LightsUP Drama Festival Series

Region: Metro South and West Metropolitan North | Chatswood | Parramatta | Penrith | Wyong
Kindergarten to Year 12
Local arts program Public schools Drama

The LightsUP Drama Festival Series is a schedule of 3 drama festivals to be held at Chatswood, Parramatta, Penrith and Wyong.

The LightsUP Drama Festival Series provides the opportunity to showcase the skills and talents of NSW public school students and teachers from Kindergarten to Year 12 in creating and performing drama for an audience.

Each drama festival encourages and supports the development of drama programs at a school level by providing teachers with a valuable platform for engaging students in preparing drama for performance and also promoting the arts as a vital part of the school curriculum.

Students will benefit from the opportunity to work towards a quality performance in a professional venue and be enthused through interaction with other drama students. 

2023 dates and venues

LightsUP – Chatswood 

  • Monday 5 June to Wednesday 7 June 2023  (Term 2 Week 7)
  • The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood

LightsUP – Penrith 

  • Thursday 22 June 2023  (Term 2 Week 9)
  • Q Theatre, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith

LightsUP – Parramatta 

  • Tuesday 29 August 2023  (Term 3 Week 7)
  • The Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
  • Tickets available through Riverside box office

2024 dates and venues

LightsUP – Chatswood 

  • Monday 24 June to Wednesday 26 June 2024 (Term 2 Week 9)
  • The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood

LightsUP – Penrith 

  • Thursday 20 June 2024 (Term 2 Week 8)
  • Q Theatre, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith

LightsUP – Parramatta 

  • TBC (Term 3)
  • The Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

LightsUP – Wyong

  • Thursday 12 September 2024  (Term 3 Week 8)
  • The Art House, Wyong

How to apply

Applications for the LightsUP Drama Festival Series 2024 will open early in 2024.

Teachers, to apply:

  • Please complete the LightsUP Drama Festival Series 2024 online application form.
  • Applications close Friday 24 May 2024 (Term 2 Week 4)
  • Schools will be notified of application results on Friday 31 May 2024 (Term 2 Week 5)

Performance item details

Group size

  • Maximum 30 students for primary and secondary groups

Performance length

  • Primary school items  up to 10 minutes duration (recommended 6– 8 minutes)
  • Secondary school items –up to 12 minutes duration (recommended 8 – 10 minutes)

Audition details

Schools applying to participate in the LightsUP Drama Festival series are required to submit an audition video. Auditions videos must be uploaded to YouTube or Google Drive and the video link included in the application form. When uploading your video link ensure you have the correct sharing settings to allow the panel to view. 

Criteria for selection

All application audition items will be assessed by the Lightsup Drama Festival audition panel, based on the following criteria:

  • Appropriate performance length
  • Consideration of the elements of drama and reflection of current syllabus outcomes
  • Demonstrated excellence in performance skills
  • Entertainment value
  • Use of minimal scenery and props
  • Appeal and suitability to an audience that may include students from Kindergarten to Year 12

Audition video resource

Please use the resource below, developed by The Arts Unit, to support the preparation and filming of your audition video.

Audition video tips

  • Film the whole group from a fixed camera angle, not individual performers. It is important that all students are able to be viewed in the film.
  • It is recommended that schools use a tripod, particularly if panning to ensure a steady image
  • Ensure that the video is of sufficiently high quality to allow the panel to view the details of your work and your performers
  • If needed, cover any windows or doors in the room where the audition is being filmed, to avoid outside light interfering with the visual contrast in your video
  • Ensure your audition video is within the time frame requirements outlined above

Participation fee

  • $15.00 per student per festival entry
  • Schools will be responsible for collecting participation fees from their students and automatically debited for their participation in the festival via SAP journal entry


Peter Hayward
Arts Coordination Officer
0401 132 410


The Concourse Theatre
409 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW 2067

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Q Theatre, The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
597 High St
Penrith NSW 2750

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The Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres
Corner Market St and Church St
Parramatta NSW 2150

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The Art House
19-21 Margaret Street
Wyong NSW 2259

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