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A copy of the cover page (and a brief written response in case of participating productions) is sent by
the respondent to the regional chair. PLEASE complete the cover page on-site and send, FAX or email to the regional chair immediately following the on-site visit. The school’s copy of the cover
page is given to the director (or appropriate contact) immediately following the response. This is
especially important when responding to a participating entry. Schools must know whether or not to
save their sets, and so on. If the written response follows to the regional chair at a longer interval,
please resubmit the cover page.
Respondent is contacted by the regional chair, or designee, about an entered production.
Reply as quickly as possible either positively or negatively.
Regional chair faxes/emails a copy of registration form for entered production to respondent.
Remember that a participating production is requesting consideration for an invitation to
perform at the regional festival. The college expects an on-site response, a copy of the cover page
immediately following the production, which includes student nominations in eligible categories.
The regional chair is sent a copy of the response cover page, a brief written assessment and a
program in a timely manner. The respondent may elect to send a copy of the written response to
he school, but it is not an expectation or requirement.
Schools entering productions on the associate level expect an on-site response, a copy of the
cover sheet immediately following the response and student nominations in eligible categories. A
copy of the cover sheet and program is submitted to the regional chair in a timely manner. A
written response for associate entries is not expected.
Respondent contacts director (or designated contact) to set up response date.
When contacting a director, set up a time and a place to meet. Get clear directions to the
theatre/dinner/hotel. Dinner before a show, provided by the host school, is customary – it is a good
time to become acquainted, discuss post-show session (procedures, issues to address/avoid), learn
about context/size/type of department, production, support, etc.
The cost of overnight accommodation, if necessary, is to be covered by the school.
Respondent travels to see production.
Respondent participates in a response session, which generally is from 45 minutes to an hour of
conversation. A response session usually immediately follows the performance (although 10-15
minutes to get actors out of costume can be put to good advantage organizing notes), with the
director, designers, cast and crew.
Response Session
PLEASE, identify yourself as the respondent, familiarize the company with the goals of KCACTF
and briefly outline opportunities this organization offers.
The following outline serves as a reminder of areas to be addressed in your response (although not
necessarily in this order).
Choice of Play:
*What is the play about?
*How did this group approach the play/ make it clear?
*Overall idea of the play’s direction
*Work with the actors
*Clarity of dramatic structure
*Images, movement, voice
*Truth of movement, ensemble, voice, characterization, consistency.
*Try to comment on as much of the cast a possible.
Additional Comments:
*Coherence of overall idea
*Artistic excellence
*Execution of design elements
*Attention to detail
*Stage management
*Smoothness of running functions
*As appropriate, such as dramaturgy, program, front of house, etc.
Discuss Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Audition nominations, with the director or faculty
contact, on-site. It is customary for each respondent to nominate one performer to participate
in the auditions at the regional festival; the school may nominate another. Try to coordinate
with the school to maximize the number of students provided this opportunity.
Discuss with the director and possibly students the Barbizon, National, Regional Design,
Alcone/Mehron Makeup, Natiohnal Critics Institute, National Playwriting Program and
Dramaturgy awards available at Festival
Discussions of all nominations should consider readiness, preparation, availability, and
relative benefit of competing at Festival. Nominations should be coordinated with the other
productions from the same school to include as many students as possible in the Festival
Student designers should be made aware of rules and guidelines for submitting their work at
regional festival. Please make sure that they, or their faculty advisor, know how to contact the
regional design chair and submit appropriate forms. And also, refer Irene Ryan nominees
and/or their faculty advisors to the Irene Ryan coordinator, vice chair of the region for
guidelines for selection and preparation of udtiont material and submission of appropriate
You may award certificates of merit in any area of artistic or technical expertise that you
find especially noteworthy.
You may recommend scenes from associate or participating entries for inclusion in the
“Showcase of Invited Scenes” at regional festival. Such recommendations should be for
scenes of approximately five to ten minutes in length. Recommendations must come from the
respondent, and must be included on the cover page in order to inform the entering school in
a timely manner of their possible invitation. Selection of scenes will be determined at the
regional selection meeting in December.
Following the response session, respondent completely fills out cover sheet, preferably on-site and
hands the director or appropriate contact person a copy of the cover sheet. The completed copy of
the cover sheet, program and brief written description in the case of participating production, is
then submitted to the regional chair as soon as possible following on-site visit.
A cover page is included in this packet. Please feel free to duplicate blank forms to fill out,
or transfer the information categories to computer. Please be sure to include ALL requested
information on the cover page and to address categories in the brief written response for
participating productions. Try to obtain all pertinent email addresses.
Email or send a copy of the cover page directly to the chair, Maggie Lally, [email protected]
or mail it to her attention at Adelphi University, Department of Performing Arts, One South Avenue,
PO Box 701, Garden City, NY 11530-0701
Also send a copy of the program and the assessment in the case of participating
productions. Reimbursement disbursements cannot be authorized until the response sheet is
turned in and the written assessment is received for participating productions.
KCACTF Respondents will respond to productions from the premise that effective theatre is assessed by
the depth and breadth of its ability to involve audiences in an experience that is both stimulating and
illuminating, which emphasizes the spoken word, physical interpretation of the text based on genuine
emotions, the humanity of individuals and the relationship between characters.
--KCACTF Brochure
These guidelines discuss a series of philosophical and procedural guidelines intended to suggest approach
and provide structure for assessing participating and associate KCACTF productions. Responses are not
about good and bad, right and wrong. They are about integrity and respect, the integrity of the production
and the company and the respect for the work and the process. The respondent agrees to watch the
production on one given evening and respond to it. Whether he or she likes, hates, knows, and/or has
directed the play remains irrelevant. What is relevant is the respondent’s experience n the theatre this night,
with this company, as an informed member of the audience.
Respectful of the work and the process: Theatre is a collaborative art, and as such implies that artists
working as a unit are built around mutual respect. Artists, individuals and companies are vulnerable,
especially before a respondent. We must respect and acknowledge this vulnerability without deferring to it.
One person’s response, not a definitive word: Respondents can reduce initial tension by assuring the
company that they are going to share their personal, professional experience of the company in one
particular night, and that those experiences have validity based on experience and individual truth. To that
end, respondents must respond, not pontificate to what they see, not what they expected to see. They should
avoid phrases such as, “What I wanted/needed to see.” Instead, they should use, “This is what I saw” or
“This is what you presented” or even the ask the question, “Is this what you wanted me to see/feel?” If
“yes,” the respondent discusses the choices the company made that got them there. If “no,” the respondent
and the company discuss the choices that interfered and other options. Respondents must avoid the
temptation to redirect the work.
Respondents develop individual methods of responding to productions depending upon their
training, experience, personalities, and souls. The problem-solving method of responding has been proven
successful for many respondents because it is non-threatening: respondents pose questions about the
problems and traps solved in a production (or not, as the case may be). Together, with the director and
company, they seek and evaluate solutions. For example, respondents may begin by considering the traps
inherent in the script/theatre space; what this company did to avoid the traps; where the company stumbled;
the level of choices made by the company (original? clear? effective?); or whether the company took risks
or played it safe.
A respondent might detail what he or she experienced from the moment of entering the theatre
through the curtain call, in a chronological method that is easy to facilitate by taking good notes
throughout often marked by quotes, moments in the play, or visual elements. This often provides the
company with a thorough and thoughtful journey through the entire play.
Cognizant of problems during the production: If audience members laugh inappropriately or exhibit
signs of restlessness, respondents may focus on the sort of participatory response the work should evoke,
including considering whether the response received is consistent with that which the playwright intended.
The experience of the respondent of a production is always grounded in the company’s understanding of
the script, or the company’s ability to find its truth (basic conflict, polar attitudes, major metaphors,
structure, music, imagery, etc.), and then to transfer that truth to the stage.
FUN, Has a SeNsE oF HuMoR: Use your own experiences and your personality to guide you and to help
you create bonds and deliver information.
Responding is NOT:
focused on the respondent (past experience, research, ideas);
vague or unclear;
or prejudiced by previous performances or expectations.
Truthful and Constructive Criticism: Respondents can say almost anything about a play if they are: 1)
connected with and not isolated from the company; 2) perceived as truthful, sensitive, and knowledgeable;
and 3) they organize effectively the information they wish to present. It’s important to begin positively and
to try to reduce anxiety. Respondents should give the message that they are there to share one personal,
informed view of one performance that does not take process into account. Respondents can often give
tougher advice to a company with a strong production than one with a weak one. And they can often be
more specific at the end of a response than at the beginning, especially if they work at first to be heard.
The respondent’s job immediately is to discover what the company can and cannot hear—and when to best
present information in the course of a response. The trick is to open up each company and to remove
defenses and find language to make an audience receptive.
Inclusive and Specific: All elements of productions are included in a response—choice of play, directing,
acting, design, and execution of design—but you can do this in any order you want. Let the response or the
play guide you, and by all means, you do not have to discuss each element in a vacuum. They all cross
over. You DO NOT have to talk to each actor, but do not rely on the old “ensemble” fallacy, where a good
ensemble means you don’t have to talk to individual actors. You make the call based on the play. Many
respondents begin with directorial choices to set up environments, aesthetics, climate, and mood.
Discuss specific choices, particular moments, transactions, colors, timing, textures, clocking, wigs.
Share with the company choices and executions that may have been weak or questionable, and indicate
why, in your opinion, a choice did not work. Ask questions. Expect specific answers. Create an atmosphere
that encourages this exchange.