COVID-19 is a one-act comedy festival sponsored by Chickasaw Civic Theatre (CCT). Writers will be recruited to write a 10-minute, one-act comedy in 19 hours, and Coronavirus-safe casts will have 19 hours to rehearse then perform the comedy on the CCT stage.  The performances will be videoed and presented on Facebook for the public to enjoy.

This is a virtual contest. The video of each comedy will be broadcast on Facebook for the entertainment of the CCT audience.

This is a competition. Viewers will be offered the opportunity to vote for their favorite PLAY/WRITER and CAST by contributing to CCT ($1 = 1 vote each for PLAY/WRITER and CAST, $10 = 10 votes each for PLAY/WRITER and CAST, and so on). The PLAY/WRITER and CAST that receive the greatest number of votes win a cash prize—25% each of all donations made by the online voting deadline.

This is a fundraiser.  CCT keeps 50% of donations.

Writers who want to compete must contact Steven Alsip by email ( or Facebook message. They will receive an acknowledgement to confirm their participation.

At a specified time each writer will be given the demographics of his/her cast and the “final line.” The writer will then have 19 hours to write and submit the completed comedy by email to CCT ( The “final line” must be the last line of the play and should be used to help inform the overall direction of the play. The line will be ambiguous—please think outside the box and have fun with it.

The writer will not know the identity of the cast, just the makeup (for example, one male and one female adult in their 40s and one teenage girl) with no names or other identifiers.  Each writer’s cast may be different. The writers may not choose their casts.

The content of the comedy is at the writer’s discretion as long as it meets CCT standards for family-friendly language and content. The play need not mention or involve COVID-19 in the plot. Indeed, entirely avoiding the Coronavirus would be a pleasant diversion for the CCT audience. The play committee will review each script before officially accepting it for performance. CCT may return a script for specific changes in language or phrasing. If it is returned, the writer must make only the changes required and may not otherwise change the play content.  Plays that cannot or will not be simply corrected may be rejected by CCT. Those decisions will be final and may not be appealed.

The script may specify a simple set with no set changes and no scene changes. Costuming may be suggested. Simple blocking may be added if desired, including specific actions. However, the cast will perform the comedy, with blocking and actions, as they choose, following or not following the suggestions of the writer.

The plays are the property of the writer, but entry in the COVID-19 Play Festival gives CCT permission to broadcast the play during the contest and to archive the work and use it royalty-free for the future enjoyment of the CCT audience.

Casts who want to compete must contact Steven Alsip by email ( or Facebook message. They will receive an acknowledgement to confirm their participation. The casts we seek are groups of 2-5 people, any age and composition, as long as each can act on stage.

CCT will include only Coronavirus-safe casts. Only cast members who routinely function together with no COVID precautions in a household or in some other COVID-safe unit may participate. Functionally, that is a group that does not routinely wear masks around each other, whether at home, at work, or in small social groups. Your application is your assertion that your cast is entirely Coronavirus-safe.

Your cast will be assigned to a writer/play, but CCT will NOT notify the writer of who is in his/her cast, just share the cast demographics. And the cast will not be informed of the author of their play until after the filming.

The cast may self-direct, taking any suggestions from the writer that may be in the script, or they may recruit directing assistance.  If a director is recruited by a cast, that person may help the cast prepare for their performance but may not accompany them to CCT for the recording. That person also may not participate in any other performance for the festival, on stage or directing.

Costuming is up to the cast, perhaps with advice from the writer through the script. Costuming is to be provided from the cast’s own resources. There will be no costuming from the CCT costume shop.

The script will be given to a cast at a specified time to study and rehearse.  The cast will meet at CCT to perform 19 hours later.

The performance will be videoed on the CCT stage. Each cast will have a 30-minute segment in which to perform. Simple set pieces (such as chairs, table, and couch) will be available at CCT as the cast requests. CCT staff will be available to help set up the stage during the 30-minute window allotted to the cast. There will be no set changes or scene changes in the 10-minute play.

CCT staff will video the performance. If time allows, the performance may be recorded a second time if the cast chooses. However, only one recording may be submitted, and the cast will choose which one to use without reviewing the video since there will be no time in the 30-minute time frame to do so. No cast will see their video until it is posted for public viewing and voting.

Other than the CCT crew, no others will be allowed to watch a cast performance being recorded at CCT, including any director enlisted by the cast.

Performances (filming sessions), might occur over a few days, based on availability of casts and CCT staff.

Viewers may go to to donate and earn votes for their favorite PLAY and CAST (they need not be the same). Each dollar donated counts as one vote each for the PLAY and CAST selected.  For example, choosing a $10 donation will link to a ballot to vote in each of the two categories.  Choose the PLAY and the CAST you want, and each will earn 10 votes.

Voting will end in predetermined number of days.

CCT will tally the total amount of money donated and the total number of votes for each PLAY and CAST.  The top vote-getting winners, one from each category, will receive their prize (25% of the donations) personally delivered by a representative of the CCT Board.