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Dr. Munson’s Performing Arts Challenge

Performing Arts Challenge poster

Date: Friday, January 31, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Location: Ingle Auditorium, SAU

Contest Rules and Entry Criteria

We are pleased to announce that the President Munson’s Performing Arts Challenge will be part of Freeze Fest in 2020. The contest is open to all current RIT students (undergraduate or graduate level) who enjoy dance, music, theatre, comedy, juggling, and more - pretty much any talent that can be displayed on stage. Students may participate as an individual, ensemble or group. Following are the rules and regulations for the contest. There is no fee to register.

Registration forms must be submitted by the extended deadline of December 9, 2019 to the director of Imagine RIT, Michelle Lanphear at Download the registration form.

Event organizers will review paper (email) submissions. If your submission is accepted, you will receive a follow up email with a request for a video or audio submission. Finalists will be chosen to perform live on Friday, January 31, 2020, 6-8pm in Ingle Auditorium. Please be advised that finalists are required to attend a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 from 3:00-8:00 pm. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the challenge.

General Rules for Performing Arts

The challenge is open to all RIT amateur students and student groups with the exception of Faculty led ensembles. The students and/or student groups may consist of student clubs, organizations, or unaffiliated groups or individuals.

All categories of the Performing Arts will be judged together to determine a final winner. Approximately 10 finalists will be chosen from the applications to compete during the Performing Arts Challenge presentation. No more than 3 performing groups or individuals from any category will be selected to perform in the final challenge.

Each type of performance must adhere to the category-specific criteria below.


  • Sole or ensemble dance.
  • All dance pieces must not be more than 4 minutes.
  • Please indicate the song(s) you will use on your registration form. If an original music mix is being used, please submit a copy of the recording with your registration form.
  • No sound enhancements on tapes may be used. Background sound enhancements of taps, clogging, etc. are not permitted.
  • The sound system in Ingle auditorium can use a MP3 Player or iPod/iPhone. Please bring a CD as a backup.


  • Solo or ensemble singing with or without accompaniment.
  • Vocal pieces may not be over 5 minutes.
  • Vocal participants must include a copy of their music with the registration form. Music turned in must have both music and lyrics.
  • If using recorded music for accompaniment, there should be no voices in the background unless it is those of actual performers.
  • If recorded musical accompaniment is required, a CD or playable music file must be delivered to, University Services Center suite 2315 one week in advance of the challenge. Challenge committee will not edit or mix any music files for the performer.
  • Accompaniment time is included in the time limit.
  • We strongly encourage that vocal pieces be memorized.


  • Solo or Ensemble: Jazz, classical, etc.
  • Instrumental pieces may not be over 5 minutes.
  • Instrumental participants must include a copy of the music with the registration form.
  • Instrumental pieces are not required to be memorized, but it may be to your advantage to have it memorized.
  • An electric keyboard may be used.

Music-Instrumental with Vocals

  • Singer/songwriters, rock bands, folk bands no more than 5 minutes
  • Song lyrics must be included with the registration form.
  • An electric keyboard may be used.  Band is responsible for their own instruments and sound system
  • Set up and tear down on stage is limited to 10 minutes.


  • Monologues or Soliloquies, performance pieces, scenes from comedies, tragedies or drama, or One-Act Plays must be at least 3 minutes and no longer than 10 minutes in length.
  • Interruption by audience applause does not count against time.
  • A copy of the script must be turned in with the registration form.
  • Set up and tear down on stage is limited to 10 minutes.


  • Stand up, sketch comedy, or Improv Comedy no more than 5 minutes in length
  • Interruption by audience applause or laughter does not count against time.
  • A copy of the script or outline of improvised scenario must be turned in with the registration form.
  • Set up and tear down on stage is limited to 10 minutes.


  • Juggling, acrobatics, magic or novelty acts no more than 5 minutes in length
  • Interruption by audience applause or laughter does not count against time.
  • Set up and tear down on stage is limited to 10 minutes.

We ask that all performing arts entries are sensitive to a diverse audience which includes families and children (people of all ages). All materials to be performed are subject to review and approval by event organizers. Materials which include foul language, racial or religious overtones, or other topics/subjects deemed inappropriate by event organizers will not be allowed.

  1. Be considerate of other participants.
  2. If special introductions are desired, please send with entry.
  3. No Props, costumes, set pieces will be provided.
  4. A sound system, microphones and lighting will be provided.
  5. No explosive devices or smoke bombs will be allowed.
  6. For ensembles and groups, a majority of participants should be current RIT students. Remaining participants may be faculty, staff, alumni, or non-RIT students/individuals.
  7. Individuals may participate in more than one performance.
  8. At the judges’ discretion, points may be deducted for performances that go over the allotted time.
  9. Material used may be original or obtained from any source and/or any suitable subject.


Final Judging

A panel of judges will use a scoring rubric that addresses the following categories: artistry, technique, audience engagement, and stage presence.

Please direct all questions related to the competition to the director of Imagine RIT, Michelle Lanphear, at or call 585-475-4329. Thank you.

We also encourage you to perform at Imagine RIT on Saturday, April 25th 2020! Submit your performance to the proposal system at An announcement will be made via Imagine RIT social media and RIT Message Center when the proposal system opens.