Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival


Participation Guidelines



  • Student participants must attend a Douglas County middle school or high school, or be homeschooled for middle or high school in Douglas County.
  • Student groups/soliloquies 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.
  • Up to ten groups/soliloquies may audition at each school. Two to four groups/soliloquies auditioning will be selected to perform at the festival.
  • Festival groups/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. (Example: combine two sets of lines for an actor by eliminating a character’s lines that are not necessary in order to fit the time line.) Please do not attempt English accents.
  • Costumes will be judged. 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. Costumes should be simple and should not be rented or expensive. All student props should fit within a 12 gallon tub (22”x15”x12”).
  • 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 an audition date, time and location for their school groups, as well as 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). Two to four groups will be chosen to perform at the Festival. All group auditions will be conducted by Parker Arts judges 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 and include one comic and one tragic soliloquy. Students should be in costume, but pictures or sketches of costumes are allowed at this time. Judges will take page one of the Evaluation Form and the scoring pages and excerpt will be returned to the School Coordinator at auditions.
Schools are responsible for transportation arrangements and costs. If using Extended Day Buses, they must get students to the Festival by 8:30 a.m. and pick up at 2:15 pm. Parking is available at the PACE Center.

Festival Arrival and Attendance
School groups should arrive at the PACE Center by 8:30 a.m. and proceed to the PACE Center main stage for the Opening Ceremony. Schools will receive maps and schedules, and festival ambassadors will be available to assist as needed.  Students and guests are encouraged to attend the entirety of the festival in order to take advantage of the festival activities including watching other schools perform, Buskers (street performers), playing games, building a Lego model of the Globe Theatre and buying snacks at concessions, as well as pickup pre-ordered T-shirts.

PACE Center Stages
Performances will take place at pre-scheduled intervals throughout the PACE Center. Stages will be approximately 15’x10’. Stage equipment will include: 1 table, and four chairs.

Performance schedules listing performance times and stage locations will be sent to school coordinators by mid-Feb, 2018 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 will be provided 7 minutes to set up, perform and strike. Scene, one comic, one tragic, should be between one to two minutes. Group/soliloquy performances will take place in various stage locations throughout the PACE Center and evaluated by Parker Arts judges.

Top Performances and Closing Ceremony 
Top performance results will be announced at 1:00 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 and receive Bard’s Prize trophies, starting at 1:15 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 2:15 p.m.

Students should stay on campus for lunch. Students may bring a sack lunch or preorder a sandwich provided by Subway, and pick up onsite. Snacks, chips, and drinks are available for purchase from PACE Center Concessions. Please download the T-Shirt and Lunch Order Form and return to School Coordinator by Feb. 1, 2018.

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 15, 2017 – Festival packet sent to school coordinators
  • October 2017 – Request Extended Day Buses
  • December 1, 2017– Submit Entry Form
  • January 2018 - Schedule and hold auditions at schools
  • January 19, 2018 – Submit Busker Audition Form
  • January 30, 2018 – Busker Auditions at PACE Center
  • February 2018 – Release performance schedule
  • February 1, 2018 – Submit T-Shirt Order Forms with payment
  • March 7, 2018 – Attend Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival at PACE Center