Performing Arts Challenge

Friday, February 5, 2021
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Virtual Event

Contest Rules and Entry Criteria

We are pleased to announce that the President Munson’s Performing Arts Challenge will be part of FreezeFest in 2021.

The contest is open to all current RIT students (undergraduate or graduate level) who enjoy dance, music, theatre, comedy, juggling, and more. Students may participate as an individual, ensemble or group. There is no fee to register.

Prize money will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners. First place will receive $1,000, second place will receive $500, and third place will receive $250. 

Registration forms must be submitted by the deadline of November 1, 2020, via the RIT Performing Arts Department CampusGroups page. Questions can be submitted to the Director of Imagine RIT, Ann Miller, at imagine@rit.edu.

Download the registration form.

Event organizers will review submissions using CampusGroups. An audio/video file of your performance (YouTube link preferred) must be included with your submission to be considered for the final show. Finalists will be chosen by November 6. Chosen finalists may register to have their final performance pre-recorded in Ingle Auditorium on November 14 or 15, or they may submit a self-recorded final performance by December 1. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the virtual event on February 5.

Submit your registration here

* All awards, prizes, and/or gifts given by RIT are taxable to the recipient, students, and non-students alike.

For Non-resident aliens: Any awards, prizes, and/or gifts received by a non-resident alien are immediately taxable at 30%.

All non-resident alien prize recipients should contact RIT payroll/accounts payable as soon as possible to make arrangements to pay their tax due upon receipt of the award/prize/gift. A 1042-S document will be issued at year-end to summarize the amount of miscellaneous income that is being reported to the IRS.

For U.S. citizens and/or U.S. resident aliens: Any awards, prizes, and/or gifts received by a U.S. citizen and/or U.S. resident are taxable at TBD%.

All U.S. citizens and/or U.S. resident alien prize recipients will receive a 1099-MISC document from RIT’s payroll/accounts payable, if applicable, at year-end to summarize the amount of miscellaneous income that is being reported to the IRS.

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 ten finalists will be chosen from the applications to compete during the Performing Arts Challenge presentation. No more than three performing groups or individuals from any category will be selected to perform in the final challenge.

Submissions containing copyrighted material (e.g., music, dramatic works, etc.) may require permission from the copyright owner(s). In some cases, RIT may already have the appropriate permissions. However, submissions will be reviewed to determine whether additional or separate permissions are required prior to the virtual event. In the event permission is not obtained for a submission prior to February 5, 2021, the submission may not be included in the virtual event.

All performances are expected to adhere to New York State Guidelines and RIT Policy regarding Social Distancing Due to COVID-10.

  • Dancers must maintain 10 ft. distance and limit to 6 performers.
  • Singers and instruments including force respiration must maintain 12 ft. distance and limit to 5 performers.
  • All other performances are required to maintain 6 ft. distance and limit to 12 performers.

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 imagine@rit.edu, 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.
  • 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, Ann Miller, at imagine@rit.edu or call 585-475-4329. Thank you.

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