Technical Theatre


(revised 2012)


1.1  The official name of this activity shall be “New Mexico Activities Association State High School One Act Play Competition.

1.2  This competition is held concurrently with the Four Corners Theatre Festival hosted by San Juan College. Only high schools belonging to the New Mexico Activities Association may be eligible for the NMAA State award designations. All entrants, regardless of affiliation, may be eligible to compete for awards in the Four Corners Theatre Festival. The following contest rules cover only the one act competition sanctioned by New Mexico Activities Association. (For more information regarding the Four Corners Theatre Festival contact Theatre Director, San Juan College, 4601 College Blvd., Farmington, NM 87402.)


2.1  To nurture appreciation of theatre arts by actively participating as actors, designers, stagehands, and audience members.
2.2  To develop academic, communication, and social skills related to participation in theatre arts.
2.3  To promote life long learning that is a result of engaging in theatrical activities.  
2.4  To promote good sportsmanship by accepting respondent's’ decisions and criticism.
2.5  To learn how to use constructive criticism to improve future theatre work.
2.6  To encourage students to support competing teams and to learn from each other. 
2.7  To foster development of leadership skills and teamwork skills.
2.8  To promote and teach audience etiquette.
2.9  To advocate for the inclusion of theatre arts within school curricula.


3.1  All member schools of the New Mexico Activities Association shall be eligible to participate in the New Mexico Activities Association State High School One Act Play Competition. 

3.2  Non member schools are welcome to participate in the Four Corners Theatre Festival, which is held concurrently with the New Mexico State competition, but non member schools may not compete for NMAA State awards and designations. 

3.3  A registration fee of $8.00 per participant/attendee, coaches and chaperones are due prior to the festival. (This amount is subject to revision as conditions warrant.)

3.4  Provided there are sufficient numbers of one act entries in the festival, the Senior High league is divided into two divisions:  Athens and Sparta.  The Athens division is primarily for, but not limited to, New Mexico AAAAA/AAAA size schools whose drama program is supported by at least one formally titled drama, performing arts, or communication class.  Smaller schools (Sparta division) may elect to compete in either Athens or Sparta divisions by circling the appropriate name on the Instructor’s Registration and Fee Form (sent out prior to the festival).

3.5  Individual student eligibility, determined by NMAA standards, is solely the responsibility of the participating school and is not to be determined by the Festival Director.  Any disputes regarding eligibility are to be taken to the NMAA and not to the Festival Director.


4.1  Relationship to the New Mexico Activities Association

4.1.1  New Mexico Activities Association State High School One Act Play Competition will have one staff/faculty member from San Juan College or designee available to attend meetings at the New Mexico Activities Association.

4.1.2  New Mexico Activities Association State High School One Act Play Competition will update NMAA on various actions and activities related to the competition.

4.2  Advisory Board to the New Mexico Activities Association State High School One Act Play Competition

4.2.1  Membership on the Advisory Board is open to any interested faculty coach attending the competition.

4.2.2  Members of the Advisory Board will meet the last day of the festival and before awards are distributed.

4.2.3  Members of the Advisory Board will consider and comment on the direction of the festival and its rules, and will present ideas that will help the direction of the festival.

4.2.4  Action on Advisory Board suggestions is at the discretion of the Festival Director.


5.1  Each school will get a 10’ X 10’ taped square backstage to store set and props. ALL set and props MUST fit into a 10’ X 10’ square.

5.2  Total time of play/scene for this event will be no more than 30 minutes.  (Cuttings of larger acts of plays are allowed.)

5.2.1  Set-up and strike are included in the total time.  The combined set-up and strike time should not exceed 10 minutes.

5.2.2  Dressing and makeup should be completed in the time a school is “on deck,” not earlier.  (On deck designates the period in which the preceding school is performing.)

5.3  During a required Technical Rehearsal, students will be given instructions on how to operate lighting and sound equipment. During the performance, students will be expected to operate the equipment.

5.3.1  Backstage Activities Respondents will observe student stagehands execute set-up. run-of-show, and strike.

5.3.2  Respondents will tell student stage managers when they can start the performance after conferring with performance respondents and house manager.

5.4  During the 30 minute performance/setup/strike time, coaches WILL NOT be near the on-deck, set up (acting area), nor the strike area, “directing traffic.”  This is up to the student Stage Manager.  Coaches will remain at least ten yards from the on-deck, set-up (acting area) and strike area.  Coaches are also discouraged from helping with makeup and dressing during the on-deck period.  Although coach support is appreciated, this is to be a student-executed activity and a student-oriented festival at all levels. 

5.5  Coaches must deliver to the front registration desk sufficient copies of their playbills (at least 100 programs) at least 50 minutes before the start of their school’s one-act play /long scene.


6.1  If for any reason the Festival Respondents, Director, or other Officials determine that there are not enough entrants for a given category or categories, or participant presentation(s) do not satisfy the general caliber of a given category or categories, the Festival Officials are not obligated to offer an award or points for such categories.

6.2  First place, second place, and third place awards will be presented (as funding permits) to the highest scoring school in the Athens and Sparta divisions.

6.3  Categories for determining place are scores for one act play/long scene, stage manager, backstage costume/hair/makeup, backstage lighting/sound, backstage set/props.

6.3.1  Three points for every minute over 30 minutes will be deducted in the tallying of the one-act play/long scene.

6.3.2  Backstage categories scores are for the execution of each category, not the design of each category.  Coaches may design the technical aspects of the production, but students must be stagehands and handle these technical elements efficiently in order to qualify for awards.


7.1  Each school is responsible for their overall preparedness and timing factors of their own entries.  Neither respondents nor timekeepers will try to overtly distract or get the attention of a performer during the performance simply to make the performer aware of time limits.


8.1  All respondents, coaches, students, and chaperones are expected to display good examples of fair play, good sportsmanship, respect, and responsibility.  Poor conduct and etiquette during the oral response of One Act Plays by either students or coaches will not be tolerated.  Any      obvious rule violation may result in the disqualification of an entire school entry or individual(s) entry as appropriate.  If there are any disputes, the decision of the Festival Director is final.

8.2  Latecomers will not be seated.

8.3  It is suggested that all schools, if not on-deck or in a response session, attend all shows in order to provide an audience for those schools which are performing.

8.4  Appropriate audience etiquette will be expected from all audience members.


9.1  See the critique sheet (usually published in the back of the Festival Playbill) or write to the San Juan College Director of Theatre, 4601 College Blvd., Farmington, NM 87402

For more information, please call Mollie Mook-Fiddler at 505-566-3242. Or send an email to