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 provides 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.

MTA Board of Directors is monitoring Covid-19 updates around the state. Events will be adjusted according to the safety protocols as necessary. As of this time, all mandates are lifted in regards to the upcoming 2022-2023 workshops and events. If any mandates change, in accordance with the state / local government, and / or the host sites , MTA will post that information HERE and on its social media networks.

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 2023 – Tupelo, MS – January 12-15, 2023

January 12 – 15, 2023 – Tupelo, 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 posted here October 1

This is where you will find the school registration information for the 2023 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.

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.

2023 Tupelo, MS Festival Space Video

Join us for MTA 2023 in Tupelo, MS January 12-15, 2023. A video touring the performances spaces for Secondary, Community Theatre, and Theatre for Youth festivals as well as the spaces for the Vendor and College & University booths, Technical Individual Events, and Adult Individual Events will be found here September 1.

Ad Sales/Sponsorship Packages

Here is information on MTA’s Ad Sales/Sponsorship Packages.

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.

2022 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 regarding MTA 2023 Individual Events will be posted here September 1.

2022 Individual Events Event Rules and Guidelines

Here you will find the event rules and guidelines for the Youth Individual Event Festival events. MTA 2023 information will be posted here September 1.

2022 Individual Events Ballots

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. MTA 2023 information will be poster here September 1.

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

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 2023 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.
This will be updated for MTA 2023 on September 1.

MTA and DramaFest Scoresheet

Refer to the adjudicator score sheet while preparing for the one-act festival.
This will be updated for MTA 2023 on September 1.

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 14, 2021.
Information for Dramafest 2022 will be posted on September 1.

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 2022

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!
Learn More
Theatre Workshop
The MTA Annual Workshop is a great place to learn new theatre skills and to network with theatre professionals from around the state.
Learn More
10 Minute Festival Registration
Join high school students from around the state in 3 Regional 10 Minute Festivals.
Learn More