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Section 254 – Set, Props, and Technical Elements

Fine Art By-Laws
Sections 199-263


The UNIT SET is defined by TAPPS and will be provided at the Championship meet.  These may or may not be provided by district hosts, but schools can bring approved items if needed, making them available to all schools prior to the beginning of the official rehearsals. 

A.  All UNIT SETS will be gray in color.

B.  The UNIT SET includes the following:

1. Two-  4’x8′ Platforms

2. Two-  4’x4′ Platforms

3. Four- 1’x1′ Platforms 

4. Two- 4’x4′ Ramps

5. Two- 4′ Step Units

6. Two- 2′ Step Units

7. Two- 8′ Pylons

8. Two- 6′ Pylons

9. Two- 4′ Pylons

10. Four- Trifold Flats

11. Four- Bifold Flats

12. Two Standard Doors (1 left, 1 right) with extender flat to make 8’tall

13. One Standard Window with extender flat to make 8’tall

14. One French Door with extender flat to make 8’tall

15. Three piece Right triangle Platforms (2′, 3′, 4′ all 1’H)

C.  UNIT SET Restrictions

Casters and other rolling devices may not be added to the UNIT SET.

No more than a total of 40 pounds of standard stage weights or sandbags may be used to stabilize UNIT SET pieces.

Nothing may be done with the UNIT SET that may:

Endanger or harm the





Damage the UNIT SET pieces.

Damage the stage, auditorium or other companies spike tape.


Additions to the UNIT SET are not allowed.

Modifications to the UNIT SET are not allowed.

Casters may not be attached to any set pieces or furniture. Furniture originally manufactured with casters are permissible; however the contest manager may instruct companies to carry the piece to its place to avoid damage to the stage or other companies’ spike tape.

Any additional set pieces ex. furniture, props, etc. must fit in a designated 10ft by 10ft staging area. 


Participants shall not be staged on unit set elements stacked over 6 feet.

Participants shall not be staged under unit set elements over four feet in height if other participants are staged on the elevated elements.

The contest manager may restrict or prohibit any use of the unit set which presents a hazard to the set, stage or participants.


The music log must be submitted by each director to the contest manager prior to the beginning of rehearsal.

Total amount of music, live or recorded, shall not exceed 10 minutes.

No more than 30 seconds of music, live or recorded, may be used from any single work under copyright. Looping of the same 30 seconds of a particular piece of music is permissible as long as no other excerpt from the same piece is used and the total music does not exceed 10 minutes.  

Live music, whether onstage or offstage, is permissible if it is dialogue- driven or specifically indicated by the playwright.  (Ex. Playwright says, “Ave Maria” is heard in the background.) Musicians or Singers count torwards the allotted cast or crew.  Musicians of singers from the crew cannot appear onstage.  Lyrics for live music must be memorized

Recorded sound effects are allowed without restriction

There are no GRACE PERIODS for time.

See Section 255 for PENALTIES.

 V. Sound and Intercommunications Equipment

Sound/Music amplification equipment may be used.

Intercommunication systems

are permissible if provided by the host site and available to all companies.

are not permissible if used exclusively by any one performing company.


A standard light plot of six, nine or more areas shall be provided.

At least one follow spot shall be provided.

Lighting that is used exclusively by one company shall not be allowed.

Available lighting information shall be made available to competing schools upon determination of host sites for both regional and state contests.

Permissible Additional Lighting:

Up to four non-intelligent, conventional or LED lighting instruments .

One image projection source.

Conventional instruments not to exceed 1000 watts.

Must be provided and controlled independent of the light board by the performing company.

Must be:

Handheld, or

Safely mounted to a static light stand.

Fixtures used to create lighting effects shall count towards the allowable number.

No use of cyc or scrim.

Red, blue, amber wash is available.


    1. Special effects may be used in TAPPS competition.
    2. Special effects shall include but are not limited to
      1. Fog
      2. Smoke
      3. Wind
      4. Rain
      5. Flashes
      6. Fire
  1. Damage and Injury
    1. Special effects shall be produced in such a manner that no harm shall occur to any person.
    2. Special effects shall be produced in such a manner that no damage occurs to the stage, theater, or other property.
  • The Director will be held personally responsible for any damage to the stage, theatre or other property as a result of the use of special effects.
  1. The following special effects are PROHIBITED
    1. Use of volatile substances including but not limited to
      1. Gasoline
      2. Kerosene
      3. Sterno
      4. Propane
    2. Use of Firearms
    3. Open flames of any kind
    4.  Liquids
      1. Water
      2. Other Substances
    5.  Bubbles
    6.  Confetti
    7.  Snow
    8. Glitter
    9. Hay
  2. Live animals are not allowed.
  1. See Section 255 for PENATLIES.
    1. Nudity
      1. Bare Midriff and/or torso are not allowed.
    2. Modesty
      1. While we do not want to restrict the creativity of costume design nor the attention to period styles, we expect there to be a reasonable consideration of modesty.
      2. Leotards or Spandex may not be used to simulate nudity.
    3. See Section 255 for PENATLIES.
  1. PROPS: The following items are prohibited whether real or simulated: 
    1. No actual or simulated alcoholic drinks.
    2. No actual or simulated tobacco products (including items such as pipes or cigarette cases or holders)
    3. No actual or simulated illegal or recreational drugs or drug paraphernalia.  
    4. The portrayal of legal, non-abusive use and use of props simulating legal medicines whether prescription or non-prescription is permissible. 
    5. Firearms, Explosives, Weapons.
      1. Firearms and explosives of any kind are not allowed.
      2. Restriction includes but is not limited to
        1. Cap guns
        2. BB guns
        3. Starter’s pistols
        4. Pellet guns
  • Acceptable weapons would include weapons that are
    1. Toy
    2. Stage
  1. Swords, knives, daggers, etc.
    1. Actual knives and swords are not allowed.
    2. Acceptable weapons would include weapons that are
      1. Toy
      2. Stage
    3. See Section 255 for PENALTIES.
    1. The following items may not be used in TAPPS competition:
      1. Altered Ladders
      2. Rows of Landscaping over 12’ in height
    1. All items other than the Unit Set must be contained in the staging area.
    2. The staging area shall be
      1. Marked at the Host Facility prior to rehearsal.
      2. The area shall be no larger than 10’ X 10’.
  • Any exceptions due to locations shall be noted in advance of the contest.
  1. If not restricted in the TAPPS rules, schools may utilize additional properties and scenery to enhance the production. Any questionable items should be approved prior to the district contest.
  2. TAPPS makes no allowance for oversized objects. TAPPS cannot guarantee the accessibility for any object which does not fit through a standard doorway.

Directors are encouraged to address any questions to the OAP committee well in advance of any contest. Realize that all committee members also compete and most likely will not be able to address issues and questions other than those regarding disqualification the week or day of contest.