Festival Dates May 8-10, 2020

Welcome to Tairawhiti’s 48-Hour Virtual Play Festival! The following are the rules for the event.  All rules must be closely followed, or you will risk team elimination. 


Registration: Please register your team by emailing info@evolutiontheatre.org.nz no later than 7pm, May 7th.  You must provide full name as you would like it to appear, age of participant, and the email addresses of all participants.  Please also tell us who will be actor 1, actor 2, writer, director, and tech if applicable.  We encourage you to come up with a fun, short team name.


Team Guidelines:

  • Teams will consist of a minimum of 4 members.  Two actors, one writer, one director.  A fifth member may be added to deal with technical challenges inherent in a virtual festival. Team members may be of any age.

  • Social Distancing measures MUST be adhered to.  Teams may consist of people residing in the same home, or people communicating over Zoom or other similar technology.  We have selected the Zoom platform for the stage on which you will ultimately perform to ensure consistency between team submissions.


Script Guidelines:  The theme of the event will be announced May 8th at 7pm on Facebook Live.  https://www.facebook.com/EvolutionTheatreGisborne/ 

  • Your play must include the theme to be announced in a meaningful way that the audience can recognise. 

  • Your play must be no shorter than 5 minutes and no longer than 10 minutes.  
    7 minutes is the optimal length. Please do not exceed 7 written pages.

  • Your play must be appropriate for all audiences. Unnecessary foul language and overt sexual content is not permitted.  

  • All actors must be utilized, but they need not necessarily have speaking roles.

  • The writer and director MAY perform as an actor if desired. This is not required.

  • Your play must be submitted to info@evolutiontheatreorg.nz no later than 1:00pm on May 9th.  Late entries will not be accepted.  Your play will be approved no later than 2:30pm.  

  • Your play must include the use of the following prop _______TBD____________. 

  • Your play must include the following text, verbatim, “_______TBD_____________.”

Design Elements:

  • Teams are responsible for sourcing costumes and props from items already found on your premises.  You must respect the rules of Level 3 isolation.

  • All recorded effects and music must be original, royalty free, or in the public domain.  If you do not have the legal right to use the music or effects you have selected, you will be disqualified, as we will not be able to legally share your play.



  • All rehearsals will be held online using the technology of your choosing, unless all team members are from the same household.  

  • We advise that you hold at least one rehearsal on Zoom as this will be the technology you will use to stage your production. You may choose to have your play previewed by the Artistic Director of ETC by appointment. 

  • Actors are expected to be off-book for the final performance.    


Time Line:

  • Friday, 7:00pm: Play Festival Kick-Off- Teams are assigned and theme, prop, and line of text are announced.

  • Saturday, 1pm: Scripts are due from writers. Writers are required to email a copy to info@evolution.org.nz no later than 1:00pm. Scripts are read as soon as they are submitted, and rehearsals can begin any time. You will receive approval within 1.5 hours of submission.

  • Saturday, 2:00pm: Rehearse like crazy and hunt for costumes and props.

  • Sunday, 7:00pm:  All plays will be performed on ZOOM and recorded by ETC for publication on social media. The order in which your play is performed will be determined by random draw.


SHOW TIME!  Your play will be presented to ETC as a fully finished upload of a Zoom meeting.  The members of your team will be sent an invitation to this meeting. Please make sure your team members have access to this technology before your time slot.  As soon as all plays are recorded, we will upload them to our YouTube channel, make an announcement, and the voting can begin! 


Judging:  The contest is judged by popular vote from the online audience using a Google form which we have prepared.  Only one vote is permitted per email address.  We ask you to be honourable in the way you solicit votes and to ask your audiences to be honourable, too.  Dinna Myers will decide “Best Standout Performance by an Actor,” “Best Use of The Text by a Writer,” and “Best Use of Prop by a Director.” 


Awards:  The winning team will be emailed a certificate!  That and bragging rights is all we can afford to offer you on this event. 


Have a great time everyone!  We are super excited to see what you come up with! 


PS:  This event will NOT replace the full play festival still scheduled for August, 2020. 


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