Basic Competition Information
As a paid registrant, if you desire and space is available, you may enter the festival competitions. If you are a paid registrant and just want to attend the festival to watch the competitions, that's fine too.
You may enter competition with a paid registration. To enter, please complete the "Competition Information" section of your registration form.
Each church/organization may enter once in the "puppet song" competition and once in the "creative ministry" competition. The number of entries will be limited due to time constraints, so register early to be sure you're included in the competition. Entries are taken on a first come/first served basis.
Purposes of Competition
Participants in the Festival Competition are reminded that the overall purpose of performing is to minister and to share their ministry with others.
Divisions of Competition:
- Teams benefit from receiving written
feedback from qualified judges.
- Competition allows ministry teams to share material they have been working on.
- Observers can gain many new ideas from
watching others perform.
- The challenge of competition encourages
participants to work hard and do their best.
The two divisions of competition are "Puppet Song" and "Creative Ministry."
- Entries in the Puppet Song Competition must be one prerecorded song of five minutes or less. Song competition is held on Friday night only.
- Entries in the Creative Ministry Competition must be either live or prerecorded and five minutes or less. Creative Ministry competition is held on Saturday morning only. This competition may only include: Puppet Skits • Ventriloquism • Clown Skits • Mime Routines • Stick Ministry Performances • Human Videos • Hand Mime • Gospel Illusion. Any puppet skit that contains a recorded song being lip synched should be entered in the song category. Background music is acceptable in "Creative Ministry" as long as puppets are not lip synching a song. Here is a definition of what "Creative Ministry" competition is and is not.
You may enter either the " puppet song" or "creative ministry" division, or you may enter both divisions. Each church/organization may enter a MAXIMUM of two entries; one in each division.
The time limit for your presentation is five minutes. One point will be deducted from each judge's score sheet for each 30 seconds overtime. Any entry going more than two minutes overtime will be disqualified. You need not try to fill the entire time allotment. It is better to strive for QUALITY not quantity.
Plan to be ready to perform within three
minutes after you enter the stage. One point will be deducted from
each judge's score sheet for each minute of delay beyond the three
minute allotment for setup. All props, scenery, or other equipment
should be quickly put in place and removed immediately after the performance.
Entries in the competitions will each receive Gold, Silver, or Bronze awards based on the judges' evaluations of each performing group. The judges may present additional awards for outstanding puppetry technique, exceptional use of props and scenery, originality, and best portrayal of our festival theme. In addition to the judges' awards, each group attending the festival will vote for one group in each division to receive the "People's Choice" award.
The groups who perform in the competition
will receive a written critique and a score based on the following
Bonus points may be awarded for originality of material, special effects, outstanding live voices, or overall excellence of the presentation.
One point will be deducted from each judge sheet for each 30 seconds of "overtime" beyond the time limit. Teams will be disqualified if time exceeds limit by two minutes or more.
Be ready to perform within three minutes after you enter the stage. One point will be deducted from each judge's score sheet for each minute of delay beyond the three minute allotment for setup. (See above section on Time Limits for more information.)
Puppet Stage Set-Up
Due to time and space limitations, groups who enter the competition are not allowed to use their own puppet stages. A stage and sound system will be provided for all groups to use. The stage will have two levels. Puppeteers on the lower level perform from a kneeling position, while those performing on the upper level stand. Please bring your own kneeling pads or benches. Props need to be hand-held, free-standing, or draped over the curtain.
Sound, Props, Scenery & Tech
All performance media must be in CD format. We are unable to accept cassettes, DVDs, MP3s, or other types.
You will need to supply whatever kneeling pads or other materials you need for your shorter puppeteers to kneel or stand on.
NO pyrotechnics or fog - This means that the use of electric flash pots, electric confetti cannon, and flash paper is prohibited in any competition piece. Fog machines, smoke-in-a-can and similar smoke effects are also not allowed. Violaters will be disqualified.
C02 confetti cannon loaded with streamers only (no confetti) and similar non-flame effects are allowable. However, any residue from streamers or other "messy" special effects should be cleaned up immediately by the team causing the residue. Failure to do so will result in penalty points.
All props should be either "freestanding" or hand-held. Do not assume that there will be any type of prop rack available. All scenery should be of a lightweight type that can be draped over the stage or hung from the stage pipes or bars.
Answers to Other Questions
Q: May we enter the competition before we register?
A: No. Your paid registrations should be sent in at the same time as your entry. You may also enter competition after you register if space is available.
Q: If we find we cannot participate after we have entered, should we let you know?
A: Yes. Please let us know immediately so we can allow someone else to compete.
Q: Do all persons participating in the competition need to register for the festival?
A: Yes. Competition is for festival registrants only.
Q: Can my team use a video/DVD as the performance track for our competition piece?
A: No, we ask teams not to use video tracks because access to a video projection system is not available at all festival locations. All performance tracks must be on CD.
Q: May we use our own puppet stage?
A: No. We will supply the puppet stage, lighting, and sound for competition sessions.
Q: May we "check out" the puppet stage prior to competing?
A: It is not possible to allow teams inside the stage prior to the opening performance. Please use the stage diagram provided to obtain height measurements for your teams.
Q: Is there an age limit to participation?
A: Yes. All participants must be eight (8) years of age or older.
Q: May we enter clown skits, mime, stick ministry, human video, gospel illusion, ventriloquism or hand mime into the competition?
A: Yes. Such entries may enter the creative ministry division.
Q: Is there a limit to the total number of entries in the competitions?
A: Yes. The limit varies based on the size and schedule of the festival.
Q: If the competition is full, will there be a waiting list?
A: Yes. There is a waiting list. If space becomes available, we will call you IMMEDIATELY. If you do not hear from us you may assume you are still on the waiting list. It is up to you as to whether or not to bring your materials.
Q: Are the blacklights provided?
A: We will have blacklights setup in one of two ways:
- Two (2) LED blacklight panels set about 20 feet from the stage. They will be aimed to cover the puppet stage area. Any performers outside that area may need to bring their own blacklight to setup before their performance.
- If LED lights are not available we will use six (6) 18 inch blacklights. They will be mounted inside the stage. If you need blacklight on the floor level of the platform, it is your responsibility to provide them.
Q: If we plan to use live voices, will there be headset mics available?
A: Yes. We will provide a maximum of four wired headset mics for creative ministry competition only. Please let us know in advance so we can be prepared.