One Act Play Festivals



A one-act play festival is a competition based festival, usually of one-act 'plays'. Plays are usually text based works written by either established playwrights or emerging new writers, directors or community theatre companies/groups.

The VDL supports a range of festivals held each year. Festivals are usually hosted by established community theatre companies and provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in a weekend of community based theatre.

Plays are usually presented over a weekend with performances taking place in sessions, usually Friday evenings, all day Saturday and Sundays if required. A range of prizes can be won and plays are usually judged by an independent adjudicator with an awards presentation held at the end of the festival. Participants usually receive feedback on their performance via an adjudicators report, either verbal or in writing.

      Festival Guidelines

One Act Play Festivals are organised and run independently of the VDL.
Any query about rules or management of the Festivals should be directed to the relevant organisers.

As a guide, most companies use variations of the following rules.
Please note that the VDL does not endorse nor prescribe these rules.

  • Running Time: Usually between 15 to 45-50 minutes per production
  • Number of characters: Check with the host company
  • "Bump in" time 10 minutes, "bump out" time 5 minutes
  • Royalties to be paid by the participant(s)
  • A copy of the script should be sent with the entry
  • Information about cast, play & company is usually sent to the organisers with the entry from for inclusion in the program
  • Entry fees vary from festival to festival

Note that festival dates occasionally overlap. It is our hope that festival organisers will avoid placing festivals on the same weekend as another.

The VDL and One Act Play Festivals.

The VDL supports a range of one act play festivals held each year by -
  • providing an opportunity to promote the festivals in Theatrecraft magazine and on the website
  • sponsoring a $50 youth encouragement award, called the Theatrecraft Youth Unlimited Award, to eligible festivals.

The Theatrecraft Youth Unlimited Award - conditions and eligibility

  • the festival organising body must be a theatre company that is a financial member of the VDL
  • the festival program must include actors 21 years and under
  • festival organisers need to contact the VDL Office 3 weeks prior to the festival to register their request for an award
  • the festival organiser is to include information about the VDL (to be supplied) in the printed program for the festival
  • the winner to be decided by the festival adjudicator
  • the certificate to be presented where possible by a member of the VDL Committee of Management
  • the winner to contact the VDL Office to claim their prize money

      Looking for a One Act Play?

The VDL's library has an extensive collection of plays including one act plays. Members are eligible to hire either individual plays or sets of plays at very reasonable rates.

For further details about hiring from the library, contact the VDL office by email or telephone 03 9663 4222.

    One Act Play Festivals