American Theater Group Announces an Opportunity for New Jersey High School Students to Perform on a Professional Stage and Work With Theater Industry Professionals!

The American Theater Group, one of New Jersey’s newest professional theaters, is proud to announce its second annual High School Drama Festival. Last year’s event was a huge success, with faculty and students alike saying it was the best day of the school year. This spring, ATG will serve as host to high schools throughout the state for a day of great theater and inspiring instruction. Your students will have the opportunity to present a scene from whatever play or musical that you have performed during the course of the year, or one that you have prepared specially for the DramaFest. These excerpts will then be given an in-depth critique by working members of the theater industry.

We also plan to have at least one workshop for the participants, in areas such as improvisation, audition techniques, stage combat, etc.. In addition, after the day’s events, we hope to offer the opportunity for your students to observe a reading of a new play or musical.

General Information

The American Theater Group Drama Festival will take place on April 3rd at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) and April 4th at the Hamilton Stage Theater in Rahway* and is open to all students in grades 8-12.* Each group will receive an in-depth critique of their performance. To obtain the full benefit of the day’s activities, all students are required to attend all critiques.

Each entry must not exceed 15 minutes. Each group will be given 5 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to break down. As such, please keep set and costume pieces to a minimum. Lighting will be a general wash for all performances – no special lighting (or sound) will be provided. SOPAC holds 297 seats and Hamilton Stage theater holds 199 seats. All performances will be done on the existing set. The dimensions of SOPAC’s Stage is 34’ wide and 25’deep, and Hamilton Stage is stage are approximately 30’ wide and 20’ deep. A piano will be provided for those entries performing musicals.

Each school will be permitted a maximum of two entries, unless otherwise approved by ATG. ATG reserves the right to limit each school to one entry depending on the demand for time slots.


The group fee per entry is $75. Tickets for each student participating in the DramaFest (including cast, crew, directors, etc.) is $18. One faculty member will be admitted free. All additional faculty and chaperones will be entitled to purchase tickets for $18. Schools with less than 15 participants will be scheduled at the discretion of ATG. The deadline for registration is March 15 and all registrations will be accepted on a first-come-first serve basis. To reserve your group’s spot, please send in the registration form, include your entry fee, plus 25% of the student fee. This will serve as a non-refundable deposit and the balance will be due 30 days prior to the event.   A confirmation will be sent to you upon receipt of your registration and check. Since there are a limited number of performance slots, entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Official sign-in time will be 9 am. Performance order will be determined by lottery and will be given the day of the event. Any group arriving after registration time and/or after scheduled performance time will forfeit their performance slot.

To register, download, complete and print the registration form, then mail, along with your deposit check to American Theater Group, c/o 57 Farms Road Circle, East Brunswick, NJ 08816.

*While all schools are eligible to register for the April 3 event at SOPAC, non Union County High Schools will not be able to register for the April 4 event in Rahway until after January 31, subject to availability.