Registration for the 2021 Festival will open mid October.

The 10-Minute Play Festival provides an opportunity for students to expand their horizons and hone their skills.

Each school sends 1 writer, 1 director, 1 assistant director / tech, and 3 actors. (All students must be a part of a “full” team. Partial teams will not be allowed this year.) The students are put into groups of six, all from different schools. One student from each group writes a 10-minute play based on a topic provided by festival chairs. (3 possible topics for the Ten Minute Play Festival will be sent to the participating schools. They will be advised that 1 of the 3 topics will be chosen on the first day of the festival.) Once complete, he/she passes it to the director, who casts and directs the show. The plays are performed and adjudicated in front of an audience 24 hours later.

Participation Guidelines

2021 Covid Edition

Staying the Same

  • Each school will have teams of 6
  • Schools can enter more than one team as long as each team has 6 participants
  • There will still be a poster design for each show


  • This year’s festival will be devised theatre
  • All teams will be randomly split into groups during the ZOOM meetings
  • Those teams will then work together to write a script
  • All scripts will need to be emailed into the MTA Chair for 10-minute
  • Rehearsals will take place in breakout rooms during a ZOOM meeting
  • Performances will be done live via Zoom and will be recorded and broadcast later as a part of the MTA Virtual Festival
  • Props and makeup are encouraged but not required
  • Schools will be given a ZOOM link closer to the festival

More on the Devised Theatre Process… 

The Prompt –  We Can do Better

  • Ensemble members will be assigned from various schools.  Teachers will have provided them with ideas for source material related to this prompt.   For example – Racial Inequity, Voting Suppression, Inclusiveness.  Source material does not have to be heavy.   The prompt ” We can do Better ” can mean many things but students participating in this project should all come into it with an idea to serve as source material
  • Students will be divided into random groups and will select from the source material they have each brought the theme or idea that will inform the process of their creation.  One student may serve as the scribe but the play belongs to all involved.
  • Students will explore and create by working with Moment Work Technique as defined by Tectonic Theatre Project.  This will be covered in the MTA Teacher Workshop.   The best resource is the book Moment Work:  Tectonic Theatre Project’s Process of Devising.  They will utilize found objects in their own homes for the purposes of the play.
  • The groups will work together and record the play in break out rooms.   They will come together and audiences will be invited to watch the plays.
  • Adjudicators will give a live responses.
  • Time Limit is a Ten Minute Play

Contact Information:

Rules and Regulations

  • The 10- Minute Play Festival is open to any school or organization in the State of Mississippi. This includes public and private high schools, performing arts schools, dual enrollment institution, charter schools, and home school groups.
  • Participants must be enrolled in a school program and must be accompanied by a sponsor. Each group and each participant must be a member of MTA and each 10-Minute Festival participate will be required to pay a $10 entry fee.

The sponsor/chaperone/volunteer MUST stay with the students throughout the 10-Minute activities.  This is an over 24 hour commitment in that you’ll need to have a sponsor/chaperone/volunteer with the students at all times.  You can divide this among several adults as long as this is communicated with the 10-Minute Festival Chair/Vice Chair. There will be a sign in sheet at the first meeting with the students.

  • Students participating in the 10-Minute Play Festival can only participate in the 10-Minute Festival with the exception of College/University Auditions.
  • The 10-Minute Play Festival adheres to all rules and regulations set forth by MTA.
  • Eight schools can register with six students. (Schools “MUST” register with “full” teams.)
  • Each school should bring 5 props and 5 costume pieces each. A list of possible props will be given to the schools who register. Props and costumes will be “dropped off” at a central location.


  • Membership is effective upon payment of dues and fees and must be renewed annually. Current dues as stated on the registration form and may be sent with the registration packet.
  • Each student must pay a $10 entry fee.


  • The festival will take place over the course of 27 hours and will be contained in one location.
  • Each school will send the following: 1 writer; 1 director; 1 tech; 3 actors (Only Full Teams Allowed)
  • Number of participants: 50 participants
  • Participants will not work together as a school. The Chair will provide the writers with a theme (one of the 3 themes sent prior to the festival); directors will randomly draw for the plays; and actors will be cast through a general audition. Each “production” group should be composed of students from different school groups.

Duties of each Team Member:


  • will have to attend a writers’ workshop and should be focus students that have the aptitude to write a 10-Minute Play.
  • will have not less than two hours but no more than three hours to write a ten minute, three-character play.
  • will write on the theme provided to them by the Chair and any style
  • may not submit previously written or previously produced material
  • may use electronic paraphernalia (i.e. laptops…etc. )
  • will have no input during the production aspect of the play


  • will attend the directors’ workshop
  • will choose plays at random
  • will cast from action pool
  • may not cut scripts or make significant changes (except in the case of gender due to the availability of actors)


  • will attend the tech workshop
  • will assist director
  • will act as technical director
  • will act as stage manager


  • will audition after the plays have been assigned
  • must present a 30-45 second monologue of his or her choice

Play Assignments

  • Plays will be assigned randomly.
  • Each play will be assigned a number. The directors will then choose numbers. The play corresponding with the chosen number is the play each director will direct.
  • Casting must be done from the pool of actors participating in the 10- Minute Festival portion of MTA.
  • Rehearsal schedules outside the performance area and breaks will be determined by the directors of each “production” group. Chair or Co-Chair need to kept advised of groups’ location at all times.
  • A floor plan of the performance area will be distributed to the directors and ADs when scripts are distributed.
  • General furnishing, lighting, and a sound system will be supplied by the festival. However, these aspects may be limited. Any other aspects (music, costumes, make-up, props…etc.) will be the responsibility of the director, assistant director, and actors.
  • Each “production” group will have 45 minutes in the performance area.


  • All “production” groups must be in the designated holding area one hour before performance time. All participants may watch the other shows but must be in the designated green room area 30 minutes before their group’s performance time.
  • Each “production” group has 15 minutes for setup, performance and strike. A play going over time will not be considered for the Best Play Award. The time clock may be stopped for extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the Festival Chair.


Two Respondents, selected by the Festival Chair and knowledgeable in the field of dramatic production, shall share a 30-minute oral critique following all of the performances. Critiques shall be open to the audience.

Among the criteria to be considered:


  • Are the characters will?
  • Does the dialogue reflect thoughtfulness?
  • Is the material appropriate for the group?
  • Is the material worthy of the time and effort?


  • Is the concept appropriate for the material?
  • How well has the structure of the play been controlled?
  • How effective are movement and stage pictures?
  • Was attention given to pacing, tempo, variety, and subtle nuances?


  • Is the acting believable?
  • Is the acting technically skillful?
  • Are the characters well interpreted?


  • Do the technical elements support the production?
  • Set Props
  • Sound (if applicable) Lighting
  • Costuming Make-up.

Overall Production

  • Does the company display ensemble work?
  • How well is the concept realized by the group?
  • How effective was the total impact?

Updated:  Yolanda Williams, August 2019