TheatreBC ACToberfest!

Two harlequin-style masks, along with text: ACToberfest! One-Act Plays—theatreBC: Come Play with Us!Annual One-Act Theatre Festival

Originally launched by Theatre BC in October 2007 as part of its 75th Anniversary celebration, this annual fall provincial one act drama festival is designed to:

  • Be produced in smaller communities with limited facilities;
  • Encourage original plays;
  • Offer opportunities for members to participate at the provincial level in smaller shows without going through the zone festival process;
  • Offer an educational component through professional adjudication.

Theatre BC’s Annual Provincial One Act Festival is open to any productions by community, student and emerging professional theatre enthusiasts. Up to 18 productions will be selected through an application process. The Festival will be held in a different BC location each year.

Each selected production will be scheduled for a minimum two performances and will receive 50% of the gate to help offset their expenses. In keeping with Theatre BC’s mandate to foster the development of theatre, ACToberfest includes a general adjudication for all shows to provide some constructive feedback and skills development. The event also includes an awards luncheon with awards selections for acting, directing and best production categories.

ACToberfest is currently a three-day event, running Friday to Sunday. The inaugural event was held in Kelowna October 12 – 14, 2007. Subsequent ACToberfest festivals were held in Prince George, October 17 – 19, 2008, and Creston, October 1 – 4, 2009.

Activities Details:

  • Features performances of one act stage plays;
  • Entries open to any individuals in the province of BC—no group membership required (unlike Zone Festival program);
  • Low tech productions—focuses on acting and directing;
  • Encourages, but not limited toi, new Canadian plays and original works.

Benefits to Community:

  • Connects community theatre enthusiasts from every region of the province;
  • Provides a provincial event for host community—different community each year;
  • Provides economic impact on the community, particularly for hotel, restaurants, transportation companies, media and other businesses involved in the event;
  • Skill development through the adjudication process provides stronger theatre skills in all participant communities;
  • Provides a vehicle to showcase One Act plays—a theatre form that is making a big comeback;
  • Potential to provide legacy of audience development in host community;
  • Financial legacy (percentage of net surplus) for host group included in the budget;
  • Opportunity to bring a provincial-level theatre festival to smaller communities around the province.


  • No restrictions on content or style of productions, nor age or background of participants;
  • Open to anyone in BC;
  • Public performances at very reasonable ticket price;
  • Application to host is open to any community—the intent is that this event could be hosted anywhere in BC, with venues created in banquet rooms, halls, galleries, classrooms and any assembly-use venues.


  • Incentive for participation through gate share for participating productions;
  • Post mortem following 1st year produced some positive changes to improve the event (from participant feedback);
  • Extremely positive response from those in attendance (participants and audience) at the 2007, 2008 and 2009 ACToberfest festivals bodes well for relatively quick growth and continued success.

Community Support:

  • Provides a unique annual cultural event for smaller centres around the province;
  • Good sponsorship support from host communities.