How Does the Production Response Process Work?
The foundation of KCACTF is production response. Effective theater is assessed by its ability to involve audiences in an experience that is both stimulating and illuminating, which emphasizes the spoken word; physical interpretation of the text; genuine emotions; and relationships between characters. Schools wishing to participate in KCACTF enter at least one production for response.
Simply put, a Production Response is an opportunity for a visiting faculty member to attend a performance and participate in a dialogue after the show about the production and it’s process.
Here’s how the process typically works, but expectations may be adjusted to meet the needs of schools.
- School enters the Production for a response.
- KCACTF assigns Production Respondent(s).
- Director and Respondent(s) coordinate date(s) to see the show.
- If travel time for a respondent to a school exceeds 3 hours, it is appreciated, but not required, when the school can offer a hotel room or other modest accommodation for the night (not necessarily for matinee performances). This should be clearly communicated in advance between School and Respondent.
- On the day of the response, in ideal cases, the respondent and director (and perhaps a department representative, especially if the director is a guest artist) may meet prior to the show to get some background context for the production. It is a nice tradition, but not required, that the school hosts invites the respondent to meet over a casual lunch or dinner, if time allows.
- The Response is typically held immediately following the performance. KCACTF Production Response sessions should employ active anti-racist, anti-bias practice, and engage students, guest artists and faculty in meaningful inquiry.
- Most responses take about 45 min to 1 hour and should begin with a brief introduction of what KCACTF is and the opportunities the Festival provides for their creative and career development
- The majority of our production respondents have participated in various professional development and respondent orientation sessions. Our process is grounded in the Liz Lerman “Critical Response Process” (or CRP) approach. As such, the respondents are there to lead a discussion, not pass judgement or “adjudicate.”
- Following the discussion, the Respondent will want to meet with the director and/or department representative briefly to discuss potential commendations to offer to students, answer questions and provide supporting information about how students can then participate in the festival.
- Within a few days of the Response session, the Respondent will complete a Production Response form to document any special commendations. This may include Meritorious Awards, nominations for Acting Scholarship Auditions, notes about the potential to have a production bring a “snippet” of a show to the “Invited Scenes” showcase, and more. For Participating Productions, it will also note whether the Respondent and Selector have chosen to “hold” the show for consideration to be invited to perform at Festival.
- Once the Production Response form has been submitted, students, guest artists and faculty have the opportunity to submit their own “Production Response Feedback” form. This is a vehicle for gathering feedback on the response process and requesting follow up from the Regional Leadership if necessary.
- Last but not least….watch your in box (and social media!) for information, guidelines and deadlines for registering for and participating in the upcoming Festival. Communication begins to ramp up in October…and continues all through January. It is important to reserve hotel nights for the Festival by the deadline — they will book up!
There is no limit to the number of productions a school may enter in the festival. Productions may be registered in the KCACTF at any time during the year. Productions entered in the KCACTF represent the work of faculty and students of the individual university and college theater departments; qualify students for awards; and give faculty, student directors, and student designers experience visibility, and responses from colleagues outside the home institution.
Any junior or senior college in the United States accredited by its regional association is eligible to enter productions, as are student organizations directly sponsored by the accredited college.
All entries must be fully produced works presented before a public audience. Entries must be registered by the deadline established by the school’s region. (Registrations after that deadline must be approved by the Regional Chair.)
Both Participating and Associate productions receive outside response on their home campuses and, with some exceptions, are eligible for all KCACTF-sponsored awards. Schools may:
- Nominate one bona fide student performer from its entry for participation in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions;
- Nominate student designers to participate in the scenic, sound, costume, and lighting design programs;
- Be considered for all applicable playwriting awards (Associate entries are not eligible for the National Student Playwriting Award or the John Cauble Short Play Award); and
- Be considered for all other applicable KCACTF awards.
KCACTF reserves the right to withhold any award.