It’s never too early to begin planning for the next NACT/Fest! With that thought in mind put a big tentative circle around March of 2019.
Following our last Festival, and at the suggestion of our member theatres, we conducted a survey asking theatres what time of year they felt would be best for the next Festival cycle. Over the last several cycles we have varied the Festivals from being held in the summer or being held in early spring.
NACT/Festivals are held generally every two years as part of the American Association of Community Theatre national festival cycle. The most recent national cycle just completed in June. The next national festival will be held in June, 2019 in Gettysburg, PA.
Each state is free to hold its festival any time during the two-year cycle, as long as the state festival is completed in time for the regional festival, which for our region (5) is typically in mid-to-late April.
Looking to see which time of year works best for attracting the most shows to our Festival, NACT has varied the timing from summer (the year before Nationals) to early spring (the year of Nationals).
While summer is a slower time of year for many theatres and works better for educators, it does present a challenge keeping a show intact for approximately nine months before the regional festival. On the other side of the coin, having our state festival in early spring presents the challenge of Mother Nature throwing us a last blast of winter, and the advancing theatres needing to raise money quickly in order to travel and participate in Regionals.
There was no clear consensus from the theatres that responded to the survey as to the “best” time of year for our state Festival. When discussing the timing of Festival, the NACT Board did give extra weight to the input we received from theatres who consistently participate in Festivals.
With all that said, the next Festival will be held in March, 2019, which gives members a lot of time to plan ahead.
A helpful tip from some theatres who have participated in past Festivals is to think about Festival when selecting shows for your 2018-2019 seasons (which many theatres are starting the process of doing already). Is there something in your regular season that can be cut for Festival? That way you aren’t mounting an entirely new show just for Festival, which will save you manpower and expense. Or, knowing you’re going to mount a production specifically for Festival, you can plan for it in your organization’s budget and add it as a special event/fundraiser in your 2018-2019 lineup.
The point is, start thinking and planning now to participate in NACT/Fest 2019. We have reached out to a potential Festival site and hope to be able to announce the location at the Annual Membership Meeting in September.
Nebraska Association of Community Theatres
17008 Poppleton Avenue
Omaha, NE 68130
2018 Annual Membership Meeting
Saturday, August 4
Hastings Community Theatre