How the festival works

The Festival will run from 1 January 2021 - 30 April 2022


1. If you wish to enter, please complete the entry form at the end of the Information Pack (which you can download from this website) and send it to the Festival Secretary. The entry fee is £30 and the written assessment is £20 ; the closing date for entries for the 2020/22 Festival is 20 December 2020 with a January 2021 performance date, and 20 January 2021 for all other productions - but we can generally accept a late entry if there is a genuine reason why the deadline for receipt of entries could not be met. However, as entries are accepted on a first-come-first -serve basis, late entries do run a greater risk of not being accepted. This can happen if that particular competition category is full (ie it has already received its maximum of 12 entries) or if three or more entries to the Festival have clashing performance dates and therefore have reached the maximum number the assessors can mark in the same week.

2. When the visits of members of the Assessors Panel to your production have been arranged, a Festival Committee member will let you know which performance(s) the Assessors will be attending. You are then asked to provide a maximum of six complementary tickets and programmes for these performances, a poster, and up to five digital photographs of key points in your production which should be e-mailed to the Festival Secretary as soon after the performance as possible. The programmes, photographs and poster will be used in a static display and a DVD presentation at the Awards Evening and may also be put on the Festival website.

3. Please note that productions entered in the Schools & Youth competition must not use actors aged 25 or over (if they do, the contribution of these older actors to the performance will not be considered and they will be ineligible for individual awards).

4. As explained above, the Assessors will provide a written assessment for an additional fee of £20. If you want a written assessment, you must (a) circle the word YES against Question 8 on the entry form; and (b) enclose a cheque for a total fee of £50 when you enter. Cheques should be made payable to the Wharfedale Festival of Theatre.

5. As we make clear in the Aims of the Festival section, we are keen to encourage participants in the Festival to go to see each other’s productions and the camaraderie among those involved in amateur theatre in our area becomes very evident through the Festival. The Festival Secretary is always happy also to circulate publicity posters and flyers by e-mail to Festival entrants, and to forward e-mails about needs for actors and actresses for productions, auditions, or borrowing props and costumes, to other Festival entrants. The Secretary of each competing Society will be notified via the Wharfedale Festival Programme of the dates, venues and ticket contacts for all Festival entries, and this information will also appear on this website.

6. Schools, Societies and Groups will be notified of Award nominations prior to the Awards Evening, which is held at the beginning of July. Awards Evening tickets are priced at £15 each. This money is used to offset the costs of mounting the event. Payment for all tickets ordered must reach the Festival Secretary a minimum of 7 days before the Awards Evening so that numbers for catering purposes can be confirmed, and to ensure that all tickets reach their purchasers in time.

Assessors & Marking

Sections & Awards

There are five sections:

  • Musicals (Adults)
  • Pantomimes (Adults)
  • Drama (Adults)
  • Drama (Schools and Youth)
  • Musicals (Schools and Youth)

The Awards do vary from year to year but in general include:




Best Actress


Best Actress (Musicals)

Best Actor


Best Actor (Musicals)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role


Best Dame (Pantomimes)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role


Best Villain (Pantomimes)

Best Director


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Overall Production


Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Stage Presentation


Best Musical Director

Best Comedy Performance


Best Stage Presentation

Best Programme Design


Best Overall Production

Ambience Front of House


Best Choreography

Outstanding Performance awards (Youth & Schools only)


Best Programme Design

Merit Awards (Youth & Schools only)


Ambience Front of House

The above awards will be complemented by other discretionary awards such as the Chairman's Special Awards, and may be varied from year to year to suit changed circumstances.

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