Classes are organised by age-group, from 5 years to 20 plus.
Solo classes include verse speaking, acted scene, prepared prose reading, sightreading, performed creative writing and mime.
There are also classes for duologues and for creative performance (devised physical theatre and text based).
Improvisation classes are run for duologues and for groups.
There are free workshops for all those who have entered another class, and the opportunity for performers to become the adjudicator!
For a list of the 2019 Award Winners, click here.
The Olive Von der Heyde Shield (1) donated by Jenny Leworthy and Margaret Stredwick in memory of Olive Von der Heyde, who was involved from the beginning of the Festival in 1926 until her death in 1997, is awarded to the winner of the 8–10 Years Final.
The Olive Von der Heyde Shield (2) donated by Melanie Bloor-Black, is awarded to the winner of the 11–13 Years Final.
The Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama Award is given to the performer with the highest aggregate mark in classes 509–511 (Intermediate Championship)
The Olive Von der Heyde Cup is awarded to the Performer with the highest aggregate mark in Classes 512–514 (Senior Championship)
The Sonnet Salver for Intermediate Verse Speaking – presented by Mrs Patricia Brindley
The Anne Gosling Prize Classes for Acted Solo Scene – highest mark in each age-group.
The Angus Rowland Cup for Acted Solo Scene – donated by The Cuckfield Speech and Drama Group in memory of 14-year-old Angus Rowland, who died in 2011. The Award will be presented to a performer from the Solo Acting Classes who, in the opinion of the adjudicator, shows the ability to be real and spontaneous in performance.
David Henry Bloor shield is awarded to the winner of Class 545, Creative Performance (Devised Physical Theatre)
Rebekah Clifford Cup is awarded to winner of Class 536, Acted Solo Scene, 15 and 16 years.
Craig Whiteley Cup is awarded to winner of Class 537, Acted Solo Scene, 17 to 20 years.
The Festival Shield donated by Mrs Helen Hayes is awarded to the performer with the highest mark in the Solo Acting Classes -10 to 11 Years, 12 Years and 13 Years.
The Philip Andrew and Peter Howard Shield is awarded to the winner of the Duologues Class 14 years and over.
The Festival Shield donated by Rash Brilliance in association with Sussex Youth Theatre is awarded to the winner of the Creative Performance Class (Text based). In 2018, this was a group from Helen O’Grady Drama Academy.
The Festival Shield donated by Nicola Patching and Kate Stoner is awarded to the group with the highest mark from Group Improvisation Classes 8-11 years and 12 years and over.
Speech & Drama Rules
Solo Verse, Prose Reading and Solo Acted Scenes
Entrants do not have to obtain copyright permission for the performance of any solo selection of less than ten minutes in length.
The title and author must be announced, and words may not be changed nor the gender of a character. It is illegal to change the gender of a character in a play which is still in copyright ie written within the last 70 years. Changing the gender of a character in a play written before this time is permissible but make sure that if it is a translation from e.g. Chekhov, Ibsen, Molière, the translator is also out of copyright.
The Section Secretary will supply you with a form in which to enter the title, author and publisher after all entries have been received. This must be returned, completed, by the requested date.
Duologues and Group Scenes
Entrants must obtain the copyright holder’s permission for any post 1947 scene. It is your responsibility to check whether your author or translator died before January 1st 1947. You are responsible for any performing licence fees requested by the copyright holder.
The Section Secretary will supply you with a form on which to enter the title, author and publisher, whether copyright or non-copyright, after all entries have been received. This must be returned, completed, by the requested date.
Teachers entering performers with SEN (Special Educational Needs) need to inform the Section Secretary at the time of entry.
All time limits must be adhered to or marks will be deducted.