2017-2018 Season is just Around the Corner!

We sent out the dates for 2017-2018 season for US Academic Triathlon via email last spring. In case you need a reminder, here’s the schedule:

Registrations Due Nov. 3, 2017
Fees Due Dec. 1, 2017
Round Robin 1 Dec. 8, 2017
Round Robin 2 Jan. 12, 2018
Round Robin 3 Feb. 9, 2018
Snow/Make-Up Date Feb. 23, 2018
Regionals March 9, 2018
State April 14, 2018

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Northfield Dinner Theater Benefit for US Academic Triathlon

A benefit dinner and show has been planned to raise money for US Academic Triathlon. A musical comedy written by founder Peggy Sheldon will be staged March 11 & 12 in Northfield, MN. Doors open at 6 p.m., with door prizes, a four-course dinner, a murder mystery Quiz, and a one-liner contest.
The Roaring 20s provides the glamorous backdrop for this interactive musical show. “Somebody has knocked off a notorious socialite and painted her face orange! Whodunit?” is the plot for the show.
‘The Case of the Tawdry Tabloid’ will keep you entertained as you check out the suspects and solve the crime. Enjoy the Speakeasy, the music, and the disaster of a detective who thinks he’s Groucho Marx as he tackles this hilarious homicide,” says the playwright.

“After writing more than 25 years of P.A.R.T.Y. in a Box scenarios, I thought it was about time I tried my hand at finishing an entire play!”

Peggy Sheldon says. “And I love the old-time music we’re using; but I’ve written new lyrics to fit the unique characters.”

Find out more and get tickets here.

Northfield, MN, is about 20 miles south of the Twin Cities, just off Interstate 35.

This is a fundraiser put on by the Northfield Dinner Theater to benefit US Academic Triathlon.

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Round Robin #3 Reflection

We’ve passed the halfway point in the season, but we’d still love to hear from you! Did you run into and problems? Did you see or hear something that made you smile during the Meet? Are the kids enjoying themselves?

Leave us a comment or e-mail Sarah@usacademictriathlon.com.

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Elements of Storytelling: The Protagonist

Once a USAT team has their theme figured out, it’s time to decide who is going to star in the story and how they relate to that theme.


The literary world uses the word “protagonist” rather than “hero” to talk about the main characters of books because a “true hero” is a type of character with specific traits (honor, morality, selflessness, and sometimes a cape), but a protagonist is simply the character at the center of a story. They may have other people around them who are helping them out, but the protagonist is going to be the person (or sometimes people) who is pivotal to how events unfold. Most often, protagonists are heroes, but that’s not always the case. Basically, the protagonist is the one in a story who has goals that need to be accomplished, and consequences if those goals aren’t reached.

So, how do you choose a protagonist? We try to keep our themes for PA.R.T.Y. in a Box challenges open-ended to allow room for creativity, but they are always going to suggest different kinds of characters that are necessary to address them. Sometimes, they are even specified in the scoring guidelines! Over the years, we’ve asked students to create everything from aliens to zebras, and if we require a certain character we always let you know. Plus, the judges will be paying extra attention to anything that is mentioned specifically in the scoring, so it’s a good idea to give extra attention to those costumes and props during prep.

In general, protagonists tend to be people who are “outsiders” for some reason. This might be because they were chosen for quest, are new to town, experienced a tragedy, or any other reason a person might feel different from those around them. Their place on the fringe allows them to see what others don’t, do what others can’t, and search for things that others won’t dare to find. And that’s why they get to be at the center of it all.

Brainstorming prompt: Set the clock for two minutes and write down as many protagonists as you can!


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Round Robin #2 Reflection


Two Meets down, my how the time flies! We’re already hard at work on RR3, so if you’ve got any comments or questions this is great time to share. Did you see a P.A.R.T.Y. skit that blew you away? Team work that won the day? Or were there challenges we could help you overcome?

Please, leave us a comment or e-mail Sarah@usacademictriathlon.com.

Posted in For Coaches and Teachers, For Hosts and Facilitators, For Kids, For Parents

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