OVERVIEW / PHILOSOPHY

It is our hope that the hosting of the Festival will be a joint venture of the staff, students, parents of students and the community.  Our collective task is to make our guests feel as welcome as we possibly can.  We should be helpful and courteous at all times, answer their questions, allay their fears and treat them as honored guests.  These rather obvious statements are made because there have been festivals where this positive attitude was not present, where the hosts (both students and adults) acted as though they were doing everyone a favor by hosting the festival and where we felt as though we were some sort of bother or annoyance to them.  We sincerely hope that this festival will be one that participants will long remember for the friendly and helpful atmosphere that all the hosts demonstrated.

It is impossible to anticipate every situation that could arise during the festival and accordingly, these guideline pages should be seen as an overview and a guide to Festival operations.  Staff, adults and students should be aware that if a situation arises which is outside the confines of your information, it is best to refer the problem to the festival staff or Council.

Some students will have time periods during which they will not be assigned to specific duties.  If this occurs during a play session, you should simply become part of the audience and enjoy the performances.  If you are not assigned during technical rehearsals or at other times, you should “mingle” with our guests inside, outside or anyplace students are gathering.  Remember: even if you are not “on duty”, our hosting responsibilities do not go away; you should try to help in any way you can.  No one is to leave the school grounds, even if unassigned, without specific permission from the host.

HOW TO USE THESE GUIDELINES

If viewing in Word, on the View Menu select Document Map to quickly navigate this document.
The Table of Contents and Index are at the end of the document and there are links at the top of every page.
To Print this document, download the Word .doc file or the .pdf file from www.nedrama.org rather than printing directly from your browser.
 
Know that the NEDC considers this document to be a guideline only.  The methods suggested here are not absolute.  In some cases more than one approach is presented.  Each festival will and should be unique due to theme, physical plant and the various expertise of the individuals staffing it.  For example, though signs and posters are listed here under Publicity, you may find it better to let someone from the Art department handle these while some one from English, Journalism or a parent handles the press releases.  That is fine and to be expected.
 
Make copies of this complete document to share with the key people on you staff.  Have them read the whole thing so that they will better understand how everything and everyone interacts and comes together.  Copy sections or individual pages to give to others.  A school host may only need the page that pertains to School Hosts but a technical crew member should probably be aware of the responsibilities of everyone else on the technical crew. The Overview/Philosophy explained above should be copied to the back of the tentative schedule and given to everyone.
 
This document was created in Microsoft Word and is available in electronic form at www.nedrama.org.  It will be helpful to extract some of the tables or charts and modify them for your festival rather than starting from scratch.  Maintaining this document in electronic form also means that it is dynamic.  Please feel free to mark up a copy with red ink to show suggested changes, corrections, additions or deletions.  Return it to the Council for the benefit of future hosts.

HOST FESTIVAL COORDINATOR

The Host Festival Coordinator oversees all the preparations for the festival and its actual operation.  The number one goal is to delegate the various responsibilities outlined in this document.  The second priority is to make sure your delegates are accomplishing their tasks whether they are students or adults. Determine your Production Staff (key coordinators) early and meet with them often. Some key positions can be combined, particularly one with primary responsibility before the festival with one during the festival. If you recruit people from outside the world of the theater, they may not fully comprehend the true meaning of a deadline or that the show must go on.  The Festival Coordinator can wear some of the other hats listed below but should be careful not to take on so much as to lose sight of the overall festival.  Some delegates may abdicate their responsibilities, forcing the Festival Coordinator to step in and take up the slack.  If all goes well, at festival time, the Festival Coordinator should be able to sit back and enjoy the well oiled machine in action.  Don’t hold your breath.  Read these guidelines and then sit down with your NEDC State Representatives and ask lots of questions. Keep your State Rep in the loop with all your ideas and choices. They often have the experience of many festivals to bring to the table.

Good luck and have fun.