To advance the education of high school theatre arts students by offering opportunities to strengthen, promote and share artistic skills within an interactive and supportive educational environment.
About the festival…
The Lenaea High School Theatre Festival is an annual three-day educational event at which high school students come together to perform theatrical pieces, receive evaluation and feedback from theatre professionals, and attend workshops on theatre topics.
The Lenaea Festival has existed since 1956. Inspired by the Lenaea Festivals of Ancient Greece, this festival was originally established by Sacramento State College (now CSU Sacramento) to support and encourage theatre arts programs at the high school level. The Lenaea Festival incorporated as its own nonprofit entity in 2012, and is now held at the Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College.
Students from participating schools may submit performance pieces in four categories: One-act plays, monologues, two-person “duo” scenes, and musical-theatre solos. Students may also submit set designs, costume designs, and student-written original scripts.
Student performances in each of these categories are followed by a session of feedback from a team of theatre professionals who serve as respondents. Performances in the monologue, duo scene, and musical theatre solo categories are also “workshopped,” allowing the students to implement suggestions from the respondents, try different choices, and explore the results. This interactive “workshopping” feature is an indispensable highlight of this festival, setting it uniquely apart from other festivals.
The festival also offers lab-style workshops on theatre topics such as Directing, Playwriting, Acting Technique, Cold Readings, Acting Shakespeare, Stage Combat, Make-up, Lighting, Performing Musical Theatre, Choreography, Vocal Technique, Comedy Improvisation, and Auditioning. These are presented by theatre professionals of varying backgrounds including professional working actors, producers, and directors; college and university professors; and local actors, directors, producers, and technicians.
In 2020, the three-day Lenaea Festival served 1514 students from 70 high schools, with approximately 413 additional students and community attendees. The festival featured 522 student performances of monologues, duo scenes, one-act plays, and musical solos, plus 27 workshops presented by theatre professionals.
For further information about the Lenaea Festival and its history, click here.