Directors - are you entering Individual Events and/or any Tech Events?

If so, you are required to assist with National and State Competitions for at least one hour. If you choose to not fulfill this requirement, you understand that your Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours will not be awarded and a letter will be sent to your principal.

  • These events, often called IEs, allow students the opportunity to showcase their talents in either Performance, Short Film or Technical Events.
  • Each school may enter up to 6 entries in Performance IEs and up to 7 entries in Technical Events. No single student may enter more than one of these National Qualifying Events. (Note: A group or duet event involves multiple students, but only counts as one ENTRY).
  • Note: The Short Film Contest IS a National Qualifying Event.
  • The cost for competing in IEs is $15 per STUDENT who has entered. (Example: two students who compete in Duet Acting count as one ENTRY, but are considered two STUDENTS).
  •  Due to limited space, only the Troupe Director and the Performer(s) are allowed in the performance room


Monologue, Duet Acting, Group Acting, Solo Musical, Duet Musical, Group Musical

Costume Construction, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, Sound Design, Stage Management, Theatre Marketing

Short Film
Please see Specific Rules for each of these events.

IE Registration:

  • Contestants must be entered online by midnight on October 13.
  • Titles may be changed online during the modification window up until midnight on October 27.
  • Titles may not be changed after that time and will be DISQUALIFIED. 
  • Students cannot be substituted or moved to another event after this second deadline. 
    • Bobby Joe took the place of Billy Bob at Texas Thespian State Festival. "Billy Bob" qualified for Nationals . Bobby Joe performed at Nationals under his actual name, but was disqualified because in Texas he was Billy Bob and in Nebraska he was Bobby Joe. NOT GOOD... Don't be a Bobby Joe!
  • Only drops are allowed after October 27.
  • If there is not an approved piece after deadline, participant MUST drop.
  • Any entries that contain "UNKNOWN" will be DISQUALIFIED.

Specific Title Of Piece
The title of piece to be presented at conference must be on entered and approved prior to the deadline (For monologue, must enter two titles). Any entry that does not use the piece(s) that were entered online will be disqualified. No refunds will be given to acts that are found to have ineligible titles.

It is the troupe director's responsibility to ensure that the piece(s) being performed conform to the community standard of their school.

Permission To Perform
Please see guidelines about getting permission to perform pieces. It is the responsibility of each competing student and his/her sponsor to make sure titles are permissible. Those who perform restricted titles will either be disqualified or not allowed to compete at Nationals.

Realize that some publishing companies take up to six weeks to respond to performance rights questions.

Rules For Each Event

•       Please read the Judges’ Rubric and Specific Rules for each event that you have entered.
•       NOT ADHERING TO ALL RULES WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION. Rules are based on International Rules for IE Events.

Performance Events--Introduction Of Piece(s)

•       Each act must be introduced (time begins after the introduction). The introduction must include the student’s name, troupe number, title of selection(s), and the name of the playwright, composer, or lyricist.
•       This opening slate is part of the assessment rubric and is scored as part of the overall score.

Acceptable & Unacceptable Material

Acceptable material for all Individual Performance Events: 

  • Published scripts written for the theater ONLY
  • Songs from a musical that have been written for the theater (regardless of its previous publication as a classical or popular song). 

Unacceptable material for Individual Performance Events:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Scripts or songs from films
  • Scripts or songs from television
  • Stand-alone monologues found on the internet or in monologue books
  • Popular songs not used in a published work for the theater
  • Classical songs not used in a published work for the theater.

    Technical Provisions

• The IE rooms do not allow any special equipment or lighting for Technical IEs. The presenter is responsible for anything needed for the presentation.
• For musical performance IEs, the performer should bring equipment (CD player, iPad, portable player, etc.) necessary to play recorded music.
• Providing your own sound system is strongly recommended.
• Music should be already cued and a volunteer provided to start and stop music.
• Chairs and tables will be available for your use according to IE rules.

No Shows

•       If you arrive late for your appointed time, the possibility of re-scheduling is highly unlikely and you wlll be considered a no show.

Arrival and Performance Time

•       The IE schedule will be posted on Guidebook. An IE Act should arrive at LEAST 15 minutes prior to appointed performance time.

Accomplished Rating

  • To qualify for NIES at the International Thespian Festival, entrants must receive an overall assessment rating of Superior.

Finalists and Main Stage

Participants in Performance Events may be selected to participate in a Finals. Also, some performers may be chosen to participate in Main Stage performances. For both the Finals and Main Stage, not all categories may be represented.


Directors are SOLELY responsible for verifying ALL IEs (Individual Event) titles. If a title is ineligible and/or not on the approved list, the student will not be allowed to compete at the National level.

Securing performance rights for Individual Events Materials

It is the responsibility of entrants to obtain permission for the use of copyrighted material. In certain cases, permission is not required. The performance of a song from a published musical in an adjudicated IE program is considered a fair use, and no permission is required.

The performance of a monologue or scene from a non-musical play at a State Conference/Festival or in an adjudicated Individual Events program may be subject to one of a number of agreements negotiated between EdTA and several major publishers. Determine the identity of the publisher (noted on the title page of the script, or consult an internet database like or, and then check the following listing for that publisher’s policy. If the work is published by a house that’s not included here, an entrant must obtain permission.

Complete the appropriate sections of the IE Rights Application and Permission Form and mail it to the publisher or leasing agent. The name and address of the publisher or agent should be in a notice of copyright published with the script.

Play Publishers

Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.:

  • All properties are available with no royalty charge.

Dramatic Publishing Co.:

  • There is no charge for use in the Thespian Festival NIEs.

Dramatists Play Service:

  • All Dramatists Play Service properties are pre-approved for the Thespian Festival, with no written permission required, for no royalty unless the student is selected for the NIE Showcase. The only exceptions are plays by Samuel Beckett.

Samuel French, Inc.:

  •  A license must be obtained through for any performance of a copyrighted work, including cuttings and excerpts.
  •  Titles which may be approved for cuttings are marked “Cuttings approved for competitions.”
  • A brief summary of proposed cuts or scenes must be included in the appropriate section of your license request.
  • Monologues and brief excerpts of less than ten minutes do not require a license or other permission from Samuel French.
  • When performed for a limited panel of adjudicators, though performances at NIES or other events open to audiences may be subject to a license fee payable to EdTA at the time of the competition.
  • For more information, please visit

Playscripts, Inc.:

  • Royalties are waived for the performance of excerpts lasting less than ten minutes at adjudicated school theatrical festivals or auditions, unless otherwise noted in the script. These particular performances, and only these, are automatically authorized by the playwright when you purchase books from Playscripts. (Note: Any other cuttings must receive prior approval from Playscripts.)

Smith and Kraus:

  • Most Smith and Kraus collections include a blanket permission statement for audition use. Remember, however, the particular piece you’re interested in performing must be found in one of these collections that include blanket permission.

  • Monologues and scenes/excerpts lasting ten minutes or less taken from scripts published by Theatrefolk may be performed in any Thespian Society Individual Event program without royalty.

  • Royalties are waived for monologues and scenes/excerpts lasting less than 10 minutes for Thespian IEs. To receive a statement of permission, an entrant must purchase a single, printable perusal copy of the play through the YouthPLAYS website and then email  with their name(s), school, and event information.