British Columbia

Nurturing Talent

The Festival changes the lives of thousands of high school students every year, such as Miranda Baker.

''This is the year I discovered that I really want to do this as a living. It's what I am going to do for the rest of my life and I feel that without this festival, I would have chosen something different and would not have been as happy as I am now, going into theatre.'' – Miranda Baker, NTS Drama Festival participant

A Nisga'a student from Charles Hays Secondary School, Prince Rupert, Miranda was the recipient of the B.C. NTS Festival Scholarship in addition to the Outstanding Original Script award for her original play ''To Grow Up''. The one-act play tells the story of Nicole, an Indigenous girl confronted with racism in her community. During the play, she will learn to grow and how to heal, thanks to the help of her friend Damion.


Learn more about Miranda's experiences


The main objective of the Dramafest is to provide a platform for high school students from across the province to showcase their work. It brings together students, teachers, and theatre professionals who participate in high quality workshops, student theatre performances, and critical discussions. Participation in Dramafest fosters empathy, teamwork, problem solving, and a sense of community.


The B.C. National Theatre School DRAMAFEST is an annual event organized by the Association of British Columbia Drama Educators (ABCDE).

With more than 40 years of history, the ABCDE Provincial Drama Festival (as it was originally titled) initially operated within the B.C. Festival of the Arts, then independently for a number of years, then in partnership with Sears Canada Drama Festivals for six years, and now we are in partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada.

The Festival consists of

Showcase Productions

  • These will be the Outstanding Productions from all of the active Zones. In the event that the Outstanding Production is not able to attend the Festival, then the Alternate Production selected by the Zone Festival Adjudicator will be invited to present their production to represent the Zone. 

Youthwright Performances

  • The ABCDE has a yearly playwriting competition entitled Youthwright in which students from around the province enter their one act original scripts for adjudication in January.

  • The students who have been chosen as Outstanding Playwrights by the adjudication panel will be invited to present the production of their script at the B.C. National Theatre School DRAMAFEST. 

Adjudications for the Showcase and Youthwright

  • Students and teachers who have been involved in the productions will receive a private adjudication workshop. 


  • We offer a variety of workshops for the students and teachers during the Festival. 

Social Activities 

  • During the festival there are many activities organized to encourage the students to get to know each other and what's happening in their schools, towns and cities. On the final evening we have a large theme dance for all the participants. 


The Association of British Columbia Drama Educators (ABCDE) has divided the province into 18 Drama Zones. Ideally, each Zone organizes a Zone Drama Festival and the adjudicator selects an Outstanding Production to represent the Zone at the B.C National Theatre School DRAMAFEST. Zone Festivals are held between November and March each school year. The Zones vary from being very active to inactive from year to year, therefore not all Zones will have an Outstanding Production at the B.C. NTS DRAMAFEST.

Consult the zones

Guiding principles

These principles are intended to ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of the level of expectations in the Theatrical work. They are also there to ensure the efficient running of the Zone Festivals and the B.C. National Theatre School DRAMAFEST, stimulate creativity, collaboration and problem solving in the productions, and a fair experience for all participants.

Consult the Guidelines

DramaFest Awards

Awards are decided upon by a DramaFest awards committee made up of the adjudicator and guests selected by the BC DramaFest Committee. The awards will be sent out by mail after the festival concludes.




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