BACKstage Challenge
  • Days

  • :
  • Hrs

  • :
  • Min

BACKstage Challenge

Form your teams and bring your A-game! It's time for a high-energy, skills-based technical theatre showdown!


Attention BACKstage students: technicians, costumers, stage managers, and more! An all-new reimagining of the ITF Tech Challenge will premiere in 2024, as Disney Live Entertainment presents the BACKstage Challenge! Six events (each a twist on familiar challenges of the past) will give four-person teams an opportunity to demonstrate a range of backstage skills. Each team will be invited to submit qualifying scores early in the week, with top teams competing on stage in an action-packed final round on Friday of festival week! Students and teams can register on-site during Sunday evening and Monday during the day. Check the schedule for details

Troupe directors, teachers, chaperones, and college representatives are invited to work with the Disney Live Entertainment team, helping with Wednesday's qualifying rounds. Any adult participants at ITF can volunteer!


A Few Important Things to Note:

  • All teams are four-person teams, and every event is a team event involving all four members. Theatre is a team sport!
  • Individuals, pairs, or trios who want to take part will have the opportunity to join forces to create four-person inter-troupe teams.
  • On-site registration available for teams and individuals!

The BACKstage Challenge Events

Audio: Cable Relay

In a relay format, your team will strike and coil cables from a simple audio setup, and – since the true test of a properly coiled cable is how well it uncoils – will hook it all back up again to play a historic sound file. 

Costuming: Quick Change

One member of your team will act as a performer, as everyone works together to facilitate a quick costume change. Costumes will be available for viewing at registration. They’re going to be out of this world!

Lighting: Hang and Focus

Your entire team will take part in hanging and focusing a Source Four ellipsoidal, including a gel and gobo, in this relay version of the classic solo event. This time, you’re all in this together.

Rigging: Knot Tying

In another relay, your team will use three ropes to demonstrate how four specific knots – a clove hitch, a sheet bend, a bowline, and a trucker's hitch – can serve a show at sea.

Scenic: Set Tape Down

Armed with just two tape measures and two rolls of tape, your team will work to accurately and efficiently tape out a scale ground plan for a tale as old as time.

Stage: Prop Shift

Your team will execute a prop shift, managing both the necessary changes “onstage” as well as the organization of a “backstage” prop table … all in silence, befitting the 999 happy haunts involved.

Informational Webinar

On April 24, 2024, members of the Disney Live Entertainment team responsible for this year's new BACKstage Challenge held an informational webinar about this year's new event. View the footage to learn more about the six challenges each team will face and how your students can get involved (with or without teammates from their troupe). 

About Disney Live Entertainment

Disney Live Entertainment is the global team that brings the magic of Disney to life for Disney's theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other destinations. From stage shows, street performances and character greetings, to award-winning parades and nighttime spectaculars, the team at Disney Live Entertainment works behind the scenes on some of the world's most unusual stages.

We hope you'll join members of this team at ITF this summer, as we work to elevate the talents of all those who contribute behind the scenes. Created in alignment with EdTA and USITT's BACKstage Exam, the BACKstage Challenge is a chance for Thespians to show off their skills and forge new connections in a fun and exciting way. We look forward to seeing you BACKstage!

Back to Top