News and Updates
Houstonfest Scholarships -
Scholarships at State
Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest
Tips for Pair Discussion
Arrival at Heights High School
Plays will be performed at Houstonfest
Daily log of changes to
Sat., Mar. 6, 2021:
State online awards ceremony
Fri., Mar. 12, 2021:
Scholarship applications due.
Fri., April 30, 2021:
Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.
The rest of this will be updated for 2022 some time soon:
Sat., Jan. 16, 2021: Regular deadline to submit registration
spreadsheet in order to pay regular price of $10/student (payment does not have
to be mailed until 1/25).
Mon., Jan. 25, 2021: Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet
for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.
Wed., Feb. 3, 2021,
8:00 p.m.: Deadline to submit changes (adds,
drops, substitutions). After this point, no more additions or
substitutions will be allowed.
Sat., Feb. 6, 2021:
Houstonfest (100% remote): some events conducted
"live" (online) that day, all others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.
Thur., Feb. 11, 2021:
Houstonfest online awards show emailed to teachers.
Wed., Feb. 17, 2021:
State online registration due by 11:59 p.m.
for "early bird" price of
$10/student (payment does not have to be mailed yet). Also, deadline to apply for the
Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship.
Mon., Feb. 22, 2021: State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. at
regular price of
$12/student. Also, entries for
promotional video contest
due to State director Jennifer Christianson by 8:00 p.m. and deadline to
Sat., Feb. 27, 2021: Texas State German
Contest (100% remote): some events conducted "live" (online) that day, all
others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.
Below are the "normal" rules
for Houstonfest in a non-pandemic year. To preserve a record of the normal
rules, alterations to the rules for the 2021 remote contest will not be
reflected here but rather documented at this link: Special
Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest. In a nutshell,
however: Duet Acting will be the only drama event offered in 2021.
rules for all drama events:
It is not allowed to use the
same script (or a substantially similar script) in more than one event at the
same contest if there are any common cast members in both events. For
example: A school may not use the same script for a skit and a puppet show
if one or more students are in both casts.
It is also not allowed for
any cast member to perform a script which he/she has performed in any
previous year. For example: If your Skit 2 in 2020 was "Rotkäppchen," you may not use "Rotkäppchen"
for Skit 3 in 2021 or for Skit 4 in 2021 unless the casts from one year to the
next are 100% different. The spirit of these first two rules
is that students should be challenged to work with different material in each
event they enter, both within the same year and from one year to the next.
All drama entries must be memorized. Points will be deducted
if fellow cast members or the judges have to prompt performers.
Cell phones may not be used at any time during the performances.
Failure to provide at least 2 copies of the piece to the judges will result in a
10-point deduction from the cumulative score.
Lower Level pairs (German I-II) and 2 Upper Level pairs (German III-V) per school.
Upper Level: 5-7 minutes.
have a 30-second grace period (under or over).
competition follows the basic rules of the National Forensic League, which
include the following: The 2 contestants may use no more than 2 chairs, no
other props, and no costumes; may only pantomime actions; must have a memorized
introduction in German; may have no prompting; must use a piece from a published
work (including movie or television transcriptions) by a German-speaking author (no translations); must have 2 copies of this
piece for the judges; and must adhere to the time limits set forth above. The
merit of the selection will be a criterion in judging. Duets may not be
excerpts from a play, skit, or puppet show in which the contestants are
Download critique sheet.
1 play per school: 3 speaking characters minimum; no maximum.
with a 30-second grace period (under or over),
plus a maximum of 10 minutes to set up.
note about performance of plays at Houstonfest.
Plays with 5
or more characters will be given greater consideration by the judges. Drama and
comedy are of equal value. Backdrops, props, make-up, and costumes are nice but
not mandatory. A play must be a published work originally written in the German
language by a recognized German-speaking author. It may not be a German
translation of a play originally written in another language, nor may it be
adapted from a German fairy tale. A play may be adapted to fit the time
limit. It may be any 15- to 20-minute segment from a play, a radio drama, a
an opera/operetta, or any other published dramatic work. Suggested authors: Brecht,
Tucholsky, Dürrenmatt, Borchert, Goethe, Schiller, etc. Plays
will be presented at the state contest only; however, if 3 or more play
entries are entered at an individual regional contest, they will compete at the
regional level before advancing to the state level.
If advantaged speakers are included in a play cast, this information must be
given to the judges. Two copies of the script must be provided for the
from the play may not be reused in other categories by the same cast member.
Download critique sheet.
Lower Level show (German I-II) and 1 Upper Level show (German III-V, incl.
advantaged speakers) per school.
Level: 4-8 minutes.
Level: 7-10 minutes.
Contestants have a 30-second grace period (under or over) plus a maximum
of 3 minutes to set up.
shows may be written by the class, the teacher, German-speaking authors, or
others. Fairy tales may be adapted as puppet shows. The performers must
memorize all lines from the script. The judges will ensure that the
performers have no scripts. No stage will be provided nor used on the
contest site, but rather, contestants will perform behind chairs or desks
covered by a black cloth (which is provided onsite). Backdrops should be no
larger than 10' × 10'. They may be secured to the wall with painter's tape
only. Each group must provide its own puppets, props, backdrops, and painter's
tape. If advantaged speakers are included in an
Upper-Level cast, this information must be given to the judges. Two
copies of the script must be provided for the judges. Excerpts from the
puppet show may not be reused in other categories by the same cast member.
Download critique sheet.
Limit: 1 skit
per level, per school (Levels 1, 2, 3, & 4); there must be a minimum of 3
performers with speaking parts, no maximum.
& 2: 4-8 minutes.
& 4: 7-10 minutes.
Contestants have a 30-second grace period (under or over), plus a maximum
of 3 minutes to set up.
Mixed-level skits must be entered on the level of the most advanced cast member.
If advantaged speakers are included in a level 4 skit, this information must
be given to the judges. Skits may be written by the class, the teacher,
German-speaking authors, or others. Skits may be from fairy tales. Good
pronunciation and grammatically-correct German are most important in the judging.
Costumes and props may be added for flavor and effect, but are not required.
Two copies of the script must be provided for the
judges. Excerpts from the skit may not be reused in other categories
by the same cast member. Download critique sheet.
When is the next Houstonfest?
February 5, 2022
Due to COVID-19, the 2021 contest was conducted entirely REMOTELY. We hope to be
back at our usual venue, Heights High School in Houston, in 2022.
Link to Texas
State German Contest
State German Contest on Facebook