The Wisconsin High School Forensic Association (WHSFA) was founded in 1895, making it the oldest secondary school speech or debate organization in the country. The WHSFA works to fulfill its mission to provide an opportunity for students to enhance communication skills through participation in Theatre, Debate and Speech activities.
The one-act play festival series runs from October through November, with 70-80 schools performing one-acts annually with shows of up to 40 minutes. The WHSFA works with the Alliance of Wisconsin Theatre Education and a host institution to organize the State Festival for about 1,800 students from 40-50 schools to actively participate in play performances, individual event and tech contests, hands-on workshops, and full-length showcase presentations.
The WHSFA also offers programming in Speech, Debate, and Middle Level Speech, with Film being developed as an additional contest area. About 10,000 students participate annual in WHSFA sponsored events.