced your Festival production. For these awards, teachers may nominate students and the NCTC Representatives will evaluate the nominations and determine award recipients.

Each teacher may submit up to 3 nomination forms, and may nominate individual students or teams of students who worked together. Nominations must be printed out and submitted to the onsite NCTC representative no later than 9:00am on the second day of the Festival. Download the nomination form. Two Outstanding Achievement awards will be presented at each of the eight Regional Play Festivals, with honorees receiving a full registration scholarship to attend NCTC College Discovery Day.

Celebrate Your Achievements!

Part of the mission of the Play Festival is to advocate for support for theatre arts programs in schools. NCTC takes action on your behalf and invites you to do the same. At the conclusion of the Festival, principals from participating schools will receive an email from NCTC, acknowledging the awards their school received, thanking them for supporting their theatre program, and explaining how the Play Festival enhances classroom learning. Each teacher will be praised for their achievements and copied on the email. You’ll also receive a press release and we encourage you to send the release to local media outlets, elected officials, school board members, parent supporters and others. Help us advocate for you!

Toolkits for Teachers

ASW Toolkit

ASW (Analysis of Student Work) began as a method to assess student growth in curriculum areas that do not have formal state-wide tests. Theatre Educators on the NCTC Board of Directors created a tool-kit to assist teachers with their ASW work. While ASW was discontinued by the NC Legislature in 2017, the ideas in the toolkit can still be useful with the students who are participating in the NCTC High School Play Festival. All of this material is based on the Standard Course of Study and can provide ideas for your lesson plans.

NCTC K-12 Advocacy Toolkit

Advocacy is building awareness and public support for a cause. It is essential that each of us learn to speak for our programs and for arts education. So many of the people who make policy are not educators or artists – we have much to teach them.

Participating in the NCTC Play Festival provides opportunities before and after the Festival that can help you advocate for your program. Our Advocacy toolkit provides ideas and tactics for the classroom, for parents, your school and school district, and your community. 

Remember, you are the first and best advocate for your program!

Statewide Sponsors

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.