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This is the Boy Scout Theater Merit Badge.
Webelos Scouts can earn the Showman activity badge.

Theater merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1967
Replaced: Dramatics
BSA Advancement ID: 111
Requirements revision: 2005
Latest pamphlet revision: 2008


Theater merit badge requirements

  1. See or read three full-length plays.* Write a review of each. Discuss with your counselor the plot or story. If you chose to watch the plays, comment on the acting and the staging.
  2. Write a one-act play that will take at least eight minutes to perform. The play must have a main character, conflict, and a climax.
  3. Discuss with your counselor the safety precautions that should be practiced when working in a theater to protect the cast and crew. Then do THREE of the following:
    (a) Act a major part in a full-length play; or act a part in three one-act plays.
    (b) Direct a play. Cast, rehearse, and stage it. The play must be at least 10 minutes long.
    (c) Design the set for a play or a theatrical production. Make a model of it.
    (d) Design the costumes for five characters in a theatrical production set in a historical time.
    (e) Show skill in hair and makeup design. Make up yourself or a friend as a historical figure, a clown, an extraterrestrial, or a monster as directed.
    (f) With your counselor's approval, help with the building and painting of the scenery for a theatrical production.
    (g) With your counselor's approval, design the lighting for a play; or help install, focus, color, program, and operate the lighting for a theatrical production.
    (h) With your counselor's approval, help install, focus, equalize, program, and operate the sound for a theatrical production.
    (i) Serve as the stage manager for a theatrical production. Document all cues and stage setups in your calling script.
  4. Mime or pantomime any ONE of the following chosen by your counselor.
    (a) You have come into a large room. It is full of pictures, furniture, other things of interest.
    (b) As you are getting on as bus, your books fall into a puddle. By the time you pick them up, the bus has driven off.
    (c) You have failed a school test. You are talking with your teacher who does not buy your story.
    (d) You are at a camp with a new Scout. You try to help them pass a cooking test. The Scout learns very slowly.
    (e) You are at a banquet. The meat is good. You don't like the vegetable. The dessert is ice cream.
    (f) You are a circus performer such as a juggler, high-wire artist, or lion tamer doing a routine.
  5. Explain the following: proscenium arch, central or arena staging, spotlight, floodlight, flies, center stage, stage right, stage left, stage brace, downstage, upstage, stage crew, flies, portal, cyclorama, portal, stage brace, spotlight, floodlight, lighting control board, sound board mixing desk.
* – Watching plays on television, video, or as a movie is not permitted.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Theater is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Theater requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Requirement resources

1: Pro-Play: Children & Youth Free online scripts of full-length plays appropriate for children.

1: Shakespeare Resource Center

2: Playwriting 101: How to Write a Play

3d: The Costumer's Manifesto Costume History

5: Theatre on a Shoestring: Theatre Terms

6: Scout Skits

Related awards

Art Awards Links - (Theater is an applied art)

Art-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools