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Selection Process
Our Selection Process

Showcase and Spotlight Selections


The selection process developed by IPAY, 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 international presenters, agents, artists, and educators.

Through an extensive process, the IPAYs Selection Committee—comprised of professionals in the field of family programming—meet for a three-day face-to-face review of 
the applications. Their goal is to create programming balanced with international arts disciplines, reflecting diversity in age range, performing arts genres, trends, and audience appeal—with a common denominator of high artistic standards. They provide a forum for the range of national and international work that is being created at the time, focusing on quality work that is appropriate for a variety of venues and markets.

SHOW & TELL Spotlights:

SHOW & TELL Spotlights provide additional opportunities for artists to have their work seen at Showcase, and are curated as part of the Selection Committee’s review of all applications. Spotlight sponsors also present their work as a benefit of Sponsorship. The work Spotlight sponsors present has not been curated by the Selection Committee.

Spotlights include a mix of 20-minute live SHOW Spotlights (low-tech excerpts) and 5-8-minute TELL Spotlights (descriptions of work). All Spotlighting artists must have representation in the Exhibit Hall.

Selection Criteria

Selection Committee makes its choices based upon the following criteria.

  • The production shows a high degree of artistry within the genre and specific to intended age group. The work demonstrates an overall artistic rationale with regard to form, direction, music, choreography, design, technical aspects and casting.
  • The production successfully communicates to and is engaging to young audiences/families relevant to the intended age range.
  • The work is created and performed by professionals.
  • The work is innovative, relevant, reflective of our communities, and appropriate for youth, young adult or family audiences.
  • The production will be evaluated in consideration of its ability to tour, its marketability, and its educational merit.

The above considerations will be used to evaluate all productions within the context of the individual application pool as well as the international touring market at large.

Consideration will also be given to the overall balance within all productions selected to Showcase in order to reflect and accommodate diversity in aesthetics, content, audience, age range, genre, scale (audience capacity), and geographic point of origin.

Review Process

With these criteria in mind, the Selection cCommittee begins the review process.

Prior to gathering for the selection meeting in the Showcase host city, Philadelphia, applications are divided amongst Selection Committee members, with each application assigned to two Committee Members to review. Committee Member will review all materials submitted online and the full length video if it is supplied with the application. Each Committee Members thoroughly reviews anywhere from 10-30 applications.

The Committee will then spend three 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 by the third day, 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 SHOW & TELL Spotlight. SHOW & TELL Spotlights provide additional opportunities for artists to have their work seen at Showcase, and are chosen as part of the Selection Committee’s review of all applications. SHOW & TELL Spotlights include a mix of 20-minute live SHOW Spotlights (low-tech excerpts) and 5-8-minute TELL Spotlights (descriptions of work). All Spotlighting artists must have representation in the Exhibit Hall.

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.

Should I apply?

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

Able and ready to tour throughout the North American and international markets. All productions selected to Showcase must be performed in English. If you are unsure if you are "tour ready" for North America please contact the IPAY Staff 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.

4. Flexible enough to be performed during Showcase with potential technical and time restrictions that may arise.

A Letter for ElenaLe Petit Théâtre de Sherbrooke, Canada, Showcase Artist 2019  


  • TO APPLY: For more information, please refer to our Selection Guidelines & FAQ's.

  • IPAY SELECTION COMMITTEE: Information on IPAY's Selection Committee and their locales can be found here.

  • JOIN THE SELECTION COMMITTEE: We are not currently accepting applications for new members of the IPAY Selection Committee. Reference the most recent Application Form here to prepare for the next call for committee members.

  • SPONSORED STAGES: To find out more information about submitting to the Sponsored Stages lottery selection process for Showcase, contact TJ Alladin, IPAY Managing Director at 267.690.1325.

Want to save $50 on your artist application?
Become an IPAY member and join our growing community of nearly 400 presenters, performers, and agents in the field of performing arts for youth who use the services IPAY provides year round! Memberships begin at $200 for Organizations.
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 HorowitzPresident & Director/Performer, Galumpha

Contact IPAY

International Performing Arts for Youth
C/O CultureWorks | The Philadelphia Building
1315 Walnut Street, Suite 320
Philadelphia, PA 19107
267.690.1325 phone | 267.519.3343 fax | Contact Us

Our tax exempt ID is 43-1917355

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