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 is presenting 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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