GUIDING PRINCIPLES AND STRATEGIES (TO GIVE A GREAT RESPONSE)
- Begin your response by welcoming everyone to the Festival (celebrate the fact that production responses are just as much the festival as our annual gathering in January). Remind them about the Festival in January: encourage them to attend, and remind them about all of the incredible events in which they can participate, including the Stage Management Fellowship, New Play Festivals, the Devised Theatre Showcase, the Design Expo (all student designers should participate in the Expo!), Arts Leadership, Design Intensives, SDC Directing, and so much more!
- Aim for your responses to last approximately 35-45 minutes for a solo response and 60-75 minutes for a duet response.
- Ensure that you are addressing every aspect of the production (including management, acting, directing, playwriting, design, etc.) Here is a link to a Respondent Form that many people find very helpful; you are encouraged to consider using this form for each response: EXCEL VERSION ; PDF VERSION.
- Be specific: discuss particular moments, choices, and ideas from the production, but do not "redirect" the show. Discuss what choices you saw and your feelings about the effectiveness of those choices.
- Frame your response as much as possible as a learning opportunity. Offer specific praise for the truly outstanding aspects of the productions; engage the production companies with thoughtful questions and discussions; point out choices that you saw as problematic; and encourage them to consider other approaches.
- Celebrate the work. This is our ultimate goal. Even though we might have significant criticism for what we just saw, we should strive to encourage, inspire and educate the students and faculty to whom we are speaking so that everyone leaves our responses feeling excited and energized to try new things and grow as they take the next step in their theatrical journey.