Educational Goals of Play Production
Play Production contests are conceived and structured to provide educational experiences for high school students. Specifically, the various contest are designed to provide training toward the following educational objectives:
1. To perform with a clear purpose, demonstrating all the rules of theatrical performance
2. To enable the participants to become more stable and mature people through the
development of self-discipline, ethical behavior, self-esteem, confidence, and communication skills
3. To encourage self-expression and creativity
4. To offer an opportunity for social growth through exposure to new people, places,and ideas through shared
5. To improve acting by emphasizing vocal expression, bodily responsiveness, and poise
6. To increase cultural awareness, understanding and empathy of human behavior through a greater appreciation
of dramatic literature
7. To instill a sense of ethical responsibility to a group of people.
To formulate and make policies which will cultivate high ideals of citizenship, fair competition, sportsmanship and teamwork which will complement the member schools’ curriculum programs. To foster uniformity of standards in interscholastic activity competition. To organize, develop, direct, and regulate an interscholastic activity program which
is equitable and will protect and promote the health and physical welfare of all
1. Students gain important life skills as they learn the value of critical feedback, both positive and
2. Children have the opportunity to celebrate the richness and depth of human expression in all of its
forms. Through creative expression students learn to comprehend our world better and are therefore
better equipped to navigate the challenges they might be faced with upon graduating from secondary
3. Drama and the performing arts allow an avenue to develop cognitive abilities that complement study in
other disciplines. For example, drama students learn to approach situations in an array of different
manners which can help to develop creative thinking and new study techniques. It also builds
confidence which benefits public speaking. The talent that students discover
through the Arts can form habits which transcend all areas of study.
4. Communication between peers is accelerated as students are exposed to group activities. This
experience also provides opportunity for students to display cultural leadership qualities.
5. Some students find their “voice” while studying the Arts. They may discover they are natural problem
solvers or leaders. Creative expression is a great way to build self-confidence and can be particularly
beneficial for introverted and reserved children.
6. The Arts can also be a source of solitude - a place where a child is able to shut out their surroundings
and immerse themselves in a creative environment. This process allows the imagination to thrive,
aiding internal exploration. This is a natural precursor to a well-developed sense of self.
7. The Arts can act as an agent through which a variety of emotions can be learned, rehearsed and
practiced. Adolescents can find it difficult to express their emotions and so the Arts provide a great
outlet for children to explore a wide range of feelings including delight, anger and unhappiness. This
experience can define a child’s growing sense of independence, interdependence and empathy.
Interscholastic contests in play production are organized and conducted for the purpose of developing competence in the students/contestants participating. These contests, properly conceived, are definitely educational in their aims and objectives and should be viewed as educational projects. As such, they are designed to capitalize upon a
very natural and very desirable rivalry between schools and between individuals. The desire to win supplies a strong incentive to application and achievement and is wholly commendable in the degree that winning is correlated with performance of merit. All rules and regulations governing contests are designed to make the winning of contests
synonymous with outstanding performance. While this objective has been largely realized, it sometimes happens that, under the stress of a desire to win, play production teams and spectators become overzealous and act in a way that does not reflect well on the good standing of the school they are representing. Every possible effort should be made to preserve friendly relations and to conduct all contests on the highest possible ethical plane. To this end the following
suggestions are offered:
1. A play production contest is an educational opportunity, not a war between enemies. Meet the representative of
the visiting school or schools; escort them to their rooms; treat them in every way as you would treat personal guests. Do everything to make the visitors feel welcome!
2. Make every effort to secure fair and impartial judges. If a contest cannot be won by performance of merit, it is
better to lose it. A victory won by a vote of “friendship” is a most costly kind of victory. It is a moral defeat and above all else, the schools should exalt honor and high standards.
3. Never allow anyone to question the judge’s decision. Learn to lose gracefully when you lose. Study the judge’s
comments, take their criticisms, learn all you can from them, but never, under any circumstances, question their integrity.
4. Audience members who engage in disruptive behavior may be asked to leave the performance space.
5. The administration of each school should approve of the material being performed. Administrators and
directors are responsible for securing rights to cut and perform a production. 6. Judges are required to return their ballots to the tab room in a timely manner and may only correct a ballot due to clerical error.
Mr. Cooper has several years of experience in the field of mathematics and has completed a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with endorsements in business administration, bachelor’s degree in education, three masters degrees in mathematics and another in educational technology and his last one in 7 – 12 administration. He earned all of those degrees from Chadron State College. Mr. Cooper has taught in the mathematics department at North Platte High School since 2006. However, over the last twenty years he has worked with the North Platte Speech/Debate/Theater team as a judge, tournament assistant, and assistant coach and head coach and director. He has created several pieces of software that have been used to assist in the running of Speech/Debate Tournaments for North Platte and surrounding schools. He has also taught programming as part of his courses for North Platte High School. He currently teaches standards math, college algebra, trigonometry, statistics and calculus. He is an adjunct instructor for Chadron State College and for Mid-Plains Community College.