TheaterForms Play Submission Review service gives you a great process for selecting original works. It allows you to take submissions of unpublished plays for your next production, organize reviewers, conduct multiple rounds of reviewing with eliminations until you have a selection of plays ready to go or a list of finalists ready for live table reading or other final selection process. Along the way it helps you handle issues, keep track of progress, and keep in touch with all participants. It's ideal for selecting a one act festival, but can be used for longer works as well.
Putting together a high quality one acts festival can be a lot of work! You can rely on published plays from established playwrights in hopes that that will ensure high standards, but you’ll still have to buy a lot of scripts, or rely on your board members’ personal libraries, or public libraries. And if you want to get them reviewed by multiple members of a selection committee, you need to physically pass around books in order to respect copyrights.
Choosing your festival’s plays from unpublished works using TheaterForms’ Play Submission Review service can eliminate a lot of these problems. It’s true, when selecting from unpublished works, you have to “kiss a lot of frogs” to find your best collection of plays. But TheaterForms makes wrangling the frogs and princes easy. Enlist a group of volunteer reviewers from among your ranks and establish your submission and reviewing guidelines and reviewing criteria. We can help with the call for submissions, reviewer management, tracking and communications, managing reviewing assignments, handling multiple round eliminations, communicating with submitting playwrights, and dealing with any issues that arise, like plays that don’t meet your requirements, conflicts of interest among reviewers, and bad play files.
One of the first things you need to decide is what kind of scale you can handle for your reviewing project. This is largely determined by how many reviewers you have available to you and how much time you have to complete the review. A current submission review opened submissions to 200 plays, enlisted 19 reviewers, and planned to complete five rounds of reviews in four months to come up with a list of list of 15 finalists. (We recommend making your final selections after live table readings of a set of finalists.) Other reviews we’ve managed have had as many as 300 submissions or as few as 100, all resulting in successful, well-received one acts festivals.
TheaterForms manages eliminations, so you might have to have 200 reviews in the first round, 100 in the second, 50 in the third, and 25 in the fourth.
Reviewers are your most important resource in this project. Depending on how your organization is structured, you can find reviewers among your board members, regular directors, or your company’s frequent actors.
Some reviewers have more time for the project than others, and TheaterForms accommodates those varying levels of commitment. Reviewers can work at their own pace. Whenever one is ready to review a play, they just visit upir project's reviewers’ homepage and get an assignment. Once they read the play, they just fill out a form rating the play on your selected set of criteria. Then can ask for another play to review right away, or come back later.
The reviewers’ homepage also keeps reviewers up to date on the status of the project. To keep reviewers on task, we send them a weekly progress update, with both the project progress and their own participation status, and reminded where they can return to review plays.
As the administrator, you get a detailed view of the project. You can check out the productivity of the reviewers and read their reviews. You can see the whole list of plays, sorted by their ratings, and look at the reviews of each one. When there are reports of plays that are not eligible or seem to be unsuitable, you can evaluate the complaint and, if you choose, remove them from consideration. If you get a report of a bad PDF file from a reviewer, you can verify the problem then send off an email to the playwright, who is given a link to upload a replacement file.
When reviewing is complete, you get a list of finalists, the number you requested in the initial setup. Then you have options to download all of the scripts for further evaluation, such as a table reading or final review by a selection committee, download a spreadsheet of information about the finalists, and email all of the finalist playwrights.
TheaterForms Submission Review service has a huge number of features designed to help you select a great collection of one acts.