Tech Challenge

Tech Challenge
This year’s Tech Challenge has been reimagined for the virtual platform. Registered teams will complete a TECH OBSTACLE COURSE, designed to facilitate collaboration, communication, and efficiency.

How to participate:

  1. Put together your team of five to seven students. A team must consist of inducted Thespians from a single school; you may have more than one team per school.
  2. Select the Tech Challenge add-on during registration. The fee needs to be paid only once per team. Entries are $20 per team and teams should be registered by their troupe director.
  3. Follow the Tech Challenge Participation Guidelines below or download here.
  4. Submit your Tech Challenge entry via Open Water:
  • Registration will close on June 1.
  • Entries must be submitted via Open Water by June 8.
  • Registration fees must be paid by June 15.

Entries will be shown at ITF Friday, June 25 from 4:30-5:30pm. Winning teams will be interviewed (time-permitting). All festival attendees are invited to attend and watch the Tech Challenge session!



Each team member should be assigned one of the following roles:
  1. Stage Manager
  2. Wardrobe Manager
  3. Props Manager
  4. A/V Manager
  5. Actor
  6. Assistant Stage Manager*
  7. Director*
*optional roles for larger teams



  • Obstacle Course Space: 30 feet by 12 feet (see diagram below)
  • Measuring tape
  • Something to mark the ground (tape if indoors, chalk if outdoors)
  • Costume pieces: Hat, skirt, jacket
    • Chair for presetting costume pieces (optional)
  • Prop: Bottle of hand sanitizer (any size)
  • Video camera or recording device
  • A device for playing music
  • Blindfold
  • Stopwatch


  1. See diagram below. Measure out a 30-foot by 12-foot space and mark the starting line, costume change area, prop area, 2 Xs for sound and lights where indicated, and the finish line.
    Recommended team members to complete task: Stage Manager, Actor, Assistant Stage Manager
    ITF Tech Challenge
  2. Find a hat, skirt, and jacket that will fit your actor and set up the costume change area.
    Recommended team member to complete task: Wardrobe Manager
  3. Find a bottle of hand sanitizer.
    Recommended team member to complete task: Props Manager
  4. Select a song* and load it onto a device to be played.
    Recommended team member(s) to complete task: A/V Manager, Director
    *Please see the Guidelines & Tips section below for song selection guidelines.
  5. Set up tech table/tech equipment.
    Recommended team member(s) to complete task: Stage Manager, AV Manager, Director, Assistant Stage Manager
  1. All team members to their PLACES
     - Actor at the Starting Line with blindfold on
     - Wardrobe Manager at their designated spot with costume pieces
     - A/V Manager standing by to record
     - Stage Manager, Director, Assistant Stage Manager outside the obstacle course/at tech table
  2. Teams must complete the following Obstacle Course tasks (in this order):
    1. A/V Manager begins recording
    2. Stage Manager calls GO (this is when your timing will begin)
    3. Get costume pieces on the actor
    4. Start playing a song when the actor reaches the X
      *Actor must have at least one foot on the X to start the song; do not move on to the next task until the song is audible
    5. Give the prop to the actor
    6. Actor must "find their light" by standing on the X for 10 seconds
      *Actor must have one foot on the X and both feet must be planted for timing to start
    7. Actor must cross the finish line (this is when timing will end)


Evaluation of the Tech Challenge Submissions will be based on three areas:
  1. Efficiency: How quickly was the course completed?
  2. Communication: How clearly did team members communicate with each other?
  3. Accuracy: Were all obstacles completed?


  • There should be one recording of teams completing the entire obstacle course. Any video that shows signs of being edited will be disqualified.
  • The video camera may move during filming but attempts should be made to keep the entire obstacle course in the shot whenever possible. Teams should complete the obstacle course ONCE. The only reason to stop and restart would be for a safety concern.
  • Verbally guiding the blindfolded actor through the obstacle course can be done by any and all team members. Please make sure that safety is prioritized when the actor is blindfolded.
  • Teams are encouraged to discuss their plans to accomplish the obstacle course before doing it.
  • You must use the following guidelines when selecting your song to find acceptable material:
    • Songs from a musical that have been used in a musical (regardless of its previous publication as a classical or popular song - e.g., "Forever Plaid," "Mamma Mia," etc.)
    • Songs that are 100% licensed by ASCAP: Go to and follow the steps below.
ITF Repertory screenshot
ITF Repertory screenshot



What kind of device should the song be played on?
Any device that plays music is fine. You can use a phone, a computer, or your auditorium sound system. The song does not need to be amplified.

Do we have to find an actor for our team?
No, you only need someone in the role of “actor”for the obstacle course. It can be a tech student.

Who is supposed to hit play on the song? Or time the five seconds?
This is up to your team to figure out and decide before attempting the obstacle course. Think about who is available at that moment of the obstacle course, who is good at certain skills, and how to best assign responsibilities.

Does the obstacle course have to be done onstage?
Not at all! The obstacle course can be mapped out in any space that is large enough. You can even do it outside if that’s the best option available.

Does Part 1: Pre-production need to be recorded and submitted?
No, although we welcome you to take pictures or video of this part of the process in case you are invited to share your experiences during the Tech Challenge session at ITF.

Back to Top