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Henry Kemp-Blair Shakespeare Festival

» Henry Kemp-Blair Shakespeare Festival

Saturday, March 6, 2021



The Henry Kemp-Blair Shakespeare Festival for high school students is hosted annually each spring by Chapman University's Department of Theatre. Students spend their time working on scene, monologue and design presentations and participating in workshops. This event is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience and learn more about performing Shakespeare. 

  • FREE for schools and students to attend.
  • Advance registration is REQUIRED.
  • Monologues, scenes, and designs are submitted digitally.
  • Workshops are online.
  • The festival features judges, workshop leaders, and opportunities for socialization as before, but takes place on a single Saturday only. 
  • All material must be taken from the Collected Works of William Shakespeare (no modernizations or adaptations).
  • Certificates are awarded for outstanding monologues, outstanding scenes and individual performances within scene presentations, and outstanding designers.

We hope you'll join us!


  • Registration
  • FAQs
  • Festival Rules
  • Contact Us
  • Register Early!

    Entrance is based on a first come, first served basis and space fills up quickly. Register early to secure your place in the festival.

    Step 1: Festival Registration

    Beginning January 19, 2021, you'll be able to access our registration link on this page to sign up and provide your information and workshop preferences.

    Once the festival is full, schools may be placed on a waiting list and may be offered a spot based on availability and their original registration application date.

    Step 2: Festival Presentations

    A confirmation e-mail is sent to each school accepted into the festival, including a link to submit presentations and additional information: specific entries, student names, play selections, etc. Accuracy is important because this information is also included in the final program and on adjudication sheets. 

  • Q: What is the festival format?

    A: Workshops occupy the first part of the day, followed by design, monologue, and scene presentations. Awards are presented at the end of the day.

    Q: How many students from my school may participate?

    A. Schools may submit up to 10 monologues, two scenes with up to 30 students per scene, and two design concept presentations.

    Q: What format should our presentations take?

    A: All submissions must be recorded and submitted online. Technical instructions are sent after your school's registration is confirmed.

    Q: What is the deadline to submit presentations?

    A: February 20, 2021

  • In the spirit of fairness, we strictly enforce the time limits for scene and monologue presentations 

    Scene Presentations

    • Should be filmed without editing, using a single camera; the final take may be freely chosen by the teacher.
    • Two scenes may be presented by each school
    • Scenes shall be no longer than eight minutes
    • Scenes may include up to 30 students.

    Monologue Ppresentations

    • Should be filmed without editing, using a single camera; the final take may be freely chosen by the teacher.
    • Ten monologues may be submitted from each school.
    • Each monologue must be no longer than two minutes.

    Costumes, Makeup and Props

    • May be used in monologues and scenes
    • Do not feel obligated to use Elizabethan garb. Successful past scenes have included a variety of period and contemporary dress.

    Design Presentations

    • Delivered during a 10-minute period in which participants may present a 3D model or drawing of a set, costume, lighting or make-up design (choose one design type).
    • Design for one of two plays (Julius Caesar or Romeo and Juliet).
    • Submit the design to the festival on time (not the day of the festival).
    • A written portion of the presentation should be prepared for the day of the festival (does not need to be memorized). Students are expected to be able to answer questions with clarity.
    • Following the presentation, two judges will ask students questions about the design.

    Important: Focus your attention on the text of your scene, monologue, or full play, rather than any "bells and whistles."

  • Prof. Thomas F. Bradac
    Shakespeare Festival Director

    Phone: (714) 744-7016



    Dr. Drew Chappell
    Shakespeare Festival Coordinator

    Phone: (714) 628-7330


    Mailing Address:
    Chapman University
    College of Performing Arts, Department of Theatre
    One University Drive
    Orange, CA 92866
    Attn: Drew Chappell


Registration closes February 20, 2021