|Attendance: Every student from every school will stay for the entire Festival day, from 8am to approximately 1:30pm. If you are outside the Beltway and travel is a problem, call us and we’ll help you figure out how to get here on time.|
Audience Decorum: Being a good audience member is an important part of the Festival. Audience members are expected to extend to other performers the same courtesies and attention they would appreciate while on stage. This requirement includes being in the theater for all performances, and being a great, attentive audience for other students onstage.
Timing: Performances should be at least 15 and no more than 25 minutes long. In order to ensure that the performances stay on schedule, we must adhere to this rule.
Admiring Spectators: We encourage you to invite parents, friends, and other admirers to the Festival! Parents and other fans may come and go in the balcony. Please communicate to parents that we often run ahead of schedule. We advise your fans to arrive 15 to 30 minutes early. Street parking is available (please read signs carefully!) and the Folger is also accessible by Metro on the red, blue, and orange lines at Union Station and Capitol South.
Introductory Narratives: The Mistress of Revels will preside over each Festival Day. If you want her to deliver a special, brief introduction, it must be legibly written and given to the check-in docent at the beginning of the day.
Broadside Synopses: So that all students in the audience will have important context for each performance, schools should include a short synopsis of their play on their broadside program.
Photography: Please do not use a flash in the theater as it is a safety risk.
Video: You are welcome to videotape your performance, provided that your camera is battery powered. If you wish to use a tripod, you must set up in the balcony right before the particular performance. Please do not block the view of other spectators.
Awards: There will be two professional commentators on each Festival day whose job it is to praise good work wherever they see it and offer encouraging and constructive feedback to every school. They will give awards for excellence in all areas. Both the commentators and the Library want to see people having fun, people learning about themselves and Shakespeare—not people in cutthroat rivalry. Each school will go home with several awards—but no one person or group ever “wins” the Festival. We are each other’s fans, not rivals.
Secondary School Shakespeare Festival
How-To: Selecting and Cutting Scenes
Planning Guide: A Festival Timeline