Festival Cycle | AACT

Festival Cycle

AACTFest: A Celebration of Theatre
The nation's only national community theatre festival

ClipboardAACTFest, the festival process that culminates in a national theatre festival, is sponsored by AACT and is held in odd-numbered years. AACTFest presents a forum for community theatres from AACT's 10 regions to enter productions for adjudication at the national level.


National Theatre Festivals
  • AACTFest 2011, Rochester, NY
  • AACTFest 2009, Tacoma, WA
  • AACTFest 2007, Charlotte, NC
  • AACTFest 2005, Kalamazoo, MI
  • For more, see History of AACTFest (PDF)

Note: The information below reflects the traditional organization of the national festival.  However, in response to health concerns in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, AACT presented its 2021 festival in a virtual format, with appropriate changes in the process.  For more information, visit the 2021 Invitational page.

Festival Process
  • The festival process is conducted and guided by AACT through the Vice President for Festivals, the Festival Commission Chair, the Festival Commission and assigned staff.
  • AACT staff provide information and certificates, and confirms membership and/or fee payment status for all entering companies.
Festival Goals
  • To provide an optimum learning experience through festival entry, which affirms, supports, and nurtures community theatre companies as they strive toward excellence in theatrical productions.
  • To stimulate and inspire community theatre companies to strive for the best work possible and to recognize them for their achievement through an appropriate adjudication process.
  • To provide a learning experience in artistic, technical, and management areas for people in attendance through performances, adjudication, and workshops.
  • To develop enlightened and discerning audiences for community theatre.

Many criteria are in place to achieve the aforementioned goals. Among the most significant are:

  • All theatre companies must meet the same eligibility standards and requirements.
  • Maximum time limits are 60 minutes performance time; 10 minutes set-up time and 10 minutes strike time.
  • Qualified and impartial adjudicators are essential to the success and fairness of the festival process.
  • A production must be performed in the same form as previously adjudicated.
  • The house must be closed during each performance.
  • The Festival Commission Representative will make the final determination in all matters of dispute during a festival.
More Information
  • The AACTFest Handbook and related forms are available in Acrobat/PDF form from the AACTFest Handbook page.
  • Questions about the festival process may be addressed to the AACT Office at info@aact.org


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