Secondary Theatre

The Secondary Division is one of the most active divisions within MTA. Each year, there are two regional one-act festivals (DramaFest) that pre-qualify schools to perform in the one-act festival at the Mississippi Theatre Association’s Annual Festival. The Regional 10-Minute Festivals provide an opportunity for students to work with students from other schools to produce a 10-minute play in a 1-day period. The Individual Events Festival allows students to compete with acting and technical events in both solo and group competitions. Junior and Senior students are invited to participate in the College & University Auditions at the Annual Festival. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to meet with college and university representatives.

The division hosts continuing education/professional development workshops to assist teachers in teaching theatre arts throughout the season. CEU credits are available for attendance at the annual festival and for the workshops.

MTA hosts an email Listserv to connect theatre teachers from across the state. Subscribe to the list today to join the conversation. E-mail Executive Director, Stacy Howell, to be added to the listserv.

If you need assistance getting your theatre program off the ground or if you need advice with productions or your curriculum, feel free to contact one of the division chairs or the Executive Director. We are here and willing to assist you in making your program the best it can be!

MTA 2024 – Gulfport, MS – January 11-14, 2024

January 11 – 14, 2024 – Gulfport, MS

The Mississippi Theatre Association State Festival is a four-day event that includes college auditions, scholarship opportunities, one-act play festivals, theatre for youth festivals, individual events for high school students and adults, and workshops. MTA Festival is the one time each year that theatre-makers of all disciplines from across the state can gather together and celebrate each other’s work. Join us for MTA 2023! Mississippi Does Great Theatre!

School Registration will be HERE in early December

This is where you will find the school registration information for the 2024 MTA Annual Festival. The organizational school registration deadline will be due December 15! Purchase order numbers must be turned in at this time. There will be no refunds after the December 15 registration deadline.

2023 Letter to Theatre Teachers

This letter of introduction explains the opportunities available for school groups and theatre teachers for the upcoming theatre festival. Information for MTA 2024 will be posted in early September.

Code of Conduct

All students attending MTA State Festival must sign a Code of Conduct form. This is to ensure that all participants are aware of theatre etiquette and behavior expectations throughout the regional and state theatre festivals.

2024 Gulfport, MS Festival Space Video

Information on MTA 2024 will be posted in early September.

Ad Sales/Sponsorship Packages

Here is information on MTA’s Ad Sales/Sponsorship Packages. Information for MTA 2024 will be posted in early September.

2023 MTA Festival Schedule

Here is the overall schedule for MTA 2023. The MTA 2024 festival schedule will be posted in early January.

2023 MTA Workshop Schedule

Here is a list of the workshops that will be available at MTA 2023.A listing of the MTA 2024 workshops will be posted in early January.

2023 MTA Festival Program

Here is a link to the MTA 2023 festival program. The MTA 2024 festival program will be posted in mid January.

Resources for Junior & Senior Auditions

Tips for College and University Auditions

A video explaining what colleges are looking for in their top high school recruits at MTA.

Portfolio Pointers 

David Carter, Theatre Department Chair at Mississippi University for Women gives pointers on how to create a portfolio for students auditioning for technical theatre.

How to Mark Sheet Music

This video walks auditionees through the process of marking sheet music for a live audition.

Sample Audition

This video shows sample auditions for the MTA College & University auditions.

Monologue only – 60 seconds

Monologue + song – 90 seconds

MTA Scholarship

$500 to a deserving high school senior who intends to pursue a theatre degree at a Mississippi college or university.

Individual Events Festival

The MTA Individual Events Festival is an excellent opportunity for actors and technicians alike to compete in both solo and group events. The format of IEs has changed to allow for more entries per student and per school. Please refer to the guidelines document for up-to-date information.

2023 Introductory Letter and Information

Here you will find the introductory letter for the MTA 2023 Youth Individual Events. Please review this information. MTA 2024 information will be posted in early September.

2023 Individual Events Submission Guidelines

Here you will find the information on how to register to participate in the Youth Individual Events. Please note there are changes from the past festivals as all preliminary rounds are moving to a virtual format. The final round of each event will still be hosted at the state festival. Information for MTA 2024 will be posted in early October.

2023 Youth Individual Events Quick Reference Guide

Here you will find a quick reference guide to the 2023 Youth Individual Events rules and guidelines for the Youth Individual Event Festival events. Information for MTA 2024 will be posted in early October.

2023 Youth Individual Events Operational Manual

Individual event ballots for each event illustrate exactly what judges are looking for in student performers and technicians. Please refer to these ballots when students are preparing for the competition. Information for MTA 2024 will be posted in early October.

2023 Individual Events Contacts

If you have any questions regarding the Youth Individual Event Festival, contact one of the division chairs or vice-chairs.

Sarah Hankins
Lauren Ray
Jessica Wilkinson

Ten Minute Festival

Join high school students from around the state in 3 Regional Ten Minute Festivals.

Ten Minute Festival Information and Registration

Registration for 2023 will open in mid August.

Junior/Senior College & University Auditions

Junior and senior high school students planning to pursue theatre in college are invited to participate in auditions for college and university programs at the MTA State Festival. Auditions take place on Thursday evening before the festival starts. Students have the opportunity to meet with college representatives throughout the festival at the college fair booths. Refer to the documents linked below for registration, rules, and resources for auditions.

Senior students who plan to major in theatre at an in-state college or university are eligible to apply and audition for the MTA Scholarship. One deserving high school senior will be awarded a $500 scholarship.

Junior/Senior College Audition Registration

Make sure to have all auditioning juniors and seniors complete the college/university registration. This information will go to the participating college and universities.

Junior/Senior College Audition Rules

Here are the rules for the Junior/Senior College Auditions. Make sure to review this information so that you can be prepared for this opportunity. Information for MTA 2024 will be posted here on September 1.

Junior/Senior College Audition – How to Mark Your Music

Make sure to visit this link to mark your music appropriately for the Junior/Senior College Auditions.

Junior/Senior College Audition – Sample Audition

Here is a link to a sample Junior/Senior College Audition.

MTA Scholarship

If you, or one of your students, is interested in applying for the MTA Scholarship. Click this link for more information.

Rory Ledbetter

Corey Squires
Vice Chair

Regional DramaFest

Mississippi Theatre Association facilitates two Regional Drama Festivals each year. Each of these festivals is traditionally held in early December. The North Regional Festival (North DramaFest) is traditionally held at Mississippi State University and the South Regional Festival (South DramaFest) is traditionally held at the University of Southern Mississippi. The top placing performances of each regional festival advance to the MTA statewide theatre festival, traditionally held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend each year. Visit the links below for helpful information in preparing for DramaFest.

MTA Secondary Festival Guidelines 

The MTA Secondary Festival Guidelines are guidelines for the one-act festivals at both regional Drama Festivals and the statewide theatre festival. Participants are encouraged to read these guidelines in preparation for the regional AND state festivals.

MTA and DramaFest Scoresheet

Refer to the adjudicator score sheet while preparing for the one-act festival.

DramaFest Letter of Intent

School theatre programs wishing to participate in the regional Drama Festivals must first complete a DramaFest Letter of Intent. The number of slots available for participants at each regional festival is limited and participation is allowed on a first come first serve basis. Schools are encouraged to submit their letters of Intent as early as possible. Submissions of Letters of Intent open on September 16, 2023.

What to Expect at DramaFest

A quirky video explaining what students and teachers can expect at the Drama Festival. (Please note in the guidelines the new “Go Line” rule that was instated in 2015)

Banned Productions 2023

Productions performed at regional festivals within the last 3 years. Please note that schools are not allowed to compete with productions that advance to the state festival for 3 years. Schools are also not allowed to compete with a performance of any production in their region for 3 years.

Using Copyrighted Music in Theatre Productions

This post urges theatre organizations to use music wisely, making sure they have the legal right to use it in their productions. Please note that it is the individual school/theatre’s responsibility to secure the appropriate licensing for any productions that they produce.

Banned Productions
When planning for festival, refer to this list of productions that have been performed in the last three years.
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Mississippi Theatre Listing
MTA would like to showcase “all” theatres in Mississippi! To be included,or to update, your theatre information, click on the following link and complete the google form.
Learn More
Upcoming Theatre Events
A great way to promote your upcoming theatre productions is through the MTA Online Calendar!
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Playwriting Festival
The MTA 2024 Playwriting Festival is open for submissions!
Learn More