Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival

Thank you to everyone who took part in the 2013 Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival. We look forward to seeing you in 2014. Until then, we leave the 2013 information here so you can see what it's all about.

Friday, Nov 22 – Sunday, Nov 24, 2013
Host venue: Waunakee High School
Showcase venues: Middleton Performing Arts Center and Verona Performing Arts Center

For the 23rd year, hundreds of high school students gather at this annual event sponsored by the UW–Madison for 3 days featuring dozens of workshops and live performances. This Festival provides students and teachers an opportunity to learn from trained theatre professionals and educators, to take the stage, and to watch their peers perform. All Wisconsin high schools are invited to attend.

At a glance

What: Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival

When: Fri Nov 22 – Sun Nov 24

Where: Waunakee High School, 301 Community Drive, Waunakee, WI map»
Middleton High School Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol St, Middleton, WI map»
Verona Performing Arts Center, 300 Richard St, Verona, WI map»

Cost: Vary. See event details page for more information.

Questions? Contact Festival Coordinator Sarah Marty (608-263-2790, smarty@dcs.wisc.edu) or Registration Coordinator Brooke Ekvall (608-265-3517, bekvall@dcs.wisc.edu)

What is the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival?

Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival is a 3-day theatre experience for high school students and teachers. The Festival consists of educational theatre workshops, the Forensic One-Act play competition, and evening events. The evening events include 2 Wisconsin high schools that are chosen to showcase their school's theatrical production to Festival participants.

Download the 2013 festival program» to learn more about the festival. All teachers and students will receive a hard copy of the 2013 program when each school checks in on site at the Festival.

Prior registration is required, see how to register»

Forensic One-Act plays

One-Act plays are scheduled throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with workshops. High schools throughout Wisconsin come to the Theatre Festival to perform their One-Act play at the State level. Students perform their play and receive adjudication from Festival Judges. Participating students are welcome to watch any One-Act plays. One-Act performances are a great educational opportunity for students to receive constructive criticism from theatre professionals to enhance their theatrical abilities.

Family and friends who are not attending the Theatre Festival are welcome as well and may purchase time block tickets ($7 per time block) on site to view a performance. Each block ticket includes a one-hour time period.


Theatre Festival workshops are scheduled throughout the day on Friday and Saturday in conjunction with Forensic One-Act Plays. Workshops are an educational opportunity for students to expand their theatrical experience in a fun and relaxed environment. All participating students are welcome to attend. Workshops are taught by highly qualified instructors who have been involved in theatre and theatre education for numerous years. Information regarding workshops for the 2013 Theatre Festival will be included in the Theatre Festival Program available for download November 14, 2013. Workshop subjects that have been included in past years include: acting, auditioning, stage combat, costumes, dance, improvisation, mime, musical theatre, and tech.

Tech Olympics

Tech Olympics is a great way to test your technical skills in a fun and friendly competition with your peers. Actors, designers, directors, technicians, and theatre enthusiasts are invited to participate. Pre-registration is not necessary.

View/download this PDF for full details»

Showcase Performances

Each year WHSFA and WHSTF select 2 schools that are highlighted with Showcase performances during the Festival. Tickets ($7) are available through your school registration or in person at the Festival in the theater lobby starting 1 hour before each Showcase Performance. Doors open half an hour before each performance. Onsite purchases are cash or check only. Showcase performances for WHSTF 2013 will take place in the Middleton High School Performing Arts Center on Friday 11/22 at 8pm and the Verona Area High School Performing Arts Center on Saturday 11/23 at 4pm and 8pm.

Partners to the WI High School Theatre Festival

WI HS Forensics Association (WHSFA)
Waunakee High School
UW-Madison Department of Theatre & Drama

Meet your theatre festival coordinator

Sarah Marty (MBA, MS) is director of all Continuing Studies arts programs. She has 3 degrees from UW-Madison: an MBA from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration, an MS in Curriculum & Instruction, and a BA in Music Education. Sarah has been a member of the production staff for the UW Varsity Band Concert since 2000 and has taught in both the Middleton-Cross Plains and the Madison Metropolitan Area School Districts. In addition, she is managing director of Four Seasons Theatre Company. Read about Sarah in a Madison Magazine profile»

Get more details about the schedule, leading a workshop, hosting an exhibit, event details, and registration.