The annual Southern Counties Drama Festival, running at the Barn Theatre in Oxted, February 25-March 2 2019, is seeking more entrants.
It is a fun festival of one-act plays (20 – 55 minutes long) performed by any organisation of any age group that wants to take part. The catchment area is broad and includes: Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and London or further afield for any group willing to travel.
The winner of the SCDF will receive a £500 prize and go on to perform at the All-England Theatre Festival Eastern Area Semi-Final and possibly the English and UK finals.
Full details about the festival and entry forms can be found here:
In the last 20 years, the number of groups entering festivals has diminished and it would be nice to reverse this trend so that the actors of today and tomorrow can gain experience from this competition. Winning is great but it is entering and competing that matters. So, to encourage you to think about entering the SCDF here are some suggestions.
Does your group have a few actors (you only need two speaking parts) who like doing edgy, gritty plays, which it would not be possible to perform in your venue as ticket sales would be unlikely to cover costs?
Nine by Jane Shepard which was entered this year by The Oxted Players won the SCDF and all those involved said how much they had enjoyed working on the play and how much they all felt that they had learnt. A play like this can be rehearsed at home, thereby saving money on rehearsal venues.
Is your group involved in writing plays or do you know someone who has a play which they are writing or have written? It can be very difficult to find a venue and finance to perform a new play but a drama festival can be a stepping stone to something much bigger, particularly if you win.
The AETF supports the Geoffrey Whitworth Playwriting Competition and all new and unperformed plays can be entered for the Geoffrey Whitworth Trophy which then publicises your play if you win.
Does your group have a junior section which performs only one or two plays a year? Most of us know how many young people are very keen on drama but also how many other things they have going on in their lives, often so many that they cannot commit to the long rehearsal period of a major production.
The Festival is ideal for them, as rehearsals can be condensed into a shorter time period and one of the winning groups has said how much it has done for their youngsters who always ‘up their game’ when it is their turn to perform.
Does your group have a director and actors but no technicians (or vice-versa) who are prepared to get involved? A plea to other groups nearby may find technicians who would be delighted to help, it is worth a try.
Any entry must be between 20 and 55 minutes long and can be a stand-alone play or part/one act of another play, as long as it is understandable. You can also choose not to go on to the next round if you win, thereby cutting down on costs but you gain the kudos for your group of being the winning team.
Telephone number: 01959 561811