Viewers are a critical component to NIETF's success. It requires an extraordinary commitment of time and expertise. Viewers regularly see between 12-20 plays or musicals each year. Those that view both may see upwards of 40 productions in one year. The viewing year runs from September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2015. Theatres are located across the northwest Indiana region from Hammond to Michigan City to Cedar Lake and points in between. A commitment to excellence and integrity in objectivity are what make the program successful. Viewers are not compensated with pay, however they do see the productions for free. Viewers review the shows for acting, technical, and design awards. Nominations are submitted via an online form within 48 hours of seeing the show. Viewers are required to see a minimum of 75% of all viewable shows presented during the season, with many seeing 90-95%. Additionally there are orientation and training sessions held prior to the viewing season. Once the viewing year is finished, final voting sessions and the awards gala are held the following fall. Rarely, viewers are asked to participate in other NIETF functions.