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Showcase Selection

Showcase and Spotlight Selection Process

The respect that I received from IPAY, demonstrated early on through a cheerful willingness to address any problem, left me feeling welcome, important, and confident. The cocktail parties, mixers, buffets, and other meetings open to ALL participants, not only represented a profound return-on-investment, but also proved invaluable professional networking opportunities. Over twenty-two years of touring I have exhibited at APAP some fifteen times, six times in Frieburg, Germany, at WAA, Arts Midwest, SAE and at many other regional presenting conferences. IPAY vastly surpasses all the others in creating a nurturing, morale-building environment. IPAY's policy of presenting a limited number of hour-long, fully teched showcases further illustrates a general respect for artists and their projects."
Andy Horowitz, President & Director/Performer, Galumpha
MESS, Caroline Horton & China Plate, Montréal, Canada, Showcase 2016

The Selection process developed by IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth), while subjective, is founded on a desire to create an equitable balance for the showcasing and presentation of professional programming for young audiences that reflects the needs of presenters, agents, artists and educators. Through an extensive three-day review process, the IPAY selection committee, comprised of leaders in the field of family programming, creates a programming balance of international arts disciplines reflecting diversity in age range, performing arts genres, trends, and audience draw—with a common denominator of high artistic standards. Shaping a forum for the range of national and international work that is being created in this field at the time, and focusing on quality work that is appropriate for a variety of venues and markets, is crucial.




When making final selections, the committee has agreed upon the following criteria* for quality:
  • The work reflects an intrinsic artistic integrity.
  • The work demonstrates an overall artistic rationale with regard to form, direction, music, choreography, design, technical aspects and casting.
  • The work is created and performed by professionals.
  • The work is fresh, innovative, relevant, and appropriate for youth, young adult and family audiences.
*Adapted from the "Keynotes on the Seven Criteria for Quality" developed by the Danish Association of Theatre for Children.



With these criteria in mind, the selection committee begins the review process.

  • Prior to gathering for two days of meetings, applications are divided amongst selection committee members and each member thoroughly reviews anywhere from 10-15 applications. Each committee member will review any materials submitted on line and has committed to viewing full length video if it is supplied with the application.
  • The committee will then gather in the Showcase city and spend two full days reviewing applications as an entire group. On the first day, with a goal of reviewing every application, the committee recommends which companies move forward to the next day.
  • The process is similar on day two but the committee generally spends more time with each application. Again, recommendations are made as to which companies move forward for a final vote.
  • With a final group of applicants identified, each selection committee member votes for the 10 companies they feel should be offered a showcase. Companies are ranked based on how many votes they receive.

Keep in mind this is a subjective and dynamic process. Each year can be very different based on the pool of applications received and the makeup of the selection committee. Regardless, the overarching criterion is that of quality and an overall balance or work represented.

If, ultimately, a work is not selected for Showcase, it will be considered for a a 10-minute, low-tech selection of the show or "Spotlight." Spotlights will be chosen based on the selection committee's review of the applications. Regardless of results, we highly recommended that the company attend the conference and network with other professionals. This is a good way to bring the company name and/or the work to everyone's attention.



Yes, if your work meets the above-mentioned criteria and is:

  • Able and ready to tour throughout the North American and international markets. If you are unsure if you are "tour ready" for North America please contact the IPAY office to discuss further.
  • Focused on artistic performance as opposed to lecture/demonstration or other purely "educational" staging. (Although education-based programming is an important aspect of this market, the selected showcase slots are specifically for artistic/performance-based presentations.)
  • Represented by high quality materials including video of the actual touring show that will be considered (please reflect actual number or touring performers). If you are submitting in the music category, you must submit materials that have quality audio as well as video of the actual performance.
  • Flexible enough to be performed during Showcase with potential technical and time restrictions that may arise.



  • For more information, please refer to our FAQ for Showcase Applicants.
  • Information on IPAY's Selection Committee and their locales can be found here.
  • You can click here to download some tips for What Makes a Good Spotlight.
  • To find out more information about sponsoring a spotlight session at Showcase, contact Susan Crofton, IPAY General Manager at 267.690.1325.

Want to save $50 on your artist application? Become an IPAY member and join our growing community of nearly 300 presenters, performers, and agents in the field of performing arts for youth who use the services IPAY provides year round! Memberships begin at $150 for Organizations.

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12/22/2017 » 1/1/2018
IPAY Office Closed

Our membership comprises a worldwide network of artists, producers, presenters, agents, educators, and students. Our mission is to create opportunities for key stakeholders to engage around support of performing arts experiences for young audiences. Click here to learn more.
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