A message to our patrons regarding COVID-19


Students in grades 4-12 are invited to participate as part of their school or an activity group with a monologue or scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays. Students are split into the lower division (grades 4-7) and upper division (grades 8-12) for judging purposes. Participating groups receive a free workshop and coaching session, a contest T-shirt, and registration into the Virtual Open Stage Student Matinees.

This year, all submissions to the preliminary rounds will be through video recording. A panel of independent judges will review all video submissions, and will determine which students are invited to participate in the Virtual Showcase of Finalists.

Please review the details provided below to learn more about the Virtual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest.

Download the Educator Information Packet


REGISTRATION: All schools/groups must be properly registered, in advance, in order to perform in the preliminary rounds. This year, we are not accepting registrations from individuals. All students must have a school or participating community group as a sponsor for their participation.

ELIGIBLE GROUPS: The Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest is open to all schools and groups in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia within a 100 mile radius to the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

ENTRIES: Students can only perform in ONE piece - either one monologue or scene. Students are strongly discouraged from repeating material they performed in the past.

COACHING: Each school group is encouraged to participate in a free virtual workshop and coaching session. More details will be sent in December.


In an effort to create uniformity and a base level for judging and critiques, all contest submissions must follow these guidelines. 

  • The recording must be a single, continuous, unedited shot from a single vantage point. No zooming in, panning, or other camera movement is permitted. Any videos that contain camera movement or editing will be disqualified.
  • Scenes (with two or more students) can only be recorded through a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The Pittsburgh Public Theater has explored the use of this technology for the PlayTime playreading series, and have found amazing benefits to the level of intimacy and connection from the actors on the screen. To keep the judging process fair and equitable, as well as to keep all participants as safe as possible, we require that all scenes are submitted in this format as opposed to in-person action. More information and assistance will be provided on how to record and stage a video through video conferencing platforms.
  • Monologues (with only one student) can be recorded in any way that is easiest (with a phone, video camera, or through a video conferencing platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams).
  • No body mics or boom mics should be used. No audio can be added to the video after filming. All audio in the video should be picked up from the camera’s internal microphone.
  • The beginning of the recording should include an introduction by one of the participants which should include ONLY a participant(s) name, and the act, scene, and character(s).
  • No text slides, subtitles, etc. should be added to the video.
  • If the piece is performed on a stage, the only stage lighting that should be used is a general wash. No specialized lighting or light cues should be incorporated.
  • If costumes, props, or set pieces are used, they should be simple and minimal.


LENGTH OF MONOLOGUE/SCENE: Monologues are restricted to 2-3 minute (approx. 20-50 lines) and scenes to 3-4 minutes (approx. 80 lines, but adherence to time is more important than number of lines). No performance may exceed 5 minutes. Judges will end the video recordings at 5 minutes. 

COSTUMES, SETS, & PROPS: Students are encouraged to focus upon their performance and understanding of the text, so costumes & props should be kept to a minimum. No set pieces are permitted.

MEMORIZATION: all pieces must be completely memorized; no prompting.

SKIP the accent! We want to hear YOUR VOICE.


  • When considering your students’ participation and safety, please keep in mind COVID-19 guidelines and resources as they’re provided from resources such as the CDC, the State of Pennsylvania, your school and community – including their respective policies, and best practices.
  • Teachers or Guardians can assist in the recording of the students’ monologue or scene. We realize that some scenes and monologues will need to be recorded from a students’ home or outside of school. We ask for as bare of a space as possible, with no distractions in the background.
  • It is preferred that no masks directly covering the mouth, nose, or majority of the face are worn in the recorded video submission. If it is not safe, or students are not permitted to take off their mask in his/her school or public venue, it is recommended that they record from home or a location where they can safely do so. All submissions with two or more students must be recorded through a video conferencing platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Submissions with only one student (monologues) can be recorded in any format and device.



School and Group registration ended on December 11.

If you are a student and your school group has not registered for the contest, we are happy to accept independent submissions for the 2021 Contest. When your video submission is ready to submit, please complete the form below. 



The 2021 Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest is generously supported by hmbcbs_pr_cmyk_(002)