Performance Guidelines

  • 4-H Clubs can enter a group music and/or drama presentation. Individuals and small groups from 4-H clubs can also enter mini performances. Mini performances are any performances that include 5 or fewer people. They are judged separately from performances that include 5 or more people.

  • Following each performance, the judge will ask questions of and provide feedback to the performers.  Awards will be presented at the conclusion of the festival.

  • The judge will decide these recommendations for the Wisconsin State Fair

*Two mini performance nominations and three mini performance alternates.

*One large group performance and three large group alternates.

  •  Each performing group is responsible for their own backstage help.

  • An MC will introduce each act.

  • We’d love to have someone take photos of the event! Please contact Lisa if you would like to help out.

  • We always need volunteers to help at this event! Please contact Lisa if you would like to help out.



  1. To have a group activity which will be fun and involve all or as many club members as possible in a cooperative venture.  Working together on a production builds friendships and helps a club become more closely knit.
  2. To develop imagination and stimulate creative instinct.
  3. To increase self-confidence of participants.


  1. All performances should be 4-H appropriate and must have been specifically prepared by 4-H members/leaders. No specific theme is required.
  2. Groups will be evaluated on a number of key items in addition to receiving both verbal and written comments by the evaluator.
  3. Evaluators will present certificates of participation to directors which are to be filled in by directors and distributed to performers at a later time.
  4. Performances will not be categorized by age or grade of participants, but participants must belong to a 4-H group.  Participants may include Cloverbuds. Cloverbuds are not eligible to be chosen for State Fair.
  5. Comments from the evaluators (both constructive criticism and praise) will be shared with the performance group immediately after its performance.
  6. Clubs can enter a music presentation and a drama presentation
  7.  Time Limit: Maximum of 10 minutes for mini performances and 15 minutes for large groups. This time limit includes set up and take down.
  8. A play may be an already existing play, a play adapted to the club, a play written by members of the club, or an original pantomime.  Puppets and marionettes may also be used.
  9. All 4-H groups are invited to appear at the Dane County Fair. Depending on opportunities offered at the Wisconsin State Fair, a group may be chosen to represent Dane County at the Wisconsin State Fair. In that event, the group is required to perform at the Dane County Fair.
  10. Each group is responsible for setting up and taking down its own props. Any mess made must be cleaned up before leaving the stage area and before the next act.
  11. As a courtesy to other performers, participants are encouraged to support other groups by being a part of the audience. Clubs are encouraged to promote the Festival to total club membership and local community.
  12. Please do not exit or enter during a performance.

8 responses

  1. Should one of the kids explain/introduce the play prior to the performance and does that count toward the 15 min maximum?

    1. We are hoping to have an MC do that, but your kids could do it It would not be part of the alloted time.

  2. Is there setup/tear down time allotted? Or is that included in the 15 minutes? Thanks in advance for your reply:-)

    1. 15 minutes includes set up and take down. We encourage simplicity! This also conforms with State Fair requirements.

  3. When is the registration deadline for 2015? I’d like to pass it on to my club members. Thank you. -Diana

    1. Hi Diana!
      The registration deadline is Sunday, April 5. You can register here:

  4. What does it mean that the performance must be specifically prepared by the 4H member? My daughter was going to play a piano piece.

    1. Hi Laura. Thanks for the question. A piano piece is a good fit for the festival. The guideline was put into place to make sure that the 4-Hers have input when choosing their selection and deciding how to prepare the performance.

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