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oneACTS 2014 - guidance

Mon 12 - Sat 17 May 2014

oneACTS 2014 home |  playwrights |  directors |  actors |  guidance

The oneACTS festival at the cornerHOUSE was launched ten years ago to provide an event for anyone interested in new playwriting.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength, with the quality and quantity of entries increasing annually.

The oneACTS is not just about great writing, it is about encouraging everyone to get involved in all aspects of theatre. Anyone can enter a play, volunteer to direct or produce, audition to act or become part of the backstage or front of house crew.

The festival provides an opportunity for new directors to try their hand at a short play in a supportive environment. It also offers numerous acting opportunities, without the heavy commitment of full-length plays, as well as involving volunteers in helping to organise the festival whether it be building the sets, working on the sound and lighting, stage managing, assisting with wardrobe and props… the list goes on!

The cornerHOUSE is a very open environment which actively welcomes and involves all newcomers. So if you'd like to get involved in the oneACTS, in any capacity whatsoever, do get in touch. We'd love to hear from you!

Please pass this information on to anyone else you know who might be interested.

All writers/directors/producers/actors and those interested in being part of the crew should email oneacts@thecornerhouse.org


Play submission deadline: Thursday, October 31 2013

Deadline for directors: Nominations for directors close on Saturday, November 30 2013.

Chosen plays sent to directors: Week commencing Monday, December 9 2013.

Open auditions: There will be two audition dates in February - one on Tuesday, February 11 at 7.30pm and the other on Sunday, February 16 at 2pm. You only need to attend one of these audtions. Please be prompt as you will need to register your details.

Rehearsals start: As soon as casts have been chosen, rehearsals can begin.

Rigging: Friday, May 9 2014.

Technical and dress rehearsal for Mon, Wed, Fri plays: Saturday, May 10 2014, during the day.

Technical and dress rehearsal for Tues, Thurs, Sat plays: Sunday, May 11 2014, during the day.

Performance: Monday, May 12 2014 to Saturday, May 17 2014 at 7.45pm.

‘Get out’: Sunday, May 18 2014 from 2-4pm.


 The oneACTS is a festival celebrating new playwriting. As such, the plays we receive must be written by the person submitting them and must not have been previously performed.

 Only people living in the UK are eligible to enter their play or plays into the oneACTS.

 A playwright may submit a maximum of two plays. If more are submitted, only the first two received will be accepted as eligible for judging.

 All plays for oneACTS 2014 must be submitted by email to oneacts@thecornerhouse.org.

 The closing date for submissions is Thursday, October 31 2013.

 Plays should be between 15 to 30 minutes in length.

 Be suitable for a family audience.

 Have a sensible cast size of no more than six (preferably fewer).

 Technical requirements need to be within reason as the plays will share evenings with other shows.

 Preference will be given to plays which facilitate speedy set changes.

 All contact details/identifying marks will be removed before plays are read by the judging panel, so they have no idea who has written what until after the final decision has been reached.

 Each play will be read by at least three judges, and every writer will receive feedback, irrespective of whether their play has been selected.

Plays should be submitted in the format below:

 1) Scripts should be sent by email to oneacts@thecornerhouse.org

 2) No name or contact details should be on the play itself. Your name should just be on the covering email on which you should include the title of the play, your full name, address and the best phone number to contact you on.

 3) Attach the play as a Word document on your email. Pdfs will not be accepted.

 4) On the play itself, you should head it with the title, a one paragraph synopsis, an estimated running time for your play, plus a character list with brief descriptions.

 5) Also when you list your cast, state if the characters are male or female. Sometimes judges cannot tell by a name. If it doesn’t matter which sex they are, state M/F next to the name.

 6) Please state if any of your characters can double up on your cast list. There is a high demand for actors in the festival because of the number of plays involved, so if there is the option of actor/s playing more than one character it could give your play the edge over those that do not have that option.

 7) State ENDS at the end of your play. Sometimes it might not be obvious when a play finishes - especially if it ends in a cliffhanger. This will tell us that we have received every page of your email.

 8) If you are submitting more than one play, you must submit each play on separate emails following the same process outlined above.

 9) If you submit a play to us it is on the understanding that it may filmed and photographed for our archive and publicity purposes and as a memento for cast, crew and for you.

If your play is selected:

If selected, your play will be staged – subject to casting. Although we have a lot of people auditioning for the festival, we may not find the actors – under our open audition process - who are the right gender and age for your play - or who have the ability to take on certain parts. We would rather stage our first selected plays than go to our reserve list, so we may change the gender of a character or the age of a character if we have an actor available who we feel would be good in a particular role – and if we feel that this would not have an adverse effect on – or make a big difference to - the play. Obviously the script will then have to be changed to take into account a change of gender/age. When playwrights hand their plays over to us, they do so on the understanding that, although we instruct directors to follow the script as closely as they can, it is the directors’ interpretations of the plays that will be staged – and not the vision of the playwrights. Certain things that ‘work’ on the page may not necessarily transfer well to the stage and may have to be adapted by the director. Ultimately it is the director’s vision of your play – bearing in mind casting and staging limitations too - that you will see performed – which may, or may not be close to your own. If you enter a play for the oneACTS you do so on the understanding that the cornerHOUSE has the final say over the production - and that you give it over to the festival for its duration and its associated parts. Submission of a play to this festival is conditional on acceptance of these rules.


 Writers are welcome to volunteer to direct, however they will be encouraged to direct a play other than their own. Preference will be given to ‘non-writer’ directors.

 Selected directors will read the selected plays and state a preference in order from one to nine or however many plays are being staged.

 The oneACTS panel will then decide, based on these choices, who directs which play.

 Roles will be cast by the oneACTS panel, taking into account where possible the directors preferences, following the auditions.

 Any directors with actors in mind must ensure they attend the open auditions.

 If a cast member drops out, then the director must go back to the oneACTS panel to discuss a replacement actor. A new cast member can only be chosen by the director in agreement with the oA panel and with the panel’s prior knowledge.

 Directors will be encouraged to work with a producer.

 Mentors may be appointed by the cornerHOUSE Artistic Team to oversee plays and help with any problems/issues which may arise.

 No filming or photographs of your show, other than a cornerHOUSE appointed person, can be permitted without prior consent of the oneACTS panel.

 If there is any cost involved in staging the production eg props/costumes etc, the director/producer must clear this first with the oneACT panel before they buy/hire any props/equipment etc. There will be no reimbursement of monies if the panel does not feel the outlay is merited and sanction it first. Basically it needs to be approved by the panel before there is any financial outlay.

Code of conduct - what we expect of you:

 Directors are asked to stay as closely to the scripts as possible. If a director wants to make changes to a script because of gender/age/staging issues, he or she needs to discuss them - before they are made - with the cH mentor/cornerHOUSE Artistic Team. The changes may or may not be approved or other solutions may be found. If the mentor/artistic team does not agree with the changes that the director wants to make, a new director for the play may be found – or if the staging issues are too complex, another play on the reserve list may be found to put in its place.


 Directors are encouraged to appoint their own producers. However the cornerHOUSE Artistic Committee will act as overall production coordinator.


 All auditions will be open and will be for all selected plays, supervised by the oneACTS panel There will be two audition dates in February - one on Tuesday, February 11 at 7.30pm and the other on Sunday, February 16 at 2pm. You only need to attend one of these audtions. Please be prompt as you will need to register your details.

 Actors must be prepared to audition for all plays and all roles, synopsis/details will be provided. However they can express a preference (eg comedic/serious and large/small role) for a certain type of role which will be considered when casting but cannot be guaranteed.

 Auditions will be in workshop form, allowing all actors to audition fairly and equally.

 If you perform in a oneACT it is on the understanding that the show may be photographed and filmed for our publicity and archive purposes and as a memento for cast, directors, crew and writers.

Child actors: There are no parts in this year's oneACTS for child actors ie anyone who is of compulsory school age (16 and under up to and including Year 11). If you are in the sixth form or have left school then you are eligible to audition.

 Directors will be given an opportunity to express preferences for actors to the oneACTS panel.

 Casting will be in the hands of the oneACTS panel. The oneACTS panel’s decision is final.


 Anyone wishing to be involved in sound, lighting, set design and/or construction, stage management, or any other aspect of the oneACTS festival should email oneacts@thecornerhouse.org. Further information, specific to your area of interest, will then be provided.


 The plays are performed on alternate nights during the oneACTS run. As the festival is very much about team work and supporting each other as a company, we would ask that anyone involved in a oneACT, in whatever capacity, clear the decks for the entire week and be available to help out backstage or front of house on the nights your show isn’t on to support your colleagues in the other plays.

 oneACTERS are also asked to assist in helping to clear the auditorium after the final show on the Saturday, and to help to complete the “get out” the day after the final performance.

 All directors and actors must notify the oneACTS panel of any period during which they may be unavailable between the ‘rehearsals start’ and ‘get out’ dates when they have been cast.

 A rehearsal schedule will be prepared to allow everyone the opportunity to rehearse on the main stage at least once a week if required. Other rehearsals will be in other spaces within the building.

 Directors/producers will be responsible for ensuring the cornerHOUSE is returned to the state they found it in following any use of it by themselves or their cast.

 Directors/producers are responsible for acquiring and disposing of any props they use, and are encouraged to use the furniture and prop items already available within the cornerHOUSE.

 Reimbursement of any costs incurred by a oneACT play is only available in certain circumstances and only by prior agreement with the oneACTS panel.

 Anyone taking part in the oneACTS does so on the understanding that the plays may be photographed and filmed for our publicity and archive purposes and as a memento for those taking part. However the photographs/videos/DVDs must not be copied or distributed through any other medium such as Facebook, YouTube etc.

If you have any further questions about the oneACTS 2014, please email oneacts@thecornerhouse.org