DTASC Virtual Festival Guidelines – August 6, 2020

  1. All acting categories will maintain traditional five (5) and eight (8) minute requirements.
    1. Time begins at the start of the introduction.
    2. Standard DTASC introduction is required (See Handbook E2:1–2 #9)
    3. Scenes that run over max times may be disqualified.
  2. Each entering teacher is responsible for communicating with site administration and parents regarding the recording of students for performance before entering the festival.
    1. This includes the dissemination that recorded performances will be viewed by adjudicators who are not affiliated with your home school or school district – as well as other DTASC participants
    2. Recording must be done by a DTASC Member or student who is a part of the member school.
    3. It is the Member Teacher’s responsibility to ensure that all actors in all scenes can be adequately seen and heard.
    4. Submissions may be uploaded only by a member teacher. Students may not self-submit entries to DTASC.
  1. Registration fees will be as follows:
    1. Each entering school will be responsible for a $25 School Fee
    2. $10/ each Tech Design Entry
    3. $10/ each Audition Monologue Entry (up to 2 entries per school, per division)
    4. $15/ each Small Group (events, IV, V, VI) Entry (1 entry per event, per school, per division)
    5. $25/ each Large Group (events VII, VIII, IX) Entry (1 entry per event, per school, per division)
    6. Entry fees are based upon competing Entries, not the number of individual performers/presenters in each entry.
    7. Registration deadline is October 3. Fees are due at that time.
    8. Fees may be paid by Venmo, school check, or credit card. We are not accepting cash at this time. Contact the treasurer with any questions about payment.
    9. Dues of $40 per coach may be paid with registration, or paid separately.
    10. All adults at the school who are involved in producing the video submissions must pay dues.
  1. Submissions will be made via Google Forms
    1. Schools will submit one Google Form entry per entry in each division.
    2. Uploaded files should be named in the following format: Code_Event#_Title (i.e. CBX_6_DeathOfASalesman)
      1. Codes will be assigned after the October 3 registration deadline and will be emailed to you by October 12.
    3. The submission windows will open on October 17
    4. All submissions are due no later than 11:59pm (PDT) on October 24, 2020 for all divisions.
    5. All finalists and awards will be announced at the Virtual Awards Assemblies on Saturday, November 14
    6. Schools will have the opportunity to submit separate 10 second clips for each entry to be used during the Awards Assembly. Details to come.
  2. Submissions can be from a “Zoom,” “Google Meet” or other digital video conferencing service.
    1. No editing of videos is allowed (except for Group Musical and Tech Theatre Design entries — details below in sections 11 and 12)
      1. Actors may “mute video” in lieu of bowing out.
    2. Scenes may only be recorded via cell phone camera, laptop/tablet device or webcam.
    3. Videos must be shot in landscape mode and must not be edited in any way (except Tech and Musical)
    4. Entries should be a recorded theatrical acting scene, not “acting for the camera.”
    5. Scenes must be recorded with a single stationary “camera” per actor.
      1. No zooming in, or moving the camera.
      2. No multiple cameras per actor.
  3. Acting backgrounds must be neutral or blank.
    1. Background cannot identify location of the scene.
    2. Background may not change for individual performers.
      1. Single location per actor.
    3. No virtual scenery is allowed – except to create a solid color background.
    4. Recording may take place inside or outside, as needed, for performers to be adequately seen and heard.
  4. It is the Teacher’s responsibility to ensure that all actors are adequately heard before submitting entries to the festival.
    1. Wired or wireless headphones are acceptable for capturing audio and are encouraged for actors to be able to hear other actors.
    2. Other external microphones are acceptable as well.
  5. It is the Teacher’s responsibility to ensure that all actors are adequately seen before submitting entries to the festival.
    1. Static neutral lighting is required.
    2. No colored gels or color modification is allowed to establish, create or enhance mood of the scene.
    3. Natural daylight, including exterior recording is permitted.
    4. Any lighting decisions or choices that may be interpreted as enhancing the mood of the scene may be grounds for disqualification. Contact a DTASC board member ahead of time with questions or concerns.
    5. “Mood is doom spelled backwards.” — Uta Hagen
  6. All DTASC scenes allow chairs to be used.
    1. For this virtual festival only, we will be amending the DTASC Chair Rules to a One Actor / One Chair model
      1. Monologues – One Chair is Allowed
      2. Group Scenes – Each actor gets one chair. If there are 3 actors, you may use 3 chairs at a time. If there are 10 actors, there may be up to 10 chairs in use simultaneously. However, only one chair may be used by each individual actor.
    2. Any type of chair is permitted
      1. Any couch, sofa, loveseat, chaise lounge, pool deck chair etc counts as one chair
  7. Judging and Adjudication
    1. All scenes will be judged by a minimum of 3 judges
    2. Acting Categories will be viewed and adjudicated by one round of judges
      1. Entries may be split into Two “Rooms” and a final round of competition if entries reach the following thresholds:
        1. Audition Monologue – 45 entries/ “room” (90 entries = 3rd room, etc)
        2. 80+ entries will initiate a double set of finals for monologues
        3. Small Group entries: 45+ entries
        4. Large Group entries: 30+ entries
      2. Round 2 will feature a minimum of 3 judges
      3. Categories that do not meet the above threshold of entries will only be adjudicated one time.
        1. Scores from Round One will identify top 10 scores as Finalists and their final placement
          1. Ties may be broken by earlier scores or additional judging
    3. All Finalists’ scenes will be reviewed by the Rules Committee for any Rules Violations
      1. Because of the single recording format, if any scenes are are found in violation of DTASC Rules there will not be an opportunity for
      2. Any Rules violation may result in disqualification
      3. If a scene is disqualified for any reason, additional finalists may be chosen based on scores from “Round 1”
      4. If you are concerned about something that might be a rules violation, check with a DTASC board member before students record their scene.
  8. Technical Design Entry Categories
    1. Technical Design categories
      1. Requirements are being adjusted by our Tech Competition Committee to conform to social distancing guidelines
        1. Box model requirement is being modified
        2. Costume construction requirements are being modified
        3. Students will not be working together in person, but may collaborate online, by phone, etc
    2. Entries will have one round
      1. Entries will consist of a recorded video presentation of the design packet
      2. Presenters may edit their presentations to include Power Point or other slide show to help share the information and research included in their virtual design binder
    3. Time Requirements will be as follows:
      1. Middle School – 8 minutes
      2. Junior Varsity – 9 minutes
      3. Varsity – 10 minutes
    4. Other details regarding Tech Theatre entries to be released ASAP
  9. Large Group Musical
    1. The musical category is a capella
    2. Editing of Musical Category entries is meant to allow for the syncing of audio
      1. Actors may be recorded separately, and their raw video & audio may be edited for syncing up
      2. No auto-tune, vocal manipulation or audio effects editing is allowed (i.e. reverb, echo, track duplication, etc)
      3. Volume levels MAY be manipulated to provide appropriate balance
    3. Dissolves, fades and other video transitions are not allowed
    4. All other video rules from other acting categories still apply
    5. DTASC will provide a list of free video editing and sound editing software and is looking at providing free teacher workshops featuring tips and best practices on musical scene editing
      1. Schools are not limited to using the free software recommended by DTASC
  10. Awards Assembly and Workshop Opportunities
    1. Live Event on November 14
      1. Staggered start times for each division to be released ASAP
      2. Likely beginning with Middle School in mid-afternoon
      3. Zoom Webinar
      4. Presentation will include the first place entries in Tech designs, Classical Monologues, Public Domain and Student Original (other scenes will not be broadcast due to production rights concerns)
    1. Finalist Workshop
      1. In the days leading up to the Awards Assembly, we are exploring the opportunity to share the finalist scenes with Festival participants
      2. Individual teachers are planning to host single category Zooms by division
        1. Students in attendance will have the opportunity to view and discuss entries in an appropriate and constructive way
    2. November 14 Workshops
      1. We are hoping to offer virtual workshops to students during the day on November 14
      2. Workshop offerings will vary
      3. Workshops will be limited to 20 participants
      4. Workshop signups will be available in late-October


Q: Can I submit entries through YouTube/Vimeo links?
A: No. Entries can only be submitted through the GoogleForm links that will be sent out.

Q: What if my students do not have high quality internet or recording tools at home?
A: Judges will be instructed to ignore technological glitches and will be told that students are working to provide the best quality product with the factors which they can control.

 Q: While recording Musical scenes, can students be listening to the music track?
A: Yes, the students may be listening to tracks; however, your final video may not include any music. This is still an a capella event.

Q: What about legal ramifications of recording students and their performances being viewed?
A: As discussed in Section 2 of the Guidelines, it is the responsibility of the DTASC member teacher to clarify your school and district’s guidelines for recording and sharing of student performances and communicating with parents.

Q: How will we be notified of a Rules Violation? How can we correct a minor Rules violation?
A: Unfortunately, due to the nature of the Virtual DTASC Festival, there will not be an opportunity to correct scenes or resubmit scenes once they have been submitted. Any rules violation could result in disqualification from the trophy round. If you think something might be a Rules violation, check with a DTASC board member before the scene is recorded.

Q: Will we be receiving feedback from judges?
A: YES! All judges’ feedback will be sent digitally to teachers between November 9 and November 16.

 Q: Who will be judging?
A: DTASC has compiled an extensive network of loyal judges over the years. All judges, new and returning, will need to complete a new Judges’ training in advance of being assigned a judging assignment and asked to complete a test to ensure they are able to access scenes and provide appropriate feedback in the new online format. We are also hoping to be able to tap into more of our member school alumni network who may not be local to Southern California.

Q: What do you mean: “‘Entries should be a recorded theatrical acting scene, not “acting for the camera.”’?
A: We just want to remind our members that at our core, this is a theatre festival, being done through recorded video. We know, it seems a bit convoluted to say that, but the majority of the other guidelines in place are in support of this concept at their core. Rules about camera work, lighting and editing all are in an attempt to preserve the raw and real aspect of theatre-based acting that DTASC promotes and celebrates.

Q: Regarding the chair rules, are stools allowed?
A: Yes. But please remind students stools are not safe to stand on.

Q: I understand the one actor / one chair idea, but what if I have a 4-person scene and one actor never sits, can another actor use two chairs?
A: No.