Masquerade Full Rules

The Arisia'16 Masquerade will be on Sunday, January 17 at 8PM, not Saturday night as has been traditional in past years.

The goal of the Masquerade is entertainment for the audience as well as appreciation for the efforts and hard work of the costumers. We've put together a great staff to support your efforts on stage. Our judges are experienced costumers. Our Master of Ceremonies, Tech Crew, and backstage crew are here to make sure you have everything you need to give your best presentation to the audience.

Online registration must be completed by midnight Thursday January 14th. Any entrants after that must register in person at the Masquerade table. Registered entries may change their information until Masquerade Registration closes at Noon on Sunday January 18th. All entrants must check in at Masquerade Registration prior to their rehearsal slot.

Masquerade Registration hours will be:

  • Friday 4-9 pm
  • Saturday 10am-5pm
  • Sunday 10am-noon

Arisia uses the skill division set up by the International Costumers' Guild. If you are unsure what division you should register and compete in please contact the Masquerade Director (

Entrants competing in the Re-Creation category must provide at least one photograph of the original work at registration. Documentation (books, movie stills, photographs) supporting your costume will be provided to the judges and returned following the Masquerade.

Entrants wishing to have their costumes judged for Worksmanship must provide documentation at registration. You may email documentation to with advanced registration, or supply it at the desk. No paper mail, please.

All audio (speech and music) must be pre-recorded and provided at registration. Provide your recordings as an uncompressed WAV file on USB or CD. Put only the music and speech that you want us to play on the media. Bring multiple copies in case your USB or CD become unusable prior to the competition.

At the Registration Desk there will be a chart to sign up for rehearsal times. Every entry must show up for rehearsals or risk being removed from the masquerade.

Talking to the Technical crew in advance allows them to help you make the best presentation of your costume. You will be assigned a rehearsal slot; group costumes are responsible for coordinating with each other to appear at their assigned rehearsal slot. We will notify one member of each group.

Tech Crew, the MC, and the Masquerade Directors must be completely aware of what you plan to do on stage. No exceptions. There will be a Head Ninja present at rehearsal to discuss what help you need getting on or off the stage, what prop help you want, etc.

You must clear all special effects with the Masquerade Director and Stage Manager at rehearsal.

All weapons must be cleared with the Masquerade Director. No sharp edges; no shooting projectiles. If you are pointing a weapon it must be demonstrated not to shoot.

If your presentation involves removing or leaving any portion of your costume or props on stage this must be covered at rehearsal.

The online registration form has a question for signing up for Saturday rehearsal. Sunday sign-up will be available at con.

    Reasons to signup online for Saturday:
  • Slots are longer (10 minutes vs. 8 minutes.)
  • More time for Novices to get help, and ask for advice.
  • More time for group presentations to rehearse their choreography.
  • You'll have more time after the rehearsal to refine your presentation.

Time on stage is limited to 60 seconds. Entries needing more time should discuss their plans with the Masquerade Director in advance.

The only person allowed to speak from the stage is the MC. He will be happy to work with you in reading a short script or to interact with you as planned ahead of time.

Each person may appear only once on stage, except for parent-child costuming. Adults may appear as part of or supporting a child costume in addition to their own entry.

Restrictions on Costumes and Props
All Masquerade entries must be PG-13. If you are not sure what this means, consult the Masquerade Director.

Absolutely no flame, fires, or sparks.

If you are carrying a weapon on stage, we need to know ahead of time. Any weapon allowed in the Masquerade but otherwise restricted by the Convention must be carried to and from the Masquerade Green Room under cover and peace bonded.

Do not decorate your costume or props with anything messy, smelly, or slimy. All parts of your costume must come in and leave with you.

Purchased or rented costumes may not be entered in competition; you may show those costumes out of competition.

If you have presented and received awards for this costume at other regional or international convention masquerades, then you should consider presenting it out of competition.

There will be Official Photography and audience members will take non-flash photos during presentations. It is entirely your choice whether to allow people to take your picture outside of the Masquerade. Photography is subject to the Arisia photography policy.

In the Masquerade Green Room
Check in begins at 6:00 pm and arrive no later than 7:30 pm or you may be scratched from the run order.
You will be given the presentation order for the show when you arrive. You will be assigned a den and a Den Mom. If you need anything, please let them know.
There will be a Repair Table available to cover last-minute emergencies.
The Official Photographer will be located in the Green Room. As soon as you are ready for your photos tell your Den Mom. Official Photos will be made available for sale both to you and to any convention member after the Masquerade.

"The Masquerade
Kamikaze kids will appear first, followed by a break, then Young Fans, and then the adult contestants.

There will be Stage Ninjas at the entrance and exit from the Stage to give you a hand up, to move your props onto or off the stage, and to catch you if you stumble.

After you are finished we advise you to return to the Masquerade Green Room and watch the show on TV or join the Tactile Masquerade in the hallway outside of the Grand Ballroom. Awards will be given when the Judges are ready. Be prepared to be called back onto the stage for awards.

Workmanship Judging
The Workmanship Judge will be present in the Green Room. If you want your costume judged for Workmanship please tell your Den Mom.

Presentation Judging
This judging will be to evaluate your overall quality from the point of view of the audience.

Tactile Masquerade
During halftime, there will be an opportunity for audience members to see and touch costumes up close. Please let us know if you wish to participate in this.

Skill Divisions
Arisia uses the skill division set up by the International Costumers' Guild. If you are unsure what division you should register and compete in please contact the Masquerade Director (

After the Masquerade
On Monday you will have the opportunity to retrieve your materials and documentation at the Masquerade Registration Desk.
Costumers - remember to attend Monday's Masquerade Debrief session to show off your entry and get some good feedback from the judges and other costumers.

Updated August 20, 2015

Date last changed: Aug 20th, 2015 @ 14:56:39 EDT