As discussed on our ‘About RAFTA’ page, the Association runs a number of Competitions/Festivals and makes various Awards each year in order to support its charitable objects and its intent to improve theatre in the RAF. RAFTA supports the following endeavours: an annual One-Act Play Festival (OAPF) where RAFTA Member Clubs come together in one location to compete (and to have fun!); the RAFTA 12-month Festival, including annual competitions for plays and pantomimes that rely on in-house Adjudication of productions put on in RAFTA Clubs; and, an annual playwriting competition with categories for one-act and full length plays. In addition to this, the Committee can choose to acknowledge endeavour and commitment from RAFTA Members.
RAFTA One-Act Play Festival (OAPF)
This is viewed by many as the highlight of the RAFTA Calendar. More detail can be found on the Festival page and the various sub-pages for each year’s Festival. Key reference documents are also linked here: RAFTA OAPF Rules & Conditions, RAFTA OAPF Awards List.
RAFTA 12-Month Festival
The RAFTA 12-Month Festival runs from 1 Oct to 30 Sep the following year; this corresponds with RAFTA’s financial year and allows for presentation of awards to be made at RAFTA’s AGM (usually held Oct/Nov). The results for each year’s RAFTA 12-Month Festival are included in the relevant AGM minutes; runners-up are also recorded. All of the awards are based on the marks obtained from in-house RAFTA Adjudication of plays and pantomimes put on by RAFTA Member Clubs (no marks are awarded for productions that are not adjudicated: you have to be in it to win it!). The RAFTA Premier Trophy considers points awarded as part of both the RAFTA 12-Month Festival and the RAFTA One-Act Play Festival to recognise overall excellence from a RAFTA Member Club during that Festival year. For a Club to be eligible to compete in any of the categories, that club must be a RAFTA Member club at the time it has its production(s) adjudicated and at the time of the AGM where the relevant awards would be presented (again, you have to be in it to win it!). The awards available are:
The Triplar Trophy for the Best Pantomime Stage Presentation
The Theatre 101 Trophy for Best Pantomime
The 12-Month Play Festival Trophy for Best Stage Presentation
The 12-Month Play Festival Trophy for Best Play
The RAFTA Premier Trophy
The RAFTA Playwriting Competition
Held annually, this competition is held to encourage new writing within RAFTA. Prior to October 2016, the competition was split into 2 categories: full-length play and one-act play. However, following a few years where competitions were not held due to lack of sufficient entries in each category, the decision was taken in October 2016 to combine the 2 categories into a single competition. This combined competition was first held in 2017.
The Competition is administered by the RAFTA Membership Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Rules can be downloaded via this link: RAFTA Playwriting Competition Rules.
Awards for Commitment and Endeavour
The RAFTA Committee have it in their gift to recognise commitment and endeavour each year. There are 2 specific awards that can be presented if the Committee deem there to be worthy recipients:
The Glynn Leaney Award for Commitment is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated commitment or dedication of the utmost calibre within RAFTA or its Clubs. This could also be under challenging circumstances or as recognition of continual commitment in a particular arena.
The Freddie Westcott Award for Endeavour is given to a club or individual that has shown endeavour either by overcoming adversity or challenging circumstances to continue performing or has worked hard to achieve something that enhances RAFTA and/or improves theatre in the RAF.
It also sits within the Committee’s gift to grant a RAFTA Fellowship to any individual who holds Life Membership RAFTA and whom the Committee consider has provided a valued and exceptional contribution to the running of RAFTA. Fellowships do not come with any ‘quid pro quo’ expectation attached, though RAFTA has benefitted considerably over the years from the support, guidance, advice and wisdom of its Fellows. The Committee can also invite persons of high standing within the world of international theatre to become a RAFTA Patron. Usually, but not without exception, those invited to be Patrons have had some links to the Royal Air Force. Additionally, retired Presidents of RAFTA may be invited to become Patrons.