Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival

2017 Shakespeare Festival - Parker, Colorado

Participation Guidelines



  • Student participants must attend a Parker middle school or high school.
  • Student groups will perform a scene or part of a scene from one of William Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Group scenes should be between two to five minutes.
  • The number of actors in a group is determined by the number of roles in the scene being performed.
  • Soliloquies (monologues) are allowed. A soliloquy includes one actor performing two contrasting Shakespeare monologues (one comic; one tragic).
  • The soliloquy should be one to two minutes.
  • Groups and soliloquies will perform the same scene twice. Each performance will be judged.
  • Up to ten groups/soliloquies may audition at each school. Three to five groups auditioning will be selected to perform at the festival.
  • Shakespeare’s exact written words must be used. No paraphrasing or adaptations are allowed. Cuts or condensed formats are permitted, as long as the language is maintained. Please do not attempt English accents.
  • Costumes may be “period,” similar to those of Shakespeare’s time, or other historical time period, or conceptual, as long as they are cohesive, appropriate and enhance performance.
  • All props should fit within a 12 gallon tub (22”x15”x12”). 
  • Creative Interpretations are allowed, i.e. Romeo and Juliet set in the 1950's or Macbeth in Star Wars garb, as long as the concept is consistent, cohesive, and enhances the performance.
  • Performances will be evaluated on: Shakespearean English, costumes, character development, volume/projection, enunciation/diction, blocking, staging, stage presence/energy, and creative interpretation/understanding of text. Please review the Evaluation Rubric.


School Coordinator
The School Coordinator oversees the selection of groups, scenes to be performed, rehearsals, and costuming. These activities should be student-directed as much as possible, depending on student experience and skill level. The School Coordinator is responsible for coordinating any in-school communication, parent communication and permission forms, and overall supervision and coordination of the school’s participating groups at the Festival. Additional chaperones are encouraged. Parker Arts is not responsible for student supervision or held liable for their actions.


Each school may have up to ten groups audition (including soliloquies). Three to five groups will be chosen to perform at the Festival. All group auditions will be conducted by a Parker Arts judge at your school on the same day determined by the School Coordinator and Festival Coordinator. Each group must provide an Evaluation Form with page one completed and a copy of the excerpt from Shakespeare’s play to the judge(s). Scenes should be between two to five minutes. Soliloquies should be one to two minutes. Students should be in costume, but pictures or sketches of costumes are allowed at this time. Audition results will be emailed to the School Coordinator within ten days of the audition.


Schools are responsible for the cost of buses and arranging for Extended Day Buses to get students to the Festival by 9:00 a.m. and back to school by 2:15 p.m. Charter schools may not have access to buses until 9:30 a.m. and are encouraged to notify Shakespeare Festival Coordinator of arrival time for performance scheduling.

Festival Arrival and Attendance
School groups should arrive at the PACE Center at least 30 minutes prior to their first scheduled performance. Individual and bus parking is available in the PACE Center parking lot. School Coordinators should check in at  stage, and follow schedule of performances. Students and guests are encouraged to attend the entirety of the Festival in order to take advantage of the festival activities including watching buskers (street performers) and other school groups perform, as well as pickup pre-ordered souvenirs. 

PACE Center Stages
Performances will take place at pre-scheduled intervals throughout the PACE Center in the following spaces: Main Stage Theater, Discovery Labs, Creative Studio East, Creative Studio West, Event Room, and the Outdoor Amphitheater. Stages will be approximately 15’x10’. Stage equipment will include: 1 table, and four chairs. Click here for a map of PACE Center. 
Performance schedules listing performance times and stage locations will be released in April 2017 for accepted groups. Groups will perform their scene twice during the Festival. Groups will be provided 10 minutes to set up, perform and strike. Scenes should be between two to five minutes. Soliloquies should be between one to two minutes. Group performances will take place in various stage locations throughout the PACE Center and evaluated by Parker Arts judges. Each group must provide an Evaluation Form with page one completed and a copy of the excerpt from Shakespeare’s play to the judge(s).  Top performance groups will perform in the closing ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Performance results will also be emailed to the School Coordinator within ten days of the festival for student review and discussion. 
Top Performances and Closing Ceremony 
Top performance results will be announced at 12:15 p.m. The two highest scoring middle school groups and two highest scoring high school groups, and two highest scoring soliloquies will perform on the PACE Center Main Stage at 12:30 p.m. These top performances will be followed by a Shakespeare scene performed by Denver Center for Performing Arts Shakespeare Teaching Artists, and awards ceremony. The festival will conclude at 1:30 p.m.

Awards and Prizes
Participating student groups will receive a ribbon. The top six scoring performance will receive The Bard’s Prize trophy. Participating schools will automatically be entered to win an in-school workshop with a professional actor. Individuals may enter a drawing to win a $200 Parker Arts enrichment scholarship.

Pre-ordered T-shirts and pins can be picked up at the souvenir table located near the check-in table throughout the day. Please use the souvenir Order Form and order in advance. Very few additional souvenirs will be available for purchase at the Festival.

Students should bring a sack lunch and are encouraged to stay on campus. Snack concession items and drinks will be available for purchase.

Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival judges are comprised of several local theater actors and directors, trained theater professionals, performing arts teachers, and community members with an extensive background in theater and/or Shakespeare.

Direct all questions to Festival Coordinator Carmella Gates at 720.272.5317 or

Preparation Timeline

  • October 2016 – Festival packet sent to each School Coordinator
  • October 2016 – Request Extended Day Buses
  • December 15, 2016 – Submit Entry Form
  • January 2017 - Schedule auditions
  • February - March 2017 – Hold auditions at schools
  • April 2017 – Release performance schedule
  • March 17, 2017 – Submit Souvenir Order Forms with payment and Busker Audition Form
  • May 10, 2017 – Attend Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival at PACE Center