Fellow Directors,

The time to begin gearing up for this year’s MTA Festival being held January 15-17, 2021. This year’s festival will be held virtually and it is fast approaching! As the chair persons for the Theatre for Youth Festival, we are writing to encourage you to register your students to be a part of this richly rewarding event.

The Theatre for Youth Festival is intended for theatre troupes who wish to perform to an elementary school audience. As such, we are requesting that the material you wish to produce be appropriate for grades K-6, and adhere to a time limit of only thirty minutes. This year’s festival will be pre-recorded videos which will be broadcast throughout the day on January 15, 2021, and streamed to elementary schools, preschools, and homes nationwide! This is a one day festival so limited entries will be accepted, on a first-come-first-served basis only. The deadline for registering for this festival is November 22. Entry spots fill up quickly, so we encourage you to sign up early. Registration will open on September 25.

Though the festival is non-competitive in nature, adjudicative written feedback will be provided at the conclusion of the festival. Two “Best Play” awards will be given, highlighting a secondary performance group, as well as a community theatre/college group. All-Star awards will be given; in addition to special awards highlighting technical or performance achievement will be given at the adjudicator’s discretion. There will be no oral adjudication this year, but schools will receive their written adjudications following the annual festival. Awards will be highlighted following the festival on the Friday afternoon of MTA. 

Any group, of any age may enter, and the fee for entry is $50, if you are registered for the full weekend. If not, the entry is $75. We look forward to seeing you there. It’s important to remember that as we gear up for the big competition that we not forget about the younger audiences that will one day fill our troupes with talent!

Please note MTA will be utilizing the Streaming Platform – ShowTix4U. We have been in direct contact with the publishers/licensing companies listed below. We chose our streaming platform based on numerous factors including the number of partnerships that the company had.

The licensing companies below are all preferred partners with ShowTix4U. If streaming rights are available for a particular title, these companies will permit ShowTix4U to be the platform that broadcasts the recorded-stream or virtual performance.
– Brooklyn Publishing
– Concord Theatricals
– Dramatists Play Service
– Dramatic Publishing Company
– Eldridge Plays
– Heuer Plays
– Music Theatre International
– Pioneer Drama
– Stage Rights
– Youth Plays

The licensing companies below are NOT preferred partners with ShowTix4U. It is each director’s responsibility to contact the individual publishing houses to secure a recorded-stream or virtual license.
– Playscripts – They will contact authors’ representatives on your behalf to request license.
– Stage Partners – They have not responded to our requests, however we do not foresee a problem acquiring rights for the platform we have chosen.
– Theatre Folk – They require a different platform and will not permit their titles to be live streamed through ShowTix4U.
– Theatrical Rights Worldwide – They require a different platform and will not permit their titles to be live streamed through ShowTix4U.

It is the director’s responsibility to contact the publishing company, notify them of our festival requirements, and obtain performance and recorded live streaming or virtual rights. As always, titles in the public domain and original works are welcome and encouraged.

All students will need to sign the Consent to Broadcast form, located in the MTA Registration packet.


Thanks in advance,


Theatre for Youth Chair
Jessica Manzo (manzo.mosaics@gmail.com)


Theatre for Youth Vice Chair
Ruthie Taylor (taylorr@gosaints.org)
St. Andrews Middle School


Theatre for Youth Stage Diagram 

Theatre For Youth Rules

Each school must provide 2 copies of the following information, and give to The Theatre for Youth Festival Chair prior to the performance.

o School / Organization Name

o Title of Play Performed

o Author of the Play

o Cast of Characters in Speaking Order (Character Name and Actor Name (If the character does not have a name that is called in the play, please include a description of some type that clearly allows the adjudicators to distinguish between actors)

o Director, Crew, Additional Support


Theatre For Youth Productions are a maximum of 30 minutes.

Mississippi Theatres for Youth:

3 Records Found
Theatre NameAddressPhoneWebsiteDescriptionFor More Information
Peanut Butter & Jelly Theater 507 Market Street, Port Gibson, MS 39150 (601) 437-8905 Website This group tours Mississippi with plays, songs, stories, games, and poems for children. dcrosby@lorman.alcorn.edu
Puppet Arts Theatre 1927 Springridge Drive, Jackson, MS 39211 (601) 956-3414 Website The Puppet Arts Theatre is a professional puppet theatre company organized in 1967. Performances combine arts, education, and entertainment. The theatre tours Mississippi and the Southeast.
Community Children's Theatre 1000 Monroe Street (or P.O. Box 4403), Jackson, MS 39216 (601) 354-1191 A 50-year-old volunteer organization that produces an annual play for area children. Members select the play, build sets, gather props, rehearse, make costumes, work spotlights, arrange reservations and more for the 10,000 plus children who see the play each winter.