Secondary Festival

Our 2018 East Coast festival will be January 25-27 in Charlotte, NC at Carmel Christian School. Our 2018 West Coast festival will be February 1-2 (note new dates!) at Asuza Pacific University in Azusa, CA.

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CITA Secondary Festival LogoAt CITA’s Secondary Festivals, students get to:

  • Sharpen their skills through performing for and getting feedback from theatre professionals,
  • Take performance workshops,
  • Talk with representatives of theatre programs at Christian universities and colleges,
  • Meet other Christian theatre students and artists from around the region.

See below for information about the amazing guest theatre professionals for each Festival!

Students in public, private and home school settings are invited to attend. Teachers and parents have the opportunity for fellowship and networking.

Learn more about the typical festival schedule and events, including performance and competition requirements. Register here. See important guidelines below, or download PDF version.

What participants have said:

“Our students have participated in the CITA Eastern States Festival for several years, and it continues to be a highlight of our school year. The Festival is well-organized, and provides a healthy environment spiritually and professionally. The adjudicators strive to make significant and encouraging comments to every student. A most worthwhile investment for our Theatre and Music Departments!”

-Joan Gast, Artios Academies of Gwinnett, GA

“I had the privilege of attending CITA festival this past year for the first time. To say it was an incredible experience would be an understatement! I had the opportunity to perform several pieces in different categories and felt the exhilaration of performing, but in a fear-free and encouraging environment. The competition itself was organized, exciting, and busy every day! When we weren’t performing, there were awesome workshops about acting, improv, singing and so many other topics to attend.

“This weekend was different than other musical theatre competitions I have participated in, because of the obvious Christian feel. I expected the judges and leadership to have this attitude of course, but I was surprised at how friendly the other groups of students were. It felt so cohesive between groups; despite the fact we were onstage competing against one another! When performing in finals, I felt supported by the entire audience, and it was a feeling I’ll keep with me forever. I learned so much through the insightful judges, and can hardly wait for another great year!”

-McKenna, student participant

Quentin Darrington photoOur guest artist and speaker for the East Coast festival will be Quentin Earl Darrington, currently appearing as Agwe in Once on This Island on Broadway. Mr. Darrington has also appeared on Broadway as Old Deuteronomy in Cats and as Colehouse Walker in Ragtime; off-Broadway in The Secret Garden; and in national tours of Memphis, The Color Purple, The Lion King, and Ragtime.

Jesse Corti photoOur guest artist and speaker for the West Coast festival will be Jesse Corti, who is best known for voicing Le Fou in Beauty and the Beast and playing Courfeyrac in the original Broadway cast of Les Misérables.  He also played Judas in the National and World Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, and has appeared in many other musicals including Godspell, The Haggadah, Welcome to the Bottom of The Bag, and Rum and Coke. Other voiceover work includes the Spanish Dignitary in Frozen, Mr. Manchas in Zootopia, and some of the top video games in the industry. He has appeared in numerous feature films and TV series. Mr. Corti has a moving personal story.  We look forward to hearing more about his faith and work.

2018 Secondary Theatre Festival Guidelines & Procedures

  1. The festival exists to promote growth for student actors/designers and will provide workshops, mentoring opportunities, exposure to college and university theatre representatives, peer artist relationship building, and performance opportunities with feedback and adjudication in order to promote a well-rounded experience. All pieces chosen for performance by contestants must be appropriate for viewing by a grade 6-12 audience. Please avoid obscene language, graphic content or questionable situations in your material. We want to provide a high-quality theatre experience in a family-friendly environment. Scores for a contestant or group will be reduced for unsuitable material. Please contact us if you have any questions.
  2. The registration deadline is January 1, 2018, for the East Coast Festival, and January 15, 2018, for the West Coast Festival. Late registration (with a $50 late fee) will be accepted. Please note that there will be no refunds if you cancel after the deadline. Payment must be received by credit card or check within 15 days of the online registration form being submitted.
  3. Students in grades 6 -12, or the equivalent ages, may participate in the festival. Homeschooled or students attending outside of a school or group affiliation must be accompanied by a parent or adult who is listed on the registration.
  4. Our fee schedule has changed this year since CITA no longer requires paid membership. Overall, however, the price is the same as previous years. Groups or schools pay a general registration fee of $85, plus $20 per participating student, plus $15 per event (i.e. for each student in each event in which they compete). Individuals or families pay a general registration fee of $45 plus the other fees. See the registration page for additional information.
  5. All meals and lodging are your responsibility; no meals or lodging will be provided as a part of registration.
  6. Register early to reserve spaces in your preferred events. Space in each event is limited and will be reserved for groups as they register online. Students may participate in multiple events. CITA reserves the right to close any event that reaches maximum registration. Wait lists will be created if events fill, and directors will be notified. Refunds will be issued for registration fees paid for a closed event.
  7. Detailed schedules will be created once registration is closed and a schedule of performances will be available at the event.
  8. Check-in will open at 3 pm on the Thursday of the event for students not participating in the college auditions. Please do not arrive early. Auditioning students will be notified of their arrival time.
  9. Warm-up rooms may be available for your use, depending on our host venues. You may use them for 15-minute non-consecutive time slots. Space is limited, so please be considerate of other contestants.
  10. Adjudicators will follow the criteria provided in the Festival Evaluation Forms. The top performers, chosen at the discretion of the adjudicators in each round, will perform in a final event at the end of the Festival.
  11. Please note the time limits and rules for each event. Performances which do not adhere to these criteria will not be considered for inclusion in the final event.
  12. Once a contestant has begun her/his performance, the room will be closed and there will be no admittance or departure allowed until the performance has concluded.
  13. Student behavior – onstage, backstage, and in the audience – must be courteous at all times. Any disruptive behavior may result in disqualification and/or dismissal from the grounds.