MACTs biennial short play festival, Fast*Fest, was held August 22 as a virtual festival via Zoom.
Due the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MACT decided to hold Fast*Fest 2020 as a virtual (on-line) festival.
Fast*Fest Schedule as of July 24:
Saturday, August 22, 2020
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. - Hannah Holman - Ensemble Based Creative Process
10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. - Joanna Schnedler - Front of the House/Box Office Management
11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. - Greg Abbott - Writing a One Minute Play
Afternoon Session of Short Plays
1:30-1:40-Welcome and Introduction
1:40-Into to first play
1:42- A Minnesotan Soap Opera (or The Cold and the Uff-da-ful) - County Seat Theater Company
1:52-Discussion of 1st play
2:00- Second Play Intro
2:02- Will (ful)(ly) - Ole Olson Onstage
2:22-Discussion of 2nd play
2:32-Third Play intro
2:34- Bonnie and Clod - Marshall Area stage Company
2:40-Discussion of 3rd play
2:50-10 minute break
3:00-Fourth Play Intro
3:02- The Wild - Merlin Players
3:22-Discussion of 4th play
3:32-Fifth play Intro
3:34- The Aunt and the Sluggard Little Theatre of Owatonna
3:52-Discussion of 5th play
4:02 Wrap up of afternoon session
Meal Break on your own
Evening Session of Short Plays
6:30-6:40 p.m. Welcome and Introduction
6:40-Sixth play intro
6:42- Match Dot Bomb - Taken For Granite Players
6:57-Discussion of 6th play
7:07- Seventh play intro
7:09- In a Time of Masks - Pargeter Players
7:21-Discussion of 7th play
7:31-10 minute break
7:41- Eighth play intro
7:43- Slimm, Jim, and The VI - Mindless Mirth Productions
8:00-Discussion of 8th play
8:10-Nineth play intro
8:12- Twelfth Night - Classic Lost N Found Theatre
8:30-Discussion of 9th play
8:40-Tenth play intro
8:42 Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction Theater - NKBProductions
9:01-Discussion of 10th play
9:11-Wrap up, thank yous
9:15 -10:00 p.m.-Guided community theater social networking
The deadline for registering your theatre for FAST*Fest 2020 has passed (was July 15th).
Workshops will be live streamed. There will be three workshops, with one workshop per timeframe. This will be interactive with the presenters.
Participating theatres need to provide their prerecorded performance in advance to be played during Fast*Fest with attendees watching virtually.
Live streamed discussions will take place after each performance with a moderator guiding the discussion.
Social gathering at end of festival:
At end of day, after all theatre performances are completed, MACT will host a live virtual social hour to allow the attendees the opportunity to network with fellow theatre friends with guided topics.
Guidelines for theaters for a Virtual Fast*Fest:
Thank you so much for participating in our now Virtual Fast*Fest 2020! For the safety and health of all performers and attendees, Fast*Fest has been turned into a virtual festival of pre-recorded performances. Below are some guidelines and items of note to consider for participating in the Festival.
Who can perform:
The festival is open to Minnesota community theatres and ad hoc groups. Registration for performing companies is free to MACT members. Non-MACT-members will pay a $25 registration fee which includes a MACT membership through December. Registration deadline for performing companies is July 15 (received, not postmarked). Performance order will be randomly drawn from entries received by the deadline, filling the last performance slot first and working backwards. MACT may cancel the festival if at least six productions are not registered. Additional productions may be accepted after July 15 if space is available and all other guidelines are met.
Basic guidelines for participating productions:
Please consider the following guidelines and options to participate:
-Each production will have 20 minutes to present their pre-recorded show.
-Each production must have the rights to perform its script.
-Each production must provide one digital (or paper) script to MACT for possible use by an ASL interpreter, captioning, or technical needs. This needs to be sent to MACT by August 7.
-Each production will be briefly introduced by a moderator announcing the show title, author, director, cast, & time/place/setting.
-Following each production, a moderated live discussion will take place.
-The MACT Virtual Fast*Fest will allow any type of recorded performance whether by using a full set in a theater, single performer recorded production, production recorded in the great outdoors, or any type of recorded performance your theaters imagination can come up with. Be creative as youd like to be!
1. Does your theater have the technicians available to record and edit a video performance? If not, that is ok; however, depending on the device used to record you may need an operator to run the camera / device.
2. Does your theater have the equipment: video camera, smart device (cell phone, tablet, iPod, camera connected to laptop/computer) to record a video performance and deliver it by electronic media to our Fast*Fest technician for streaming purposes? (Additional information to be provided later as to how to submit recorded videos to Fast*Fest technician.)
3. Lighting is important for recording: The more lighting you have to light up the actors the better (especially faces and front of body) so it can be seen on the recording when your recorded production is broadcast via live stream.
4. Check your surroundings. Do a tidy up of your area if necessary and make sure you have the best background possible, especially if not using a set (set not required).
5. We encourage use of a high definition video camera. If you do not have access to a high definition camera, you can use a newer smart device which typically come with a high definition camera. If using a smart device, please make sure to place it on a level, secure place such as a tripod to keep it steady to minimize shaking. If using a cell phone, tablet, or iPod for recording, please place horizontally for recording (do not hold a smart device) so your screen is like a widescreen TV.
6. Sound quality can be enhanced by using microphones on the performers or mics on a stand in front of the performance space where performers are performing. If it is not possible to use microphones or if the performers are not located in the same space, you can use the microphone that is internal with your recording device and ensure performers project to be heard (the closer they are to the mic the better the sound quality.) Minimize background noise.
7. Test your recording to make sure your performers can be heard loudly and clearly on the recording without need for the attendees to excessively turn up the audio on their device. Eliminate interruptions while recording your production as this can be distracting to others watching.
8. Conduct a short test recording a part of your production, review test, and make adjustments to lighting & sound to increase the quality of the recorded production. Test again, review again. Repeat until satisfied you have a quality recorded production and proceed to record your full production.
9. Final recording to be provided to Darren Beecher (how / tool used to receive recorded videos from participating theatres under consideration and information will be provided to you of how to submit these prior to August 7 deadline.)
-Deadline for submitting recorded production to MACT for testing before live stream festival is Friday, August 7.
10. Useful links / websites to guide you / support you with topics discussed above:
-How to Make Videos with your Smart Device: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j685NaMDVYE
-10 tips for recording better video with your Smartphone: https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/news/131351-10-tips-forrecording-better-video-with-your-smartphone
-What Its Like to Act in a New Play Over Zoom, and Set on Zoom: https://www.vulture.com/2020/04/what-its-like-to-stagea-new-play-over-zoom.html (platform used for live streaming under consideration, may or may not use Zoom)
11. Can your theater secure the digital rights to record a 20 minute or less performance? MACT Board Members have been exploring the options for digital rights from the major publishing companies for this festival and have run into serious issues. The problem seems to be that this is all new territory for them and they just dont have the answers and are not responding in a timely fashion. The recommendation is to use new works or plan on spending a great deal of time working with the publishing company.
12. Our Festival will be using a platform TBD. (platforms being reviewed for consideration: Zoom, Broadway on Demand, ShowTix4U, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, etc.)
If you have questions or concerns about MACT Virtual Fast*Fest 2020, please contact one of the co-chairs, Jon Terrill at 507-444-0176, firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Hunter at 218-894-1925, email@example.com For technical questions please contact Darren Beecher, 612-387-0053, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidelines for people attending live stream Virtual Fast*Fest:
-Test your bandwidth as you will need a minimum of 5Mbps download speed & 1Mbps upload speed, can use https://www.speedtest.net/ to verify your connection speeds (simple/understandable tool use via your web browser)
-To minimize connection speed challenges, its best to use a hardwired connection to internet instead of Wifi connection. Hardwire internet connection provides faster and more reliable connection. If using wireless connection, please be sure to test your bandwidth (see above).
-The more lighting you have to light up your face the better so you can be seen during the live stream colloquy, especially if you choose to share your video using a video camera connected to your device during the live stream portions of the festival. Sitting in front of a window with your body facing the window provides additional lighting.
-Check your surroundings. Do a tidy up of your area if necessary and make sure you have the best background possible.
-Minimize background noise. Make sure you can be heard clearly and loudly while allowing others to hear you without the need for attendees to turn up the audio on their own device. We encourage use of a headset to minimize background noise and increase chances to hear and be heard. Minimize interruptions while attending live stream virtual Fast*Fest as this can be distracting to others attending.
Attendee registration information will be provided soon