Secondary School Theatre Festival

Each year, high schools who have won state competitions perform at SETC for the regional title. The two winning productions from each of the 10 SETC member states* compete in the Secondary School Theatre Festival at the annual SETC Convention. Check with your state organization to learn how to compete at the state level.  * The 10 state region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

2021 Secondary School Theatre Festival

Performance Venue: TBA
Performance Dates: TBA
Awards Ceremonies: TBA

Due to COVID-19 and the varying impact on our state organization’s programming, the 2021 Secondary School Theatre Festival is currently being evaluated. We look forward to sharing a decision later this year.


For more information, please contact:

Lee Crouse

SETC Educational Services Manager
SETC Central Office
Call: 336-272-3645
Email Lee

2020 Secondary School Theatre Festival

Performance Venue: The Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theatre
Performance Dates: Feb. 27-28, 2020
Awards Ceremonies: Feb. 29, 2020

The 2020 Secondary School Theatre Festival took place as part of the 71st annual SETC Convention in Louisville, KY. If your high school theatre group is interested in participating in a future festival, check with your state organization to learn how to get started at the state level.

Festival performances are open to all registered attendees of the SETC Convention. Friends, family members and supporters not registered for SETC are able to purchase block tickets for the Secondary School Theatre Festival. Tickets will only be available online.

Thursday Performances – Feb. 27, 2020 – Block 1

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
The Trench
Georgia – Perry High School
Written by Oliver Lansley Directed by Joseph Sendek

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
The History of Tom Jones
Virginia – Jefferson Forest High School
Written by Dennis M. Maganza Adapted into a one-act play by Luis Munoz Based on the book by Henry Fielding; Directed by Spence and Niki White

NOON – 12:45 PM
The Exile and the Onion Girl
Mississippi – Clinton High School Written by Lindsay Price Directed by Sarah Hankins

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
Ernest and the Pale Moon
North Carolina – Watauga High School
Written by Oliver Lansley; Directed by Zachary Walker

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
A Murder of Crows
South Carolina – James F Byrnes High School
Written by Mike Kenney; Directed by Carol Sutton

Thursday Performances – Feb. 27, 2020 – Block 2

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM
Scenes From Metamorphoses 
Tennessee – Nolensville High School
Written by Mary Zimmerman Directed by Laura Lindsey

6:30 PM – 7:15 PM
Failure: A Love Story
Kentucky – SCAPA Lafayette High School
Written by Phillip Dawkins Directed by Amie Kisling

7:30 PM – 8:15 PM
Future Here
West Virginia – Jefferson High School
Written by Jeremy F. Richter Directed by Trisha Nupp

8:30 PM – 9:15 PM
The Dentist
Alabama – James Clemens High School
Dialogue written by James Clemens HS through devised theatre improv; Directed by Amy Patel

9:30 PM – 10:15 PM
The Arkansaw Bear 
Florida – Windermere High School
Written by Aurand Harris Directed by Jonathan Jackson

Friday Performances – Feb. 28, 2020 – Block 3

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Never the Sinner 
Georgia – Lakeside High School
Written by John Logan; Directed by Lisa Bridges

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Silent Sky 
Virginia – Lafayette High School
Written by Lauren Gunderson; Directed by Suzan McCorry

NOON – 12:45 PM
Mississippi – Northwest Rankin High School
Written by Don Zolidis Directed by Juniper Wallace

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
Ernest and the Pale Moon
North Carolina – Sanderson High School
Written by Oliver Lansley; Directed by Peter Comperator

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
South Carolina – Sumter High School
Written by Katherine Snodgrass; Directed by Kelly Melton

Friday Performances – Feb. 28, 2020 – Block 4

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM
The Old Man and the Moon
Tennessee – Stewarts Creek High School
Written by Pig Pen Theatre Company Directed by Donald Fann

6:30 PM – 7:15 PM
James and the Giant Peach
Kentucky – Tates Creek High School
From the book written by Roald Dahl Dramatized by Rochaird R. George Directed by Daniel Ellis

7:30 PM – 8:15 PM
Crow and Weasel
West Virginia – Wyoming East High School
Written by Jim Leonard, Jr. Directed by Curtis Lovejoy

8:30 PM – 9:15 PM 
The Trench
Alabama – Huntsville High School
Written by Oliver Lansley Directed by Meghan Browning

9:30PM – 10:15PM
Florida – Gulf Breeze High School
Written by Elizabeth Swados; Directed by Margie Timmons

2020 Adjudicators

Dylan Bollinger Headshot

Dylan Bollinger

Dylan Bollinger is currently an assistant professor, director of Theatre Design/ Technology, and the BA Theatre- Secondary Education Coordinator at Avila University. He holds an MFA in Drama with a concentration in design from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and an M.Ed. in Theatre Education from Columbus State University (Columbus, GA). Dylan also received his undergraduate education at Columbus State University.

Diane Carr

Diane Carr

Dr. Diane Carr is an experienced and dynamic leader whose focus is on developing strategies for sustainable growth, managing business operations, advancing volunteer, mentor and outreach service programs, defining community relationship development and leading educational program development. In addition to her doctorate in educational leadership, she also holds a Masters in Education, a Masters in English, and an MBA. She works to demonstrate servant leadership in all that she does and believes in the core value that “People Matter.” #drservantleader.

Gai Jones Head Shot

Gai Laing Jones

Gai Laing Jones is the president of the national Educational Theatre Association Governing Board which sets policy for the professional members and students of Theatre; Thespians; CA Youth in Theatre Founder; has a theater named after her at El Dorado H.S. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at CSU East Bay, writes Theatre Ed books, directs, produces educational theatre productions, and is a SAG/AFTRA commercial actress.

The 2019 Secondary School Theatre Festival was held Feb. 28 – March 1, 2019, at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium during the 70th annual SETC Convention in Knoxville, TN.

Congratulations to 2019’s winners!

  • Best Production: The Terrible Infants – Perry High School, GA
  • Runner-Up Production: Crane Wife – Charlotte Country Day School, NC
  • Best Actress: Helena Schatzki and Jenna Reed, Taste of Sunrise – SCAPA/Lafayette High School, KY
  • Best Actor: Kieshaun Butts and Daniel Baesler, Taste of Sunrise – SCAPA/Lafayette High School, KY

Thank you to all high school groups that participated in 2019:

  • Alabama:  Bob Jones High School – The Bell Witch
  • Alabama:  Huntsville High School – LIZZIE
  • Florida:  Trinity Prep School – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Florida:  Windermere High School – And Then Came Tango
  • Georgia:  Perry High School – The Terrible Infants
  • Kentucky:  SCAPA/Lafayette High School – Taste of Sunrise
  • Kentucky:  Tates Creek High School – Trojan Women
  • Mississippi:  Oak Grove High School – The Axeman’s Requiem
  • Mississippi:  Ocean Springs High School – Scenes from The White Snake
  • North Carolina:  Charlotte Country Day School – The Crane Wife
  • North Carolina:  Sanderson High School – 26 Pebbles
  • South Carolina:  Blythewood High School – Elephant’s Graveyard
  • South Carolina:  Sumter High School – Chronicle Simpkins Will Cut You
  • Tennessee:  Nolensville High School – The Crane Wife
  • Tennessee:  Stewarts Creek High School – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Virginia:  Jamestown High School – The Happening
  • Virginia:  Lafayette High School – Night Sky
  • West Virginia:  Buckhannon-Upshur High School – I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • West Virginia:  Musselman High School – Hush

2019 Adjudicators

Diane Carr

Dr. Diane Carr is the Director of Chapter Relations and Community Engagement for the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) where she is responsible for leading and supporting EdTA’s national volunteer base including all state organizations. She earned her BA and MEd from Northern Kentucky University, an MA from University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier University. In her spare time, she serves as costumer for several community theatre organizations.

Moses Goldberg

Moses Goldberg retired after 25 years as Producing Director of Stage One: The Louisville Children’s Theatre. He now works as a freelance director, teacher and playwright. He has directed professionally at theatres from Washington to Florida, including — in 1988 — one of the first U.S./Soviet exchanges at Moscow’s famed Taganka Theatre. Sixteen of his plays for young audiences have been published, as well as his most recent book “TYA: Essays on Theatre for Young Audiences.” He has taught at Florida State University and Southwest Texas State University and as an adjunct faculty member elsewhere.

Herb Parker

Herb Parker is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance with East Tennessee State University. He is the author of “A Monologue is an Outrageous Situation! How to Survive the 60-Second Audition,” and “Acting Shakespeare is Outrageous! Playing the Bard for Beginners,” published by Routledge Focal Press. His productions of “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Little Shop of Horrors” all received the KCACTF “Excellence in Directing” Meritorious Achievement Award. Professor Parker is a proud long-time member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Behind the Scenes Videos

KET, a Kentucky-based PBS educational television network, stopped by the 2017 SETC Convention in Lexington, KY, to shoot behind-the-scenes educational videos featuring the High School Theatre Festival.

Hear from the director and actors from the production of A Taste of Sunrise. The cast talks about learning American Sign Language and how working on the play has changed their perspective on life.
Andrew Branca, a high school student from Central Academy of Technology and Arts, in North Carolina talks about how he was inspired to write Boal after attending a summer theater workshop on Brazilian theater activist Augusto Boal. Cast members discuss what it was like to collaborate on the playwriting process and why they felt it was important to start a serious discussion on racism and Islamophobia.