Fast*Fest versus MACT*Fest

MACT Logo. Upper portion is comedy/drama masks with comedy mask in yellow and drama mask in blue. Lower portion has the acronym "MACT" and below it the description MN Association of Community Theatres.

MACT is a statewide, volunteer run organization which holds meetings, workshops, festivals and other events throughout the state of Minnesota. Its mission is:

  • to promote standards of excellence in theatrical endeavors in Minnesota communities;
  • to encourage, channel and facilitate the exchange of ideas among theatres to better foster their growth and improvement; and
  • to encourage the theatre arts through educational devices such as workshops, festivals, contests, conferences and other means.

The primary vehicle MACT uses to fulfill its mission is to produce festivals. MACT presents two types of festivals. MACT*Fest is our adjudicated festival of 60-minute plays, held in odd-numbered years. Fast*fest is a more relaxed festival of 20-minute plays, held in even-numbered years. There are differences, and similarities, between these two festivals.


  • MACT*Fest is an adjudicated festival of 60-minute performances.
  • It is a multi-day festival, with rehearsals starting on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the number of shows participating. Performance session are usually Friday and Saturday.
  • There are multiple workshops on Saturday (and sometimes Friday) morning.
  • Presenting theatres bring in their sets, which must fit in a 100 square foot box.
  • Each show gets an 80-minute time-slot on the stage for a closed rehearsal and/or tech setup.
  • A panel of three adjudicators make comments about each show following their performance. Two “Best of Fest” are chosen by the adjudicators to advance to the Region V AACTFest. They also select a first and second alternate, in case either of the two “Best of Fest” shows are unable to advance to the Region V festival. They also award other individual and company awards as they deem appropriate.


  • Fast*Fest is designed to be a more relaxed festival.
  • Fast*Fest is a festival of 20-minute plays.
  • It is a single day event held on a Saturday. (Possibly with an informal welcome social on Friday night for early arrivals.)
  • Depending on the number of shows presented, there may be workshops on Saturday morning.
  • There are no rehearsals in the facility before the performances
  • MACT provides a table and 4 chairs. Shows may bring in one additional set piece.
  • Fast*Fest does not have adjudicators. Instead there is a moderator led discussion of each show following its performance. No shows advance to another festival. In fact, performances are not ranked and no awards are presented.

Both Festivals

Both festivals have things in common.

  • Top among those are the fellowship and comradery that happens between participants (and attendees).
    • This is a chance to meet fellow theatre enthusiasts.
    • You will get to know people from all over the state, and beyond, that share your love of theatre.
    • Many people look forward to festivals because it allows them to renew their friendships with people they only see at festivals.
    • And it extends beyond the festivals. Many people that get introduced to theatre companies and individuals at the festivals travel to see other performance of those theatre companies or individuals between festivals.
  • Both are open to all non-professional (not equity, or equivalent, members) participants.
  • Both offer opportunities for networking with fellow thespians.
  • Both are biennial festivals: MACT*Fest in odd numbered years; Fast*Fest in even numbered years.
  • Both offer participating theatres constructive feedback on their performances: MACT*Fest from adjudicators, Fast*Fest from the audience members.

Fast*Fest will be held Saturday, August 17 at the Encore Performing Arts Center in Cloquet. Registration is now open for groups wishing to present a show. Full rules and registration forms are available on MACT’s website: Registration is free for MACT member theatres, $25 for other groups. Get your registration in NOW! Registration ends June 15.