Acting Teaching Drama

Competing in Individual Events? Read this!

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

We have some great news for those of you competing in Individual Events in Florida (see here if you have no idea what an “Individual Event” is).

Florida IE competitors have a rule that requires them to present a copy of the script to the judges:

 “A full copy of both published plays must be brought to the room and placed on the adjudicators’ table.”

Personally I think a rule like this is a great idea for several reasons – it emphatically proves that the piece being performed is from a published play, as required by the rules. Also, students are strongly encouraged to read the full play from which their piece comes. I don’t think they always do, but forcing them to have a copy of the script ensures they have the opportunity.

But this rule posed a bit of a problem for us because we’d get all these panicked calls on Thursday nights from folks who absolutely needed the books the next morning. This became very expensive for the competitors and insomnia-inducing for us. We’d be terrified that something would go wrong with the shipment and the student would lose the opportunity to compete.

A lot of this tension was eased when we came out with PDF versions of our plays that people could print at home instantly. But this year I’ve been hearing rumblings that some districts are requiring the “official” bound version of the script. I reached out to Daron Hawkins, the State Director of the Florida State Thespians for clarification on electronic copies. He wrote me back:

The students can present a pdf on their laptop or electronic readers. Not a problem at all! We discussed this at our last board meeting.

So there you have it once and for all. If you’re performing a monologue or scene from a Theatrefolk play for IEs then the PDF copy of the script satisfies the rules and I don’t have to hit refresh on the Fedex tracking page at 3am and 4am and 5am and 6am.

Florida is the only state I know of with this requirement. Please email me if you know of other states with the “must have the book” requirement so I may contact them for similar clarification.

About the author

Craig Mason