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) should be one to two minutes. A student performing soliloquies must include two contrasting Shakespeare monologues (one comic; one tragic).
  • Up to ten groups/soliloquies may audition at each school. Two to four groups/soliloquies auditioning will be selected to perform at the festival.
  • Groups/soliloquies will perform the same scene twice on two different stages. Each performance will be judged.
  •  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.
  • Students must arrive in costume. 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”).
  • 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.


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 participant and spectator supervision will not be held liable for their actions.


Each school may have up to ten groups audition (including soliloquies). Two to five groups will be selected 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 two Performance Evaluation Forms with participant information completed and one copy of the excerpt from Shakespeare’s play to the judge(s). Group scenes should be between two to five minutes. Soliloquy scenes 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 auditions. Judges will take page one of the Evaluation Form and the scoring rubric will be returned to the School Coordinator at auditions.

Group/Soliloquy Selection Notification

Performance schedules listing performance times and stage locations for selected group/soliloquy will be sent to School Coordinators by March 1, 2019. 

Student Registration

Students selected to perform at the Shakespeare Festival are required to register online at Registration is $7. Online registration also includes the option to purchase a Shakespeare T-Shirt and Subway sandwich and chips. Students must be registered by Feb. 15.


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 in costume at the PACE Center by 8:30 a.m. and proceed to the Event Room to drop belongings and line up for fanfare and opening ceremony. Schools will receive a packet of maps and schedules. Students and spectators are encouraged to attend the entirety of the festival in order to take advantage of the festival activities including: watching other school performances and Buskers (street performers), utilizing the selfie-station, building a Lego model of the Globe Theatre, and buying snacks at concessions.

PACE Center Stages

Performances will take place at pre-scheduled intervals on various stages 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 provided in advance to School Coordinators and will be available onsite. Groups and soliloquies will perform 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. Each performance will be evaluated and scored by Parker Arts team of judges.

Top Performances and Closing Ceremony

Top performance results will be announced at 12:45 p.m. The two highest scoring middle school groups, 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 Subway sandwich and chips and pick up onsite. Subway sandwich options will be listed as available purchase options during the registration process. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase from PACE Center Concessions throughout the day.


Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival judges are comprised of several local theater actors and directors, trained theater professionals, performing arts teachers and professors, 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 via email.