The purposes of the Theatrical Design Contest is to foster appreciation of good theatrical design, to increase the number of schools which have adapted technical theatre as an academic subject in school curricula, to learn to lose or win graciously, accepting with good sportsmanship the decision and critique with a view to improve future projects and to satisfy the competitive, artistic spirit with friendly rivalry among schools.
Each school submits designs to the UIL office as directed in the current Theatrical Design Guide. The designs are adjudicated and rated and advancing schools are announced. Schools receive a critique. Qualifiers at state are ranked first through sixth.