Read What the
Michigan History Day
Program Means to Me

A Student’s Perspective

A Judge’s Perspective

A Parent’s Perspective

A Teacher’s Perspective


Resources for Performances

Do you like speaking in front of an audience? Do you like dressing up in costumes? Do you like to design or build props? If you answered yes, then the performance category may be for you! It is a dramatic portrayal of your topic’s significance in history. It should be scripted based on your research of your topic. Your performance is allowed to feature fictional characters, but they need to be based on historical fact.

Things to Remember:

  • A performance requires the same amount of research as the other categories
  • Your play must be student-produced and you must set up for the performance by yourself
  • May not be longer than 10 minutes
  • A process paper and annotated bibliography are required
  • See the Contest Rulebook for more information

Bring 4 copies of your process paper and annotated bibliography!

Prepare for Repairs
It’s a good idea to put together an emergency repair kit in case your props or costumes are damaged on the way to the event. Don’t forget the safety pins and duct tape!

The Judging Process
Arrive at your room at least 20 minutes before your scheduled presentation. If the door is closed, wait quietly outside until the ongoing performance ends and the door is opened. Students MAY NOT HAVE ASSISTANCE IN setting up and removing props for their performance. You will have five minutes to set up and five minutes to remove your props and be interviewed by the judges. The previous student(s) may be interviewing while you set up, so please be considerate. The judges will take your process paper and annotated bibliography before you start your performance. When they have finished looking over the papers, they will let you know when to begin. If your performance runs a little over the time limit, the judges will not stop you, but they will note the total time on their evaluation sheets.

Your Audience
Performances are open to the public, but the audience will only be allowed to enter or exit during set-up and after the interview. No one may enter while a performance is in progress, so make sure that family and friends arrive on time! Judges cannot delay your performance to wait for audience members and may even begin early if they are ahead of schedule.

Review the Rules
Please review the rules for the competition and your category in the National History Day Contest Rulebook. The rulebook can be found online at



Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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