2016 EdTA China Young Thespian Festival


Theme: Improv
             24 hour theatre
             Freestyle theatre
Date: May 14-15, 2016
Registration open: March 19, Saturday
Registration deadline: April 30, Saturday
Freestyle theatre script submit deadline: April 16, Saturday
Location: 261 Huangyang Road, Pudong, Shanghai (Shanghai Pinghe Bilingual School)
Contestant grade: 6-12

Improv


What is Improv?


  • Improv is… short for Improvisation.
  • Improv is… acting spontaneously without a script.
  • Improv is… a series of made up stories and moments based on suggestions from the audience.
  • Improv is… fun, challenging, scary, exhilarating.

If you have seen the American TV show Who’s Line Is It Anyway? or 谢天谢地我来啦, great! You will have an idea of what you will be doing and what is expected of you. If you have not seen either shows, don’t worry! The festival will happen like this

Information


Date: May 14, Saturday
Division: Middle School: grade 6-9
                  High School: grade 10-12

Progress


Contestants register individually.

Each contestant will compete in two preliminary rounds, playing two selected Improv games with different participants. Based on the total score, contestants who break into the third and fourth round will compete in the afternoon session, playing two new Improv games.

For those who break into the final round, they will compete on stage in front of all judges and audience members.

Contestants, who do not qualify past the second round or the final round, can participate in workshops. These workshops will be ongoing throughout the day open to all students who are no longer competing. You can also join the audience voting session in the final round to choose your favorite contestant.

Rules


  1. Say ‘Yes, and…’
    It is important never to say no to your partner. If the players don’t agree, the scene cannot move forward and you make your partners feel stuck. Always say ‘yes’ and suggest what to do next.
  2. Establish Who/What/Where
    For a story to be built, the players need to establish who is in the story, what they are doing, and where they are. This way, the audience knows what’s going on from the start.
  3. Don't Block
    Don’t turn your back to the audience and don’t stand in front of each other.
  4. Tell a Story
    Storytelling is probably the easiest rule to remember but the hardest one to do. The real magic of improv is when we see the players take totally random suggestions (like a plumber and a cab driver selling shoes in a shikumen) and somehow continue a dialog and make things happen in a chronological order with a beginning, middle, and end.
  5. No….
    No costumes, props, or theatrical make-up are allowed. This includes hand-held props (pen, phone, etc.).
  6. Wearing Black
    All students must wear black or dark clothing so as not to distract the judges.

Games played at each competition round


Round robin- Round 1&2

  • Questions Only

    Form two lines, one person wide, facing each other. Have a conversation with your partner only consisting of questions! If a person says a statement or hesitates too long they get buzzed and have to go to the back of the line. The new person always starts the conversation.

  • Freeze

    Two people start a scene, the rest watch until they see something that gives them an idea—usually an interesting physical position. When someone from the audience calls, “freeze,” the actors freeze and the person who called ‘freeze’ taps one player out and assumes their physical position. They then start a completely new scene using that physical position. This game can also be played using a verbal cue instead of a physical one. After the new player calls, “freeze,” he taps one of the players on the shoulder and uses the last line of the previous scene as a first line to the new scene. The new player is always the one to start the new scene.

Round robin- Round 3&4

  • Taxi

    Two chairs are set up facing the audience. One player begins in the stage left chair, driving the taxi. They pick up the first hitch-hiker (with a wacky personality). The driver then assumes the hiker’s personality for about 30 seconds when he then finds a reason to leave. The hiker then jumps into the driver’s seat and picks up the next hitch-hiker and so on.

  • Pan left-pan right

    4 players make a square like in four-square except they all face the audience. The host gets suggestions from the audience on basic 2-person relationships (doctor/patient, mother/son, etc.). The host assigns the front pair a relationship and then instructs them to either pan left or pan right and the next two are given a different relationship until every combination (4 in total) are assigned a relationship. The game begins with the two front (most downstage) players playing a scene within their given relationship. The host (or audience if you wish) can call ‘pan left’ or ‘pan right’ at any time so that the two front players play their scene, picking up where they left off the previous time they were in the front.

Schedule

TIME

SUBJECT

8.00-8.30

Sign in

8.30-8.45

Opening

8.45-9.00

Game Demonstration

9.10-10.15

Round Robin-Round 1

10.20-11.25

Round Robin-Round 2

12.50-13.05

Game Demonstration

13.10-13.40

Round Robin-Round 3

13.50-14.20

Round Robin-Round 4

14.35-15.20

Teacher's performance

15.30-16.15

Final Round for Middle School

16.20-17.05

Final Round for High School

17.10-17.30

Awards

Tips


  1. Make Choices
    It’s not fair to your partner to ask them open-ended questions like, “Who are you?” or “What are you doing?” Rather, suggest who you are or what you are doing. For example, “I’m so full. Thanks, mom, for cooking that delicious meal.”
  2. Be Specific: Provide Details
    Details are the key to moving a scene forward. Each detail provides clues to what is important.
  3. You don't have to be funny.
    The secret of improv is that the harder you try not to be funny the more funny your scene is going to be. Why? Because the very best kind of improv scene you can do is an "interesting" scene, not necessarily a "funny" one. When you do an interesting scene, a very surprising thing happens: the funny comes out all by itself!
  4. Change, Change, Change!
    Improv is about character change. The characters in a scene must experience some type of change for the scene to be interesting. Characters need to go on journeys, be altered by revelations, experience the ramifications of their choices and be moved by emotional moments.
  5. Don't Deny
    Denial is the number one reason most scenes go bad. Any time you refuse an offer made by your partner, your scene will almost instantly come to a stop. Example: Player A) "Hi, my name is Jim. Welcome to my store." Player B) "This isn't a store, it's an airplane. And you're not Jim, you're an antelope." Player A) Uh….
  6. You can look good if you make your partner look good.
    When you are in a scene, the better you make your partner look, the better the scene is going to be and, as a direct result, the better you are going to look. You make your partner look good by always saying ‘Yes, and…’

Awards


Commitment Awards - for students who attended twice of Young Thespian Festival

Middle School
  1. Best Humor
    Outstanding Humor*2
  2. Best Physicality
    Outstanding Physicality*2
  3. Best Character Actor
    Outstanding Actor*2
  4. Best Team Player
    Outstanding Team Player*2
  5. Best Voice
    Outstanding Voice*2
  6. Best Spontaneity
    Outstanding Spontaneity*2
  7. Best Risk-taker
    Outstanding Risk-taker*2
  8. Best Overall Improviser
    Outstanding Overall Improviser*2
  9. Audience favorite
High school
  1. Best Humor
    Outstanding Humor*2
  2. Best Physicality
    Outstanding Physicality*2
  3. Best Character Actor
    Outstanding Actor*2
  4. Best Team Player
    Outstanding Team Player*2
  5. Best Voice
    Outstanding Voice*2
  6. Best Spontaneity
    Outstanding Spontaneity*2
  7. Best Risk-taker
    Outstanding Risk-taker*2
  8. Best Overall Improviser
    Outstanding Overall Improviser*2
  9. Audience favorite for high school

Workshop


Schedule


Session 1:12.15-13.00
Session 2:13.15-14.00
Session 3:14.35-15.20

Information and Instructor


coming soon

24 hour theatre & Freestyle theatre


If you think yesterday’s improve festival is far than enough, come and join theatre performance on Sunday!

General information


From the moment you first meet your team members, you will have 24 hours to analyze the script, learn your lines, rehearse blocking, gather props and costumes, and perform your final performance. It sounds like a challenge, but it can be done! Don't worry, no preparation is needed. We will provide you with everything and guide you through the whole process. You will work directly with skilled and experience Drama coaches to help bring your play to life in 24 hours.

If you already have something prepared with your troupe members, come show what you've got with Freestyle theater. Prepare a short performance with team members and register ahead of time. No special props or lighting is needed as judges will mainly pay attention to your acting, staging and physical presentation. You will also need a script and performance video clip when you register. There is no limit to the content of your performances except for sex, politics and religion. Performances with any of the those 3 will not be allowed.

Information


Date: May 15, Sunday
Contestant grade: 6-12
* Note: 24 hour Theatre & Freestyle theatre will happen at the same time, thus contestant can only register in one theme.

Progress


24 hour theatre
Participants register individually. Every participant will be randomly divided into troupes, and in those groups, students will rehearse and perform a 10 minute pay. The scripts should be collected on Saturday afternoon so that students can read and become familiar with the story. On Sunday morning, each troupe will be assigned a drama teacher who will direct the play and help the troupe to build a performance based on the script. Throughout Sunday, students should expect to be assigned roles, block and rehearse the play, learn about technical theater elements, and use/make props and costumes before giving a final performance at the end of the day.

Freestyle theatre
Participants register their troupe’s name and performance prepared ahead of time. Each troupe is expected to submit their script and a video of their performance before a set deadline. Once selected, the Festival’s organizing Committee will formally notice the troupe qualified for the competition.
Sunday morning, the stage will be available for 1 hour and open to any troupe who wants to rehearse. Registration is needed ahead of time to book a time on the stage. Following rehearsals, the preliminaries will take up the rest of the morning and based on the total score, the top 3 troupes will perform on stage in the afternoon to decide on the winner.

Rules


24 HOUR THEATRE

  1. All students must wear black or dark clothing so as not to distract the judges.
  2. Sets can be anything found in the space. Each group will be provided with a table and a few chairs. Additional chairs and standing microphone can always be found.
  3. Students must come to the first rehearsal on Sunday, May 15 prepared by having read the play and any additional audition information provided when students collect the scripts. Scripts will be distributed on Saturday, May 14.
  4. There will be a 1-min grace period for the final performance. After 11 min, the performance will be stopped.

FREESTYLE THEATRE

  1. No content involving sex, religion or politics.
  2. Possible performances include a cut from a one act play, 10-min minute play, or reader’s theater, etc.
  3. No more than 10 minutes with 2-5 minutes for set-up/strike. There will be a 1-minute grace period for performances. After 11 minutes, performances will be stopped.
  4. The space will be equipped with lighting and sound, and the students will get time for a quick tech rehearsal on the morning of Sunday, May 15.
  5. Minimum 5 students per troupe.
  6. Costumes allowed. Groups should come prepared with everything they need for their performances, but we will provide a table, chairs,portable microphones and standing microphones.
  7. Stage size: 10m length x 6.5m depth

Schedule


Saturday

13.00-18.30

Script pick up

Sunday

8.00-8.30

Sign in

8.30-8.50

Opening

9.00-10.00

24 hr theatre rehearsal Rd 1
Freestyle rehearsal on stage

10.00-11.00

24 hr theatre rehearsal Rd 2
Freestyle preliminary

11.00-12.00

24 hr theatre rehearsal Rd 3
Freestyle preliminary

13.00

Freestyle top 3 release

13.10-14.40

24 hr theatre rehearsal on stage

14.50-15.35

Freestyle final

15.45-17.15

24 hr theatre final

17.20-17.40

Awards

Judging Criteria


    24-hour Theater
  • The groups will be judged in the following categories:
  • Presentation (Staging/Blocking/Voice)
  • Pacing (Was it too fast, too slow, or just right? Did they exceed the time limit?)
  • Creativity (Was the presentation unique and interesting?)
  • Collaboration (Did the actors work well together well?)
  • Technical Elements (Given the limited time and resources, did the actors create impressive technical elements?)
    Freestyle Theater
  • The groups will be judged in the following categories:
  • Selection (Was the material carefully selected/created?)
  • Presentation (Staging/Blocking/Voice)
  • Pacing (Was it too fast, too slow, or just right? Did they exceed the time limit?)
  • Creativity (If not doing an original piece, did the actors present a unique interpretation?)
  • Overall Entertainment Quality

Contestant limit


24 hour theatre
In total 90. 6 troupes, each troupe has 10 to 15 contestants.

Freestyle theatre
Only 8 troupes are allowed to participate. The whole performance should not exceed 15 minutes. The theme and number of contestants is open, within reason.

Awards


24 hour theatre
Group awards
  1. Best troupe 1st place
  2. Best troupe 2nd place
  3. Best troupe 3rd place
  4. Audience favorite
Individual awards
  1. Best Actor
  2. Best Actress
  3. Best Voice
  4. Best Movement
  5. Best Character
Freestyle theatre
Group awards
  1. Best troupe 1st place
  2. Best troupe 2nd place
  3. Best troupe 3rd place
  4. Audience favorite
Individual awards
  1. Best Actor
  2. Best Actress
  3. Best Voice
  4. Best Movement
  5. Best Character