Monday, November 6, 2017

TheatreFest 2018 Travel Stipends

TETA, Inc. Renews Travel Stipends for K-12 and Higher Education Members to attend 2018 TheatreFest Convention.

Greetings, Members!

It is with great excitement to announce that the Board of Directors voted to renew the Travel Stipend program for TheatreFest 2018!  This means that all K-12 and Higher Education members may apply for Travel Stipends to assist with attending this year’s TheatreFest convention at Moody Gardens, Galveston.  I want to encourage you to read on to see how you can take advantage of this unique, limited opportunity!
First, Our K-12 Members!
In an effort to provide all of our membership the opportunity to attend this annual convention, TETA, Inc. will be providing our K-12 members with the following:
  • Up to 2 travel stipends for members who reside in each of the 20 Education Support Centers (ESC), as depicted in the graphic below.  This amounts to 40 stipends in the amount of $500 each.

What About Our Higher Education Members?
Additionally, TETA, Inc. will be focusing support towards those members who serve in Higher Education:  
  • *10 stipends in the amount $500 each for Higher Education members;
*Note:  Education Support Centers do not apply to these specific travel stipends.

What Do I Need To Do To Be Considered?
  1. Register and pay for your membership with TETA, Inc.;
  2. *Complete the Online Application to be considered for a travel stipend courtesy of TETA, Inc.;
  3. Register and pay for the 2018 TheatreFest convention at Moody Gardens, Galveston;
*Note:  In order to receive travel stipend, recipients must check in to the 2018 TheatreFest convention.  At that time, recipients will receive their travel stipend in the form of a check.    

What Can I Use My Travel Stipend For?
  • Can I use it to reimburse myself for convention Registration?  YES!
  • Can I use it to pay for some, or all of my hotel and accommodations?  YES!!
  • Can I use it to pay for transportation expenses (gas, airfare, parking, meals while at convention, Uber rides to the Seawall)?  YES!!!
In short, if the expense is part of your travel BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER your time while attending TheatreFest, it is ok to use.    
Deadline to submit your APPLICATION is December 1st,, 2017.  
Recipients will be notified by December 8th, 2017.

The Board of Directors encourages you to not miss out on this extraordinarily limited opportunity.  If you have any questions, please feel free to Ask the BOD via the TETA, Inc. website.  We hope to see you all at this year’s TheatreFest at Moody Gardens, Galveston!  Until then, take care.

Timothy Estelle

Treasurer, TETA, Inc.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

PlayFest: Playwriting Competition

Hello, fellow Theatre Educators!  On behalf of the PlayFest Chairs for 2018, Ms. Karen King and Ms. Sherry Frank, we would like to extend an invitation to submit for PlayFest, a playwriting competition for those attending TETA’s Convention, TheatreFest.  We are reaching out today for several reasons:

  • To announce the continuation of the successful 10-Minute Play submissions.
  • To announce the continuation of last year’s successful Classroom Group Witten Plays.
  • To remind everyone that the deadline to PlayFest is right around the corner, Dec. 1st.
  • To remind everyone of the specifics of PlayFest.

I hope you can join us this year.  Please spread the word and let’s make PlayFest exciting again!

Thank you.

Dr. Jerry Ivins
TheatreFest Convention Director of Operations


From the PlayFest Co-Chairs:

TETA offers many prospects for Texas Educational Theatre to shine and participate in all areas, be it acting, education, technical, filmmaking, or design. Playfest, is one of those opportunities. There is no cost to submit your work, and if chosen, your work will be read and critiqued – and awarded a cash prize.

Texas has a long-standing tradition in playwriting and the support of new works. It was in Texas that Inherit the Wind began its first steps into the annals of theatre history due to Margo Jones taking a risk and staging the 1955 world premiere at the Dallas Theatre Center, Paul Zindel ventured forth with “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.…” and the immortal Horton Foote sustains the world of Texas through his great body of work. Recently, Rob Askins, Hand to God, burst upon the Broadway stage as Texas playwrights continue to stand strong in theatre’s literary world. Robert Anderson, Tea and Sympathy; I Never Sang for my Father, tells us, “The mission of the playwright is to look in his heart and write, to write whatever concerns him at the moment; to write with passion and conviction.”

Aristotle lists his six elements of a good drama in the Poetics – and it all concerns the text. Without the written word, without ideas flowing to life across the page, theatre could not exist. Throughout the history of theatre, these playwrights called out and commented and critiqued the world around them. Their words still speak today as fresh and vibrant as they were when their works took their first steps across the boards. Playfest calls out for new works – crisp and dynamic declarations of innovative voices, engaging insights, and heartfelt emotions. Let your unique vision shine at this year’s TETA’s Playfest – where the eyes of Texas are upon you!

Texas Educators, Students, and Residents don’t forget the DEADLINE for THE TEXAS EDUCATION THEATRE ASSOCIATION PLAYFEST: PLAYWRITING COMPETITION is December 1! That’s right, the deadline is right around the corner! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to submit your work. Submission is FREE! This means that there is no fee to simply submit your play!

Because scripts are no longer mailed and are submitted through email, the deadline for PlayFest is now December 1st.. You still have time! Submit today! For more information, see below.


What Is PlayFest?
PlayFest is a playwriting competition/event whose principal objective is to encourage the writing and production of new plays. The purpose of PlayFest is as follows:
  • To encourage and promote the study of playwriting by all.
  • To encourage and promote the writing of new plays.
  • To provide a clearing house for the reading and evaluation of new plays in a working and teaching environment.
  • To provide greater incentive to playwrights by establishing a working relationship between professionals, educators and playwrights.
  • To produce new play productions. This may include staged readings, workshop productions, and new play seminars, annually at the T.E.T.A. TheatreFest Convention.

How Does PlayFest Work?
Plays are written and emailed to the PlayFest Chair(s) for consideration. The plays are sent to readers/adjudicators for evaluation. The plays and evaluations are sent back to the PlayFest Chair(s) for awarding. The Chairs will notify all participants of the decisions of the PlayFest Committee.

Successful participants will then be responsible for having their play performed at TheatreFest Convention the following January. The performance is required of all recipients of the PlayFest awards.
  • Traditional PlayFest - For production purposes at the Convention, all successful scripts must be cut to one hour performance time. The production will have one and a half hours to rehearse at the Convention prior to the performance.  The cast performing (if mounted) is the responsibility of the successful playwright (assistance in finding a cast can be solicited from the PlayFest Chairs).  If the type of performance will be a staged reading, a cast will be provided by the PlayFest Chairs.
Two Types of Performance Mounted and Staged Reading:
  • Mounted:  Simple costumes, props and makeup are requested. One U.I.L. unit set will be provided for use. All materials brought for the production must arrive on the exact day of the performance. No storage space will be provided. Playwrights, who may not have access or connections with a school or any other acting company, can seek assistance from the PlayFest Chair(s) to help search and find someone to produce their play.  The hour long performance and a 20 minute audience "talk back" with the playwright and the performing company will take place during the Convention. All materials will need to be cleared immediately following this 90 minute presentation.
  • Staged Reading: Staged readings of the plays will be offered as an alternative to staged productions.  These stage readings will be read by a team of readers selected by the PlayFest Chairs.

  • 10 Minute PlayFest - There will 4 - 1hour and 20 minute workshops presented at the Convention. A team of five actors will present all of the plays at each of the workshops, and will be cast by the PlayFest Chair(s).  Each workshop will have 4 - 10 minute plays presented, a 2 minute set up time between each, and a 7 minute critique for each play.  These plays should be “no sets”, “no costumes” and “minimal props.”  Actor movement will be encouraged.  This will not be a “sit down reading”, but an action oriented reading (not memorized).  The direction for each of the 4 workshops will be at the PlayFest Chair(s) discretion.  Each workshop will have one and a half hours to rehearse (20 minutes for each play) at the Convention prior to the performance.  
What Awards Are Given?
  • Traditional PlayFest - Successful submissions will receive a $200 check, and slot at the T.E.T.A. TheatreFest Convention for mounting the play. Submissions will be selected for these awards in each category of: Classroom Group written, High School Student, College/University Student, and Texas Residence. The total awards will not exceed 8 per year.
  • New 10 Minute PlayFest - Successful submissions will receive a $50 check, and slot at the T.E.T.A. TheatreFest Convention for mounting the play. Submissions will be selected for these awards in each category of: Classroom Group written, High School Student, College/University Student, and Texas Residence. The total awards will not exceed 16 per year.
Who May Enter PlayFest?
PlayFest is open to any TETA member including any student attending a Texas high school, college, and/or university. Other Texas residents, amateur and professional, are encouraged to submit plays. PlayFest also encourages submissions by classes that may have written a script as an entire class project.

Must I Register For The Convention?
To submit a script does not require any payment up front, submission is totally free!!  However, PlayFest award recipients will be required to pay TETA Membership ($20 for students and $50 for adults) and Convention registration ($120) for TheatreFest and must be paid by December 17th.  In the case of the Classroom Group submissions, at least one of the classmates must register and attend the Convention.

Performers and technicians that attend TheatreFest only to assist with the mounting of the successful submission, and who do not attend any other part of the Convention, do not have to pay Convention registration. They must, however, pay membership dues by December 27th.

What Materials Will I Need To Enter PlayFest?
For each entry, participants must submit an electronic PDF copy with a separate cover page - meaning two documents will be submitted - the cover page with the playwright's information as outlined below and the script itself:
  • Name of Playwright
  • Type of play (Full-length or 10 Minute)
  • Category of entry (Classroom Group, High School Student, College Student, Texas Resident Amateur or Professional)
  • Playwright Contact information (address and phone)
  • A valid e-mail for the playwright
  • Name of the school in which they are currently attending if student or classroom playwright.  Include the Instructor contact info, as well.
The participant's name and school affiliation will not be given to the adjudicators of the plays.

Plays are not limited in subject matter or language. They will be judged on the play's potential to be performed before an audience in a staged reading, workshop production, new play seminar, or production during T.E.T.A. TheatreFest.

How Do I Enter PlayFest?
Submission is due no later than Dec. 1st.  Email the PDF copy of the script and cover page (see above for exact format) no later than Dec. 1st (earlier submissions are encouraged) to Ms. Karin King, Panola College,
The PlayFest Chair will respond to your email confirming the receipt of the submission.  If you have not heard back from your email within a few days, please call 281-542-2039.  

Notification Of Winning Scripts:
  • Participants will be notified if their script has been selected for the award and presentation at TheatreFest by. Dec. 7th.
  • If the script is selected, participants have 10 days to register for the Convention (Dec.17th).  After Dec. 17th, those winning participants that have not registered for the Convention will forfeit their award, and the runner-up scripts will be awarded.  These new awardees will then have ten days to register for the Convention (Dec. 27th).  Go to this site to register for the entire Convention:
What Is The Timeline For PlayFest?
  • Submissions and cover pages must be emailed with a time-date stamp of no later than Dec, 1st (earlier submissions encouraged).
  • Submissions are divided and emailed to the readers/adjudicators within two days.
  • Evaluations are emailed back to the PlayFest Chairs by Dec. 6th.
  • All playwrights will be notified of the submissions chosen for awards and mounting by December 7th.
  • Successful playwrights must notify PlayFest Chairs by phone or e-mail about their acceptance of the award, and guarantee of the performance of the production at the T.E.T.A. Convention within three days of the email sent to the playwright by the PlayFest Chair(s).
  • Successful playwrights will cut their scripts to a one hour performance time and make arrangements for the script to be performed (Traditional PlayFest, not the 10 Minute PlayFest).
  • PlayFest Chair(s) will e-mail a production participation form to the playwright to complete and e-mail back to the Chairs. Chairs will forward this information to the Co-Convention Directors for scheduling.  Dr. Jerry Ivins
  • Playwrights will register and pay for TETA membership and the full Convention registration by December 17th.   Membership -; Convention Registration -
  • Should the playwright not accept the award and guarantee the performance at TheatreFest by the appropriate deadline, the PlayFest Chair(s) will re-award to the runner-up playwright.  The new award recipient has two days (December 19th) to email their acceptance of the award and guarantee of the performance at TheatreFest, and 10 days (December 27th) to register and pay for the full Convention.
  • Participants performing in the mounted or staged readings must pay for either the full Convention registration and T.E.T.A. membership dues, or just T.E.T.A. membership dues if not attending the full convention, by December 27th.
  • Productions are presented at TheatreFest the following January.

What Will Cause My Script To Be Rejected?
Scripts will be rejected and discarded for the following reasons:
  • Not including a SEPARATE cover page with contact information required.
  • Not including a valid e-mail for contacting the playwright.
  • Submissions dated after Dec. 1st.
  • Not accepting the award within three days of the e-mail from the PlayFest Chairs to the successful playwright (two days for the runner-up awardees).
  • Not producing the play at TheatreFest in January, either mounted or staged reading.
  • Not registering and paying for TETA Membership and the full Convention (awarded playwrights) December 17th (December 27th for the runner-up awardees).
  • Not receiving payment and registration from all production participants for either the full Convention registration and T.E.T.A. membership dues, or just T.E.T.A. membership dues if not attending the full Convention, by December 27th.

Who Do I Contact About PlayFest?

2018 PlayFest Co-chairs:

Ms. Karen King, Panola College,
Ms. Sherry Frank, CFISD,

TheatreFest Workshops Needed!

TheatreFest 2018 will be here soon and we are still in need of more workshop proposals!
Please consider giving to TETA by sharing your experience with fellow theatre educators.

Click HERE to submit a Workshop Proposal.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

TheatreFest Scholarship Auditions - New: No limits per school!

Theatre Instructors,

On behalf of the 2018 TheatreFest Audition Chair, Ms. Nina Saunders and DesignFest Chair, Mr. John Ogden, I would like to encourage you to bring students to TheatreFest 2018 at Moody Gardens in Galveston!

Again this year, there are no limits to the number of students from your school who can audition for the general auditions!!  In the past, schools were limited on the number of participating students per school.  No more.  The first 100 Acting students and 50 Technical students (an additional 20 slots are open for high school juniors) to register and pay for the Convention are in!!

Please read on for information.  Please have them register ASAP.  Slots will fill up quickly!

Dr. Jerry Ivins
2018 TheatreFest Convention Director of Operations


What Are The TETA Auditions? 
The Texas Educational Theatre Association, Inc. offers Texas theatre students who are already attending the TheatreFest Convention an opportunity to audition for Colleges and Universities from across the nation.

Students perform a two-minute acting audition (one-minute audition for high school juniors) or a five-minute technical portfolio presentation for up to 50 different college/university programs. Auditions are held at TETA's TheatreFest each year. During call-back interviews, college & university representatives visit with selected students.

For Students Participating In The 2018 TETA Auditions. 
·        No separate registration for Auditions – As with last year, all students participating in the Auditions will no longer have a separate registration.  All students will pay $20 for a TETA membership and register for the Convention ($120 for the full Convention).  When registering for the Convention, participating in the Auditions will be an add-on feature.  There will be no separate fee for Auditions, as it was in the past.
·        No limitations on the number of students auditioning from each school – Signing up for Auditions will be a simple matter of registering and paying for membership in TETA and Convention registration!  An online application will be required after registration is paid.
o   The first 100 high school seniors or community college transferring students to register and pay for membership in TETA and Convention registration will receive auditioning slots in the Acting category.
o   The first 20 high school juniors to register and pay for membership in TETA and Convention registration will receive auditioning slots in the Acting category.
o   The first 50 students (high school seniors, juniors or community college students) to register and pay for membership in TETA and Convention registration will receive auditioning slots in the Technical category. 
o   An “Open Audition” will be available for any student to register at the actual Convention for remaining open Audition slots, if any.
·        Participants of the Technical auditions will automatically be a part of the DesignFest Competition and showcase their designs through this event.
·        Founders Scholarship
o   All past requirements for the Founders Scholarships remain the same except for:
§  Recipients of the scholarship must still major in Theatre, however, instead of attending just an I.M. school, they must attend any Texas college or university.

How To Enter as an Audition Participant:
Early registration is due on January 9th.  In order to register for Auditions, please follow these steps:
            Step #1. Register for TETA membership.  Go to this link and register for TETA Membership
                                             (the cost will be $20 for students and $50 for adults) -
            Step #2. Register for the TheatreFest Convention and select that you wish to participate in the
Auditions. This must take place after you have registered for TETA Membership, go to this link and register for the Convention - 
            Step #3. Upon registering for the Convention, you will receive a confirmation email with an
            Step #4. You will receive two separate emails for invoices.  One for TETA Membership, and
another for Convention Registration.  Use this if you did not pay each with a credit card while registering above.
               Step #5. The final step in the Audition process will be to follow the directions sent to you in an
email sent to you from the Audition Chairs.  Instructions will include an online application and supporting documents placed in an online TETA dropbox.
Suggestion: Reserve a hotel room at Moody Gardens (only 400 of the 600 rooms per night needed for the Convention will be at Moody – We will sell out!  Other hotels will be listed at a later time).

General Advice:
Please remember that the people working the audition are all volunteers taking their personal time to make this experience possible for you; please be gracious and courteous to all of the volunteers!
·        Please be on time or early for your check-in time the day of the audition. Promptness is very important.
·        Once you check in do not leave the audition lobby.
·        Please plan to stay at the audition for approximately one hour, possibly longer depending on the schedule. You will audition in a group and you will watch everyone in your group.

How Can Teachers/Sponsors Help Their Students Participate In The TETA Auditions?
Teachers can help students select and prepare material, advise them on clothing choices, and time student’s pieces. 

Audition Orientation Workshop: 
ALL planning to participate in the Auditions are invited to an AUDITION ORIENTATION at the Convention site. The time and date will be e-mailed to the student and the workshop will be listed in the Convention program.

Acting Audition Performance Info: 
Each SENIOR student or transferring Community College Theatre student is allotted two minutes in which he/she presents:
• Two contrasting monologues from published play scripts (OR)
• One monologue and 16 bars from a musical selection

High School JUNIOR Students:
• ONE MINUTE to perform one monologue or one song).

Time begins following the introduction. The introduction should not exceed 12 seconds and should include your first and last name, your number (which will be assigned to you with your confirmation) and the titles of the plays. The introduction is not timed. Time will begin on the first moment of your first monologue or song. After two minutes the presenter will be asked to stop by the timekeeper.

An accompanist will be available for Senior and Transfer students who audition with a musical selection. Individuals may not accompany themselves nor can they sing a capella. Junior students must provide their own recorded accompaniment. The accompaniment must be instrumental and the excerpt of the track must be the only track recorded on the CD. The sound technician will NOT cue the music; the track should begin when the sound technician presses play. You will not be allowed to cue your own music or run your own sound for your audition. Each Senior singing candidate requiring accompaniment must provide legible sheet music written in the correct key for the accompanist to play. The beginning and end should be clearly marked.

A chair shall be provided for the acting auditions. No other props are allowed. Each student must provide the titles of the pieces they will provide within the audition form. Performances should be thoroughly rehearsed.

General Design/Technical Theatre Auditions Presentation Info: 
Description: Design/Technical Auditions are Mounted Based individual presentations by student designers/technicians for college/university representatives.  These mounted presentations will be through DesignFest at the Convention, and will be on display for the entire Convention participants to enjoy.  Note: There will be a separate section of DesignFest devoted to the Technical Audition participants. 

Each designer is limited to twelve pieces from no more than three productions.  Any special display materials needed as their area of emphasis requires, such as dress forms, slide projectors, head forms, sound equipment (use headsets only), etc., must be provided by the designer. 

New This Year:  Presentations will be in "Round Robin" style. College/University Reps will rotate from student to student.  The student should have a four or five minute prepared presentation. They should be prepared to answer questions from the college and university representatives.  Students should be prepared to do their presentation up to 20 times for various C/U reps who are rotating through.  C/U reps will have a choice of which students they wish to visit.

About Computers: If you are using a laptop please have it fully charged.  Electricity will NOT be provided.

Call-Backs for Acting and Technical Theatre Students: 
Following the completion of each category of auditions, an interview call-back session will be held. During this period, only candidates who are called back may talk directly to representatives of colleges and universities. Called-back individuals may bring a supply of resumes and headshots to the call-back session. Parents and directors are NOT allowed in the call-back room.

Founders’ Scholarships:
Who Can Participate In The Founders' Awards: 
TETA Founders' Scholarship Auditions: These $4000 scholarships are only available to students from schools who have been awarded the Texas Exemplary Institution award by TETA.  Note:  Institutions that were once an Institutional Member of the TETA are “grandfathered” into this opportunity.

Awards - High School Level: 
This $4000 scholarship shall be awarded to the high school acting or technical student who is selected by the Texas Exemplary Institutions present (and those institutions “grandfathered” who were Institutional Members) during the Founders' Scholarship Auditions.

Eligibility Requirements: Each high school is eligible to submit one of its graduating high school seniors for audition consideration for the Founders' Scholarship for Acting and one for Technical. The candidates must be intent on making theatre their major at a Texas college or university. Students must have a GPA of 3.0.

Selection Process: A Founders' Scholarship Selection Committee shall review all completed applications and, basing its decision on the student's academic record, and theatre activities, select the finalists to audition at the regular Convention auditions. Note: Students not selected as a finalist for the Founders' Scholarship or whose application is incomplete may be given a slot in the General Acting Auditions. The Founders' Scholarship Committee shall tabulate the ballots submitted by the T.E.I. representatives. The Committee shall also tabulate the runners-up in case the winner chooses not to accept the award.

Awards - College/University Level: 
This $4000 scholarship shall be awarded to the college/university acting or technical student who is selected by the Texas Exemplary Institutions present (and those institutions “grandfathered” who were Institutional Members) during the Founders' Scholarship Auditions.

Eligibility Requirements: Each college/university is eligible to submit up to three of its transferring students for audition consideration for the Founders' Scholarship for Acting and 3 for Technical. (If submitting more than one candidate for the Founders' Scholarship, then the theatre director/chair must designate which of the candidates is the school's first, second and, if necessary, third choice for the Acting Scholarship, and then repeat for the Technical Scholarship). Candidates must be intent on making theatre their major at a Texas college or university, must have a 3.0 overall GPA and have completed 12 or more semester credit hours.

Selection Process: A Founders' Scholarship Selection Committee shall review all completed applications and, basing its decision on the student's academic record and theatre activities, select ten finalists in Acting and 10 in Technical to audition at the regular Convention auditions. If more than ten candidates have valid packets, then the Scholarship Committee will select the finalists by using all of the first choices from all of the participating schools, then the second choices (in order of date received) and then the third choices, if necessary (in order of date received).

Students not selected as a finalist for the Founders' Scholarship or whose application is incomplete may be given a slot in the General Auditions.

The finalists shall appear in the same time slot at TETA's TheatreFest during the auditions. The Founders' Scholarship Committee shall tabulate the ballots submitted. The Committee shall also tabulate the runners-up in case the winner chooses not to accept the award.

Application Procedures: To submit a student for consideration for this scholarship, please follow the regular Audition registration mentioned above.  Include the following in an email to the Audition Chairs after registration is complete.

• An official copy of the student's school transcript
• Student Code of Conduct Form (online at
• Recommendation from teacher

For More Information:
Ms. Nina Saunders, Goose Creek ISD, Auditions Chair, 
John Ogden, New Caney ISD, DesignFest Chair,