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 10-Minute Festival provides an opportunity for students to work with students from other schools to produce a 10-minute play in a 24 hour 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.

Theatre Teacher E-Mail Listserv MTA hosts an email Listserv to connect theatre teachers from across the state. Subscribe to the list today to join the conversation. If you don’t have a Listserv password you can request a new password here

MTA Board of Directors is monitoring Covid-19 updates around the state. Events will be adjusted according to the safety protocols as necessary. Check out Update on Upcoming Events for the latest news regarding MTA-sponsored events.

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!

Suz Allmon
Kerri Sanders
Chris Permenter

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 Letter of Intent as early as possible. Submissions of Letters of Intent opens on September 14, 2021.

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 2021 

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.

DramaFest Contacts

Below are the contacts for each of the Regional Drama Festivals. Please contact these individuals directly with questions regarding your participation in either of these festivals.

North DramaFest
December 3 – 4, 2021
Mississippi State University
Host Contact is Tonya Hays

South DramaFest
December 3 – 4, 2021
The University of Southern Mississippi
Host Contact is Sandra Whittington

MTA 2021 – MSU Riley Center Meridian, MS – January 13-16, 2022

The schedule of events will be posted here in early January

January 13 – 16, 2022 – MSU Riley Center

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.

MSU Riley Center Tech Specs for One-Act Festival

Performing schools can find the technical specs for the MSU Riley Center stage here. Additional tech specs will be posted by October 1.

2022 MTA Riley Center Festival Space Video

Join us for MTA 2022 at the MSU Riley Center in Meridian, Mississippi January 13-16, 2022. This video tours 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.

School Registration

Check back on November 1 for school registration information for the 2022 MTA Annual Festival.

Ad Sales/Sponsorship Packages

Support MTA while promoting your school in the 2022 MTA program. Ad sales and sponsorship packages will be posted on November 1.

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

$2000 to a deserving high school senior who intends to pursue a theatre degree at a Mississippi college or university.

Regional 10-Minute Festival : South

Join MTA for the Southern Regional 10-Minute Festival, this Saturday, October 2, at 6:00 pm at Biloxi High School! Participating schools include Biloxi High School, St. Martin High School, and Ocean Springs High School.

Teams will be created to create and produce a 10-minute play in only 1 day! The 10-minute festival will feature a devised theatre format with the social topic, “We Can Do Better.”

Admission is free. Audience members will be asked to wear masks at all times.

For more questions, contact 10-Minute Southern Regional Chair, Carrie Ferguson-Bellew at

Download Forms & More Information Here

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.

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.

Individual Events Event Rules and Guidelines

Here you will find the event rules and guidelines for the Youth Individual Event Festival events.

Indvidual 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.

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

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 $2000 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.

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.

DramaFest Letter of Intent
Interested in participating in DramaFest? Submit your Letter of Intent on September 14, 2021
Learn More
MTA Events Update
This is an up to date document that tracks the status of MTA events for the 2021-2022 season.
Learn More
Banned Productions
When planning for festival, refer to this list of productions that have been performed in the last three years.
Learn More
10-Minute Festival Registration
Register here for the Regional 10-Minute Festivals.
Learn More