Response Process

All entries must be fully produced works presented before a public audience.

Participating Production entries* are eligible:

  1. To be selected for invitation to regional festival.
  2. To nominate up to 3 bona-fide student performers from its entry for participation in the Irene Ryan Acting Award program.
  3. To nominate stage managers from the entered production to participate in the Stage Management Fellowship.
  4. To nominate one or two meritorious award recipients.
  5. To nominate a scene from their production for performance in the Evening of Invitational Scenes at Region VIII’s Festival (8 minute scene maximum).

* Participating entries may opt to send three Irene Ryan nominees only and withdraw from consideration for invitation to festival. Please contact the Regional Chair, Gil Gonzalez if you wish to withdraw your production from festival consideration.

Associate Production entries are eligible:

  1. To nominate up to 2 bona-fide student performers from its entry for participation in the Irene Ryan Acting Award program.
  2. To nominate stage managers from the entered production to participate in the Stage Management Fellowship.
  3. To be nominate one or two meritorious award recipient
  4. To nominate a scene from their production for performance in the Evening of Invitational Scenes at Region VIII’s Festival (8 minute scene maximum).

Please note that any entry, Participating or Associate, must include the Kennedy Center logo and statement in the program.  Please enter a show 30 days in advance of the opening night.

Any bona-fide student enrolled (undergraduate students must carry a minimum of 6 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours; graduate students must carry 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours) in a school with Participating or Associate Productions is eligible to participate in any of the following Region VIII Festival Opportunities: Student Opportunities

  1. Scholarly Writing and Critic’s Workshop
  2. Design, Technology, and Stage Management
  3. Student Directing
  4. Playwriting and Dramaturgy
  5. Musical Theatre Initiative
  6. Devised Work

Before the Response
1. As soon as you receive confirmation of an assigned response, contact the director:

  • Alert him/her of the date of your attendance and response. If you have some flexibility with dates, ask which date works best. Some shows sell out quickly.
  • You may also ask for an extra ticket if you want to take someone with you.
  • Ask for directions to the theatre and information about where to park.
  • Double-check curtain time. Sometimes there’s a change from the entry form listing.
  • Exchange cell phone numbers with the director to provide contact in case ofemergency.
  • Be sure to inform the director about eligibility requirements for Irene Ryan nominees:6 semester hours for under-graduates and 3 for graduates.
  • You may also need e-mail addresses for stage managers or student directors for thereport form.
    2. Be prepared academically, mentally, and physically for the response. Read or peruse the play and background information ahead of time. You may request a draft of a new play.The Day of the Response
  1. Arrive in plenty of time for the production.
  2. Upon arrival, check in at the box office. Identify yourself as the KCACTF respondent.
  3. The stage manager or director will tell you where and when the response will take place.You may be asked to wait for actors to get out of costume.
  4. Check that the KCACTF logo and statement appear on the program. This is required inthe program for every show that the school enters.

During the Show

  1. Be professional during the performance. Do not make comments or draw attention to yourself with excessive note-taking, by using a lighted pen, or employing a computer to take your notes. (It has happened.)
  2. Be sure to note the time for the start and finish of the show and the length of intermission. You will need the running time when you write your report.

During the Response

  1. Feel free to begin informal interactions with students as they enter the space. Select words and behavior that promote an atmosphere of receptiveness and mutual respect.
  2. Briefly introduce yourself—there’s no need to impress the group with your experience or credentials.
  3. Be sure to talk about the mission of KCACTF to celebrate student work and to offer challenges for further growth. Also talk briefly about the Festival. Share the handout “Student Opportunities at Festival.
  4. Review this important policy with the whole group: when a school enters one show during the year,
    • Any playwright at the school may enter 2 ten-minute, 2 one-act, and 2 full-lengthplays in the Michael Kanin categories they fit.
    • Any student designer of any show may enter designs at Festival after filling out anIntent to Participate Form available on the regional website.
  5. Let students know their efforts were worthy of our attention. Students should leave theresponse feeling that their hard work has paid off.
  6. Let the performance team know that we as respondents do not have all the answers. Weare one set of eyes coming in from outside. Advise students not to make any changes without consulting the director, who always has the final say.
  7. Avoid using the words “but” or “however.” These words call attention to the latter partand negate the former part of the sentence. Also avoid “what I wanted to see…,” as that phrase moves the response into a director’s note. And our job is not to re-direct.
  8. Respond to all elements of the production, including design. Always try to use the“three-positive-points-to-one-challenge” model for all elements of your response. If you need assistance in responding to design elements, refer to the “Response to Design Elements” document in the “Online Information” for respondents.

After the Response

  1. Speak to the director in private about:
    • Irene Ryan Nominations— a total of two for Associate entries, three for Participating.
    • Meritorious Achievement Awards. This is for people who go above and beyond in the collaborative process. Generally there are no more than two per show, but you can send additional Meritorious Achievement Awards to the Regional Chair. Studentseligible for other awards in acting or design should not be given MeritoriousAchievement Awards.
    • Remind directors that they can nominate their stage manager for the Student StageManager’s Award. This requires a letter of support from the director. Instructions for submission are on the regional website, There is a box on the Response Form that you check if the director plans to nominate the stage manager, and you include his/her name and e-mail address.
    • If the production features student directors, you will also need their e-mail addresses.
    • Consult with the director if you feel a particular scene might be a strong Festival“Invited Scenes” entry. In the report, describe and evaluate the scene, and report the director’s willingness to bring the scene if it is selected. Please include the director’s cell phone number.
  2. If you are asked to write a letter of support for any person or theatre program on the basis of this response, we recommend that you respectfully decline. If you do write a letter, you must clearly understand that you do not represent the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. You are responsible for any legal ramifications.
  3. Please submit your on-line report within 3-4 days of seeing the performance. You will find the “Response Report” form at under the “Respondents” button near the top right of the home page. Schools are anxious to receive their Irene Ryan Nominations, and that happens only after your submit your report.

Please note that there is a box in the Response Form that reads, “Please provide feedback regarding the production and response session here.” Please write a brief description of the production approach and a summary of positive elements, as well as the challenges you shared in the verbal response with the production team. These reports are read and help in the final selection process of shows invited to Festival.


  • Fill out a complete date, with month, day, and year.
  • Enter the correct circuit number from the drop-down box.
  • Fill in the complete school name from the drop-down box.
  • Please do not use ALL CAPS when filling out your report.

4. If you have driven 100 miles (one way) to the response, you may receive overnight accommodations, if you get pre-authorization from the regional chair. Make the circuit coordinator aware of your need when you accept the assignment. You may donate your mileage and receive credit on your personal taxes as a related work expense, or receive reimbursement. To receive reimbursement, go to, click on the “Respondents” button, and then on “Expense Report.”

Production Upgrade: Credit Card

  • Please do not use autofill options. Use this form to pay for the difference in upgrading your college's/university's production from Associate to Participating. Individual productions upgrade must be discussed with the regional chair, Gil Gonzalez,, prior to submitting this form. Thank you.
  • Price: $150.00 Quantity:
  • Billing

    After you enter your credit card information, please press SUBMIT only once and do not refresh the page. Doing so may result in multiple charges to your account.
  • $0.00
  • MasterCard

Production Upgrade - Purchase Order

Questions, please contact:
  • This form serves as your invoice for the Production Upgrade - Purchase Order. Please do not use autofill to complete this form. Thank you.
  • This form serves as your invoice for the Production Upgrade - Purchase Order. Please make checks payable to: ACTF Management, LTD. Region VIII Mail payments to: ACTF Management, LTD. Region VIII C/O GIL GONZALEZ, CHAIR WHITTIER COLLEGE 13406 E. PHILADELPHIA STREET WHITTIER, CA 90608
  • Registration Fees

    Upgrade fees are calculated for the difference between the cost of a Participating and Associate entries. This amount is currently $150.00 per production.
  • Price: $150.00 Quantity:
  • Billing

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