One Act Festival Rules 2021


The spirit that lies behind these festivals is more one of participation than of competition. Therefore every effort should be made to emphasize the experience of sharing.

The Joint Committee of the ADCI/DLI reserve the right to amend these rules and shall have the sole discretion in any matter regarding their interpretation. The decision of the committee in any such matter shall be final and binding.


  1. All Groups wishing to compete on the 1-Act circuit must register with the National Secretary of the ADCI/DLI Joint committee. Applications will not be accepted before August 1st.
  2. Following the late August meeting of the Joint Committee, a registration number will be assigned to each group for the upcoming season & an official application form forwarded. This form must be used to make applications to individual festivals.
  3. Completed Entry Forms shall be considered to constitute complete acceptance of these rules and must be signed by an officer of the competing group.
  4. Festival participation is confined to amateur groups and is for one-act plays only.
  5. The plays will be presented in a curtain setting. Only essential freestanding pieces will be allowed, Stage props should be kept to a minimum because of backstage storage space.
  6. There must be a minimum of two actors in each play.
  7. The author’s permission to perform must be obtained and appropriate fees must be paid in advance. No alteration to the script may be made without the written permission of the author/agent.
  8. On acceptance to a festival, the licence to perform, copy of script and any other items designated by the Festival Secretary must be forwarded by the specified date. Electronic copies or photocopies of scripts are NOT Where the original is out of print or only available electronically, proof of same must be furnished and a high quality bound copy may be submitted.
  9. Notice of acceptance of a Festival is binding and cannot be reneged upon if alternative festival offers are received. Groups risk sanction from festivals if they cancel following acceptance of an offer. In the event of unforeseen circumstances cancellation by a group who have accepted must be written or emailed to the festival secretary.
  10. Proof of group insurance must be provided to the Festival Committee.
  11. All perpetual trophies shall be returned after ten months or when requested to do so by the Festival Committee.
  12. Each group may compete / participate in a maximum of six festivals but may take qualification points from three festivals only. In the event of two or more competing groups having equal marks for the last qualification place in the All Ireland Finals, marks from a fourth and subsequent festival may be taken into account to decide on qualification. If groups remain tied after all festival results have been considered then a draw will be held to decide on the qualifying group(s).
  13. Complaints concerning any aspect of a festival should be made to the Festival Director/Secretary concerned as soon as possible after the matter arising. The complaint must be put in writing to the Secretary of the Festival within 3 days of completion of the Festival. The Festival may consult with the Secretary of the Joint ADCI/DLI Committee for assistance with resolving the matter. The competing Group may appeal the decision of the Festival Director/Secretary to the Joint ADCI/DLI Committee within 24 hours of having the decision communicated to it. The decision of the Joint ADCI/DLI Committee on any matter shall be final and binding on all Groups and Festivals.



  1. The dates for the holding of all preliminary festivals shall be notified by April 1st each year to the Hon. National Secretary with the name of the adjudicator.
  2. Preliminary festivals must be affiliated to either DLI or ADCI, applications for new festivals will be considered at the AGM of the Joint committee in February of each year.
  3. Affiliation to the All-Ireland festival Circuit may be withdrawn if a festival fails to comply with the rules of the 1-Act circuit or the directions of the Joint committee.
  4. The final date for conclusion of preliminary festivals shall be decided annually by the Joint committee.
  5. There shall be an open and confined section, if possible, in each festival, with a minimum of three plays in each section. (See also Rule 38 regarding awarding of points). In the event of only two groups competing in any section, then that competition will be deemed void and no points will be awarded for a placing. THERE WILL BE ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE.
  6. Festivals must only accept applications on the official entry form with a valid registration number.
  7. Successful entries are at the discretion of the festival committee. All entries, successful or unsuccessful shall be advised immediately.
  8. The line-up of participating groups must be provided to the National Secretary prior to the October meeting of the ADCI/DLI Joint Committee. No alteration to the list of participants may be made following this without the consent of the Joint Committee.
  9. On acceptance, Festivals must furnish groups with stage plans and details of Technical facilities. Extra technical requirements may be used with prior agreement with the festival.
  10. The festival committee must ensure that the bars used to provide general FOH wash must not be moved or interfered with.
  11. Festivals shall provide plain drapes and masking flats and the use of a cyclorama or cyclorama cloth.
  12. All festivals must provide a copy of their insurance to the Joint Committee.
  13. Plays must commence at the specified time and intervals between them will be limited as follows: Each group will be allowed a maximum of ten (10) minutes to set-up and five (5) minutes to strike. Groups who run over this schedule will be penalised by a deduction of ten (10) marks from their total. Each festival committee shall appoint a timekeeper whose duty it is to time the set-up, the strike and the play and to inform the adjudicator of groups who exceed the limits.
  14. There must be a specified venue opening time available for performing groups. This must include the availability of a technical person for 30 minutes per group prior to performance.
  15. Broadcasting of performances or nightly public adjudications is not permitted, however the final results may be broadcast.
  16. Festival secretaries must check and verify the marking sheets before the announcement of results.
  17. Festival results must be sent by each Festival Secretary to competing groups within one week of the conclusion of their festival.
  18. Results of preliminary festivals must be sent to the National Secretary IMMEDIATELY on conclusion of each festival on the official results sheet or by email.
  19. Festivals who fail to comply with any of these rules may have their nominating status withdrawn by the Joint Committee.


  1. Plays must not exceed fifty-five (55) minutes in duration. The approximate running time of the play must be stated in advance. Where 55 minutes is exceeded, five points per minute or part of a minute shall be deducted. Should a play run over by five (5) minutes, automatic disqualification will apply.
  2. Adjudicators should be chosen from a recognised panel, should a festival wish to employ a non-approved adjudicator they must submit a detailed CV to the Joint Committee prior to the April meeting for consideration.
  3. A Festival may only employ the same adjudicator for two consecutive years, following which they must appoint a new adjudicator.
  4. The adjudicator shall return all scripts to the competing groups.
  5. The adjudicator’s decision in regard to awards and marking is final.
  6. The following Marking system shall apply to each Festival: Acting 40, Production 35, Presentation 15, and Dramatic Achievement 10. Ties for places may not be awarded. Marks towards All Ireland:  1st Place 12 points; 2nd Place 5 points; 3rd Place 2 points. Points are only awarded to a third placed group when there are four or more groups competing in that section.
  7. In the event of an adjudicator not being able to complete his / her duties then the festival must have a contingency plan. Should an agreement or solution not be available then that festival will be declared void and no qualifying points can be awarded.
  8. These rules should be read in conjunction with the Adjudicator’s Briefing Document.




  1. The rules governing the One-Act Festivals shall also apply to the All-Ireland One-Act Finals.
  2. Entries to the ALL IRELAND ONE-ACT FINALS shall be determined on the basis of at least one win from preliminary festivals.
  3. All qualifying Groups must supply their information electronically to the All-Ireland secretary (i.e. Cast & crew listings, group histories & Play synopsis).
  4. The hosting of the Finals Festival shall rotate annually and shall take place during the first week of December, unless otherwise directed by the Joint ADCI/DLI Committee.
  5. The Finals Festival shall consist of 6 Plays in the Open Section & 5 Plays in the Confined Section & shall be held over three days.
  6. An Open Draw shall be held for the order and dates of participating groups in the All-Ireland Finals. The draw will be supervised by members of the Joint Committee for the One-Act circuit.
  7. The Finals shall be conducted according to the Protocol for the All-Ireland Finals.
  8. The winner of the Confined All-Ireland must perform in the Open section in their next competitive year.
  9. A donation of €600 euro is donated by the ALL IRELAND Hosting Festival to the Joint ADCI/DLI Committee.

Rules Revised Feb 2019