Loyola University Chicago


Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Season Selection Process

Revision: July 27, 2020

  1. The Director of Theatre speaks with faculty and teaching staff to gauge individuals’ interest in being an active member of the Main Stage Selection Committee that year.
    • Note: The Selection Process can continue to involve a committee of the whole; however, as the focus of our service work shifts and expands, the workload may not fit for everyone every year.
  2. Main Stage Selection (MSS) Committee should always have three elected student representatives. Student representatives will each be given an individual vote. Student representatives will be appointed by the Loyola theatre program’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee via whatever process that body deems most just and representative. DEI Committee should seek advice of ‌The Department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in determining the most just process.
  3. Director of Theatre Program will assign a Chair of the MSS Committee. Director may assign themselves. 
  4. Main Stage Selection Committee should have an initial meeting #0 to review and revise this proposed process before its first implementation. This meeting may not be needed in all future years, conditional on the volume of feedback from Phase VIII - Reflection.
  5. Publish the selection process. *See Note 1.
  6. Add a calendar to this process with guidance from the Managing Director of the Arts.
  7. Secure a budget for this committee to support purchasing of scripts and adjunct participation stipends.

I.1. Identify the specific objectives that we want to meet through the selection of a season. These should include, but are not limited to:

  • Meeting learning outcomes for the major
  • Social justice-related topics addressed
  • Overall season theme
  • Types of theatre and acting styles
  • Representational goals for writers, onstage roles, backstage roles, and other leadership positions
  • Artists we want to engage from outside the university

  I.1.A. The Process for Identifying Goals:

  • Solicit submissions from
    • Each individual MSS Committee member (required duty of MSS Committee Members)
    • DEI Committee
    • All full-time faculty and teaching staff
    • Adjunct faculty
  • Include University and DFPA initiatives
    • The Director of Theatre Program will seek meetings with relevant offices to collect these resources.

I.2. Main Stage Selection Committee Meeting #1

  • Agenda Topics:
    • Review submissions
    • Review university initiatives such as social justice research focus topics from the Provost.
    • Managing Director provides proposals for scope and shape of the year with options.
    • Consolidate goals (if time for meeting #1 is constrained, this could require a 2nd meeting).

I.3. Publish Season Consolidated Goals

  • Examples of a season’s consolidated goals:
    • Season Slots
      • A large musical with dancing
      • A small contemporary play
      • A large-cast verse play
      • An episodic, ensemble-based piece with emphasis on movement work
    • Plays that explore
      • Police brutality
      • Depression (tie in with campus mental health research initiative)
      • White fragility
      • Refugee experiences
    • Representation & Opportunity Goals (again, language represents examples and is not exhaustive or exclusive):
      • Casting breakdown of season closely mirrors identified gender breakdown of majors and minors
      • Specific percentages of writers from BIPOC communities and other communities historically underrepresented on our stages
      • Specific percentages of directors from BIPOC and/or other communities historically underrepresented within our cadre of directors
      • Specific percentage of women writers
      • Specific percentage of trans artists
      • Specific percentage of genderqueer artists
      • Specific percentage of artists with disabilities    


II.1. Director of Theatre will solicit interest in directing a stage production in the upcoming season from full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty.

II.2 Director of Theatre makes faculty course assignments of Main Stage Director roles.

  II.2.A. Factors for these decisions must include, but are not limited to:

  • Faculty course loads
  • Faculty research leaves
  • Long-term faculty research goals
  • Visiting Artist-in-Residence rotation
  • Stated goals for DEI in the important leadership role of directors, such as a specific percentage of BIPOC leaders and or a specific percentage of women leaders
  • Student input from I.1.A. submissions
  • Committee input from I.2 committee meeting
  • Desire to build new relationships with BIPOC educators in Chicago or beyond
  • CV development for adjunct faculty

II.3 Production Director Selections are announced publicly

Note: Announcement would likely be concurrent with publishing of I.3.


III.1 Committee members are each required to provide two play suggestions to each director that satisfy at least one stated goal each and fit within a defined slot. Plays can be suggested to multiple directors. The Theatre Resource Library will continue to be given budget dollars to purchase plays for directors and oversee handing off physical copies (or digitizing if that is preferred by directors). These plays will be added to the library’s collection at the conclusion of the selection process. The Theatre Resource Library will maintain and make available a higher education license to National New Play Network to increase access to new voices as well as a more diverse array of voices.

  III.1.A. Suggestions should be accompanied by

  • A synopsis
  • Casting breakdown
  • A couple sentences about why the individual is excited about this play
  • How this play meets goals
  • Thoughts on production potentials and approach to spectacle
  • Why it is a good fit for the director
  • Potential targeted audience or community partnerships

III.2. All members of the DFPA theatre community are welcome to suggest plays to directors during this phase. All students can request that the Theatre Resource Library purchase a play for perusal; this includes students, alumni, staff and faculty.

III.3. A list of all plays gathered will be archived annually in binders and digitally by the Theatre Resource Library.


IV.1. Directors select minimum 3 plays, each addressing different goals.


  • Plays should each address at least one of the topic goals.
  • The slate of selections should seek to mirror the overall representational goals.
  • Directors will submit their selections to the MSS Committee Chair with brief written pitches.
  • If the scope of the season slots exceeds 4 plays, directors will not be asked to submit more than 4 pitches.
  • If a director is not an expert in one of the proposed styles of theatre (ex: musical), then the director may submit two options for another slot. Directors should not submit pitches for categories that they do not feel confident helming.

  IV.1.A.  Written pitches must include

  • A brief rundown of what is exciting to the person proposing
  • An initial possible approach to production design
    • Examples: Time period, spectacle (ex: flight)
  • A casting philosophy
    • Example: If the play features a family who, historically, would likely have all been of the same racial identity, how will the casting of that family be approached in this specific instance?
    • Will pre-casting be necessary to fill certain skills or types of roles?
  • A list of specialist hires needed and a list of those desired for the production (musical director, composer, dialect coach, choreographer, intimacy coordinator, etc.)
  • Thoughts on interdisciplinary opportunities

IV.2. Distribution and Feedback

  IV.2.A. MSS Committee Chair will assemble all written pitches and distribute them to:

  • All MSS Committee members, including student representatives
  • Full faculty and teaching staff

  IV.2.B. Feedback from the constituencies in IV.2.A. will be solicited via a form that captures:

  • A rubric-based quantitative feedback and ranking
  • Comments to capture enthusiasm, endorsements, ideas, concerns, and questions
  • Feedback tools will allow for anonymous comments so students can be honest about concerns and questions without fear of casting reprisal.

  IV.2.C. MSS Committee Chair will present MSS Committee with a digest and analysis of data and comments ahead of 5.1 (Note: raw data will also be made available to MSS Committee Members)


V.1. Main Stage Committee Meeting #2

  • Agenda Topics:
    • Structured discussion of feedback data and comments. Discussion will allow for all members to share their thoughts and pose questions once before we invite repeat speakers.
    • Open floor discussion.
    • Open the floor to nominations of a season slate or to lock in one component (a director/play pitch). If the nomination is seconded, then the committee will vote on that slate or component.
    • A two-thirds majority of the committee is required to vote yes.
    • Voting and open format discussion will continue until the committee arrives at a season. If voting cannot arrive at a season, we will move back into Phase IV for additional pitches.

VI.1. Production Staff (in consultation with design faculty) evaluate feasibility of the proposed season

  • Staff must then provide MSS Committee Chair and Managing Director with a report on feasibility, budget, and logistical impacts.
    • This report should include preference to schedule.

VI.2. Production Office researches performance rights

  • This step should happen concurrent with VI.1.
  • Managing Director may request alternate titles for rights checks as needed.

VI.3. Managing Director will put together a calendar for the season based on, but not limited to, staff reports, other DFPA department needs, and the academic calendar.

  • If there are multiple options for how the season lays out, then Managing Director will bring options to the MSS Committee.

VI.4. Main Stage Committee Meeting #3

  IV.4.A. Agenda includes:

  • Addressing production concerns
  • Addressing issues around performance rights
  • Approval of a calendar for the season.
  • Revising season as needed for rights availability and production concerns, hopefully from within the body of plays already vetted through the feedback process.
  • Student reps will be given the floor to address any newly arisen or previously unaddressed student concerns.
  • Planning for season announcement.

  VI.4.B. At this point, if the MSS Committee starts leaning towards an alternate title that has not been fully vetted, then the committee will pause its work. Another meeting will be scheduled for a time after all members have had a chance to read the new title and fill out a feedback form. Sober emphasis must be placed on this moment in the process if needed; it cannot be rushed, or it undermines the diligence of all prior steps.

VI.5. Director of Theatre begins soliciting and contracting outside artists with the support of the Managing Director and considering the advice of the MSS Committee and our broader community.

VII.1. Once all production concerns and rights are in place, season is announced.

VII.2. Announcement is paired with casting philosophy statements, directors, other attached artists or planned positions to be filled later, and a revised version of any relevant statements from the director’s pitch.

VIII.1. All MSS Committee Members, production staff, design faculty, and Managing Director are invited to submit to the Chair ideas on how to improve the process in the following season.           

VIII.2. Chair will compile those notes and pass on to the next MSS Committee Chair if the Chairpersonship rotates.

Notes About Main Stage Selection Committee

Note 1 –

Public and publish used throughout this document shall mean that information shall be shared on a publicly available dedicated webpage where members of our extended community will find updates on process and links to provide information in a variety of ways. When an update is made to this Season Selection Process website, that update will be announced via the Program Sakai and social media posts when appropriate. Committee Chair will work with DFPA MC staff and work studies to prepare the page and calendar of posts.

Note 2 -

This process, once ratified, happens perhaps less through group meetings, but rather through more formal work required by committee members outside of meeting time and more structured work required by production directors. Faculty and students should consider these workload commitments when volunteering for service on the committee.

Note 3 - 

Students nominated to this committee will need to be available during designated faculty committee meeting time and maintain balance with course work, production work, other obligations, overall wellbeing, and this service work. At any time throughout the process, a student may need to step away from this committee for any reason of their choosing. The DEI Committee should regularly have alternates on standby.

Return to the Transparency Page.