The people-to-people task you have taken on constitutes the very heart of our program. Responding is rewarding, time-consuming and delicate. It takes tact, intelligence and a teacher’s heart to do it well. Thanks for volunteering.

On the main Respondents page you will find the online form you will need to submit in order to complete your task as a Festival Respondent and receive your travel reimbursement. The Region III Selection Committee meets in early December of each year in order to choose the productions and scenes to be viewed at the subsequent January festival, and to finalize schedules, lists of students in all areas, and to conduct other business of the region. It is imperative that all information on the current calendar year’s productions be received prior to that meeting.

Submit the online Respondent’s Reimbursement and Recommendation Form. The form will include the information needed such as Irene Ryan nominations, and if you are nominating a production for the Evening of Scenes, the Costume Parade, and a place for you to list any Certificates of Merit that you would like to award. There will also be a place for you to list any student designers working on the production. The Ryan and student designer information must be included in order to receive your reimbursement.

When she was regional chair, Carolyn Gillespie wrote some words on the response process that are loaded with insight. Instead of trying to revise her words, here they are again, with occasional updating.

It’s only fair!

As most of you know, it takes a village to insure that every production entered in our region has a viable respondent. Once again, I ask that your department supply as many respondent visits as you consume. Respondents should have attended the Respondent Workshops at the Regional Festival, or a similar workshop offered by the State Chair. However, given the demand for respondents, occasionally an “untrained” colleague is sent out. If you are interested in becoming a respondent, contact your state chair.

To tell the truth with tact….

A respondent’s job is to respond to what he/she experienced in the theatre at the time of the viewing, and to tell the truth with tact. Each department develops a culture of criticism based its philosophy of teaching. Some programs emphasize nurturing and concentrate almost entirely upon positive feedback; others take a tougher approach and consistently point out aspects of the performance that are not working. – and some do this quite bluntly. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Remember that our effort must be to support what we must assume to be a good faith effort on the part of the company. In the case of a faculty directed production, the respondent must be careful not to undercut a colleague’s credibility with his/her students. With student directed productions, we must take care to notice what has been accomplished as well as areas which could benefit from further exploration. In all cases, it is essential not to demoralize the company.

What to do about a “bad” respondent?

Try as we might to avoid it, occasionally, a school reports an unsatisfactory experience with a respondent. Sometime, this is a clash of cultures of criticism, and even a “good” respondent can have a bad night. If, however, you feel a respondent to one of your associate productions should not be out on the road, please contact your state chair to discuss the matter in some detail. In the case of a participating production, please talk to the regional chair. We can’t address problems if we don’t know they exist.

  • Initiate contact with the director of the production or the designated contact person.
  • Confirm the date and time of the performance with the director in a timely fashion.
  • Get clear travel directions to campus and to the theatre.
  • KCACTF reimburses your travel expenses upon receipt of your online expense report including listing the Irene Ryan nominees and student designer information.
    The host school can expect to arrange and pay for lodging if you need to spend the night.
  • Many schools invite you to dinner beforehand, giving you an opportunity to engage in collegial conversation.
  • Determine the location, time and format of the oral response session.
  • Determine if there are student designers on the production. If so, check the appropriate spaces on the reimbursement form. All student designers are automatically eligible to participate in the design competitions. Encourage those students to go to the Design and Tech area of the website and register their designs. They do not require a nomination from the respondent.
  • Complete Anti-Bias Training
  • Remind the company about the dates and location of the Regional Festival, and encourage all to attend regardless of whether or not their work is selected for presentation.
  • Respect the work the company has done in your response.
  • DON’T – talk about how you directed or would have directed the production.
  • DO – make the response session a conversation about the work by asking and inviting questions, as well as articulating your response.
  • Discuss the Irene Ryan nomination(s) with the director of the production. The director may nominate one eligible individual. The respondent may nominate up to one additional student for an associate production, or two for a participating production if they are truly exceptional. You are not obligated to nominate any additional Ryan candidates. . Each year, we have over 300 productions entered in the Festival. Do the math!
  • Determine if the school is willing to be considered for the Evening of Scenes, Fringe Festival or Costume Parade if you think the production or costume design would be of interest to Festival-goers
  • Submit the online form.
  • Consider nominations for Certificate of Merit, Evening of Scenes, Fringe Festival and Costume Parade and include them in your report to the regional chair.
  • A thank you note to the host school is a nice courtesy.

If there were truly exceptional elements in a production that you think deserve recognition, please complete this online form. A certificate is presented for all programs and individuals nominated. In the past, certificates have been given for extraordinary achievement in design and technical areas, directing, stage management, dramaturgy and playwriting.

Complete the reimbursement online form.

The following information will be included in the reimbursement form and is essential in organizing the Regional Festival and the opportunities for students and programs.

  • Student designers
  • Ryan nominees
  • Evening of Scenes
  • Certificate of Merit- see above
  • CHOICE OF PLAY: appropriate for the producing group? Good material?
  • OBSERVATIONS AND FEELINGS: As I entered the theatre, I observed….I felt…I noticed…
  • PRODUCTION ELEMENTS: Design/Technical Elements: Scenery, Costumes, Lighting, Sound, Makeup, Props, Special Stuff, Scene Changes…
  • ACTING: Believability, Physical Work, Vocal Work (including dialect), Ensemble Playing, Moment to moment playing, Clarity of intention, beats, etc.
  • DIRECTING: (This is tricky. Be tactful. You are talking about a faculty member’s work in front of his/her students.) Concept, Use of space, Inventiveness, Pacing, Consistency, Style

What to do about an “inhospitable” host?

Then, too, there is the occasional problem of the “bad” host—one who offers a respondent little or no hospitality. Some respondents have reported not even being greeted at the site. Again, let us know so we can address the problem. Host and respondent should be in contact well before the date determined for the visit to work out details of hospitality. You should receive an invitation to a meal prior to the performance. Not only is a road-weary colleague needing to eat, it provides a great opportunity for collegial exchange and may help frame the oral response session. If a respondent needs to stay overnight, it is the host school’s obligation to provide lodging.

KCACTF Region III policy on reimbursements to respondents

As we transition to an online format for the response, we expect to have a few problems. However, each respondent should complete the online form in a timely manner. If it has not been received within two weeks of the conclusion of the production, the region chair and the automated system will begin sending reminders to the respondent. Once the response has been received, it will be forwarded to the director electronically.

Our goal is to send reimbursements to responders within two weeks of receiving your online reimbursement forms including all of the needed information listed above. If you feel you have fulfilled these requirements, please contact the Region III chair.

Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson

Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson

Region 3 Chair

University of Illinois – Springfield
Professor of Theatre
Department of Art, Music, and Theatre
One University Plaza, MS VPA 62
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407



RED Chair

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