Adjudication Criteria

We’re in the process of revamping our training material about the adjudication process.  Our current training material:

New for 2018! the Ensemble category:

Adjudication Criteria Summary

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.

Please note: Adjudicator’s personal likes/dislikes should not affect scores. Adjudicators are encouraged to familiarize themselves with pieces that are new to them.

WATCH presents 40 Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the following categories:

Performance

  • Lead Actress in a Play
  • Lead Actor in a Play
  • Featured Actress in a Play
  • Featured Actor in a Play
  • Cameo Performance in a Play
  • Leta Hall Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
  • Lead Actor in a Musical
  • Lead Actress in a Musical
  • Featured Actor in Musical
  • Featured Actress in a Musical
  • Leta Hall Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
  • Cameo Performance in a Musical

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
Creative
Character serves the story and is believable—choices are clear, appropriate, consistent.
Technical (stagecraft)
Maintains focus throughout; projection, diction, dialect (if applicable) are appropriate; movement, physicality appropriate and consistent for development of character. Plays well with others.
Additional consideration of musical performances: Vocal/dance abilities consistent and appropriate to the character. Able to maintain focus and character through musical and/or dance numbers as appropriate to the story.
Lead
Who the story is about or whose presence is primary to the piece. NOTE: There may be multiple leads by gender or none at all—depending on the piece.
Featured
All supporting and minor characters whose presence is sustained throughout the story.
Cameo
Special designation for characters who have limited stage time, but have a memorable moment in the story.
Ensemble
Recognizes the totality of performers seen on stage, whether identifiable or not, whether they have lines or not. Recognizes how well everyone in a cast works together, be the cast large or small. It’s an award for “one beating heart; no weak links.” Required minimum: A cast of four or more actors/actresses. No minimum or maximum on the number of roles.

Overall

  • Production of a Musical
  • Production of a Play
  • Direction of a Musical
  • Direction of a Play
  • Musical Direction
  • Stage Combat (Combat Choreography)
  • Choreography

Production

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Story told effectively, blending of technical elements and performance elements (continuity, flow, pace appropriate). Impact of the piece overall.
  • Production challenges (degree of difficulty) should be considered (think The Fantasticks vs. Follies, or Love Letters vs. Noises Off).

Direction

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Effective storytelling. Continuity, pace, blocking.
  • Blending of technical elements. Effective use of the presenting space.
  • Vision/concept clear to cast and designers, then presented to audience as a cohesive whole. Commitment to this vision evident.
  • Appropriate casting.
  • For musicals: seamlessness of songs and dances in the piece as the story is being told.

Musical Direction

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Music serves the story—seamlessness from scenes into songs; sensitive to the theatrical aspects of the music; appropriate use of scene change music; tempos appropriate to flow and pace of the production
  • Degree of difficulty—consider the music, orchestrations, vocals; large chorus, difficult harmonies
  • Vocal—consider intonation, harmonies, diction, phrasing, rhythm, style, integrity to score
  • Orchestra—balance and blend between sections, balance with singers, scale is appropriate to the piece and the space, intonation within and between sections, integrity to the score

Choreography

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Dance serves the story and is appropriate to the music.
  • Degree of difficulty should be considered—large production numbers, many numbers, intricate styles (dream ballets, tap, Fosse), creativity and variety of styles, integrity to the score (large cuts?)
  • Composition—appropriate steps, formation work, transitions between formations as well as into and out of dances; style consistent and appropriate to the piece; overall flow within numbers as well is in the piece.
  • Execution—clean, appropriate to level of performers, considerate of singing and acting while dancing.

Combat Choreography

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Action serves the story—fits the tone of the scene and motivation of the characters, weapon choice is appropriate to the period/setting.
  • Degree of difficulty should be considered—large ensembles, intricate movements, variety of styles. Safety of both performers and audience considered. Taught by certified individual (SAFD actor/combatant).
  • Natural transitions, realistic movements and reactions. Convincing.
  • Execution—clean, appropriate to level of performers, considerate of singing and acting while fighting.

Technical Design

  • Set Design
  • Set Construction
  • Set Painting
  • Set Decoration/Dressing
  • Properties
  • Lighting Design
  • Sound Design
  • Special Effects
  • Costumes
  • Make-up
  • Hair

Set Design

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Serves the story and the space—flow smooth between and within scenes, entrances appropriate. Appropriate scope to the piece.
  • Creative solutions to obstacles in the presenting space (or inherent in the piece).
  • Period and place appropriate. Aids in defining the mood of the piece (reflects characters).
  • Balances with other technical elements (lights, costumes). Visual interest, style.
  • Sight lines considered—masking adequate as appropriate.

Set Construction

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Serves the set design and the story.
  • Safe for the performers. Facilitates scene changes (quiet, simple).
  • Difficulty of design should be considered.
  • Creative use of materials in creating the illusion of reality. Attention to detail.

Set Painting

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Serves the set design and the story. Aids in setting place and time.
  • Balance with other technical elements (lights, costumes).
  • Degree of difficulty—large drops, intricate design, attention to detail.
  • Textures and colors appropriate. Creativity, artistry.

Set Decoration/Dressing

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Enhance and complement the set design and the story.
  • Helps set place and period, also a reflects the characters or the piece.
  • Degree of difficulty—unusual demands of story or set design, enhances reality.

Properties

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Enhance the storytelling—placement on stage, ease of use as appropriate.
  • Appropriate to time and place—authentic appearance.
  • Degree of difficulty—large numbers, unusual items.

Lighting Design

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Enhance the story—creates time, place, mood.
  • Creative use in defining space, aiding the flow of the piece.
  • Degree of difficulty—area lights, specials, appropriate effects (gobos, strobes, etc.) blend into the overall storytelling without drawing attention to themselves.
  • Works in conjunction with set and costumes.
  • Effective illumination of stage, actors (as appropriate). Shadows intentional.

Sound Design

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Enhance the story—creates time, place, mood. Creative use in aiding the flow of the piece.
  • Amplification (if applicable) is natural sounding.
  • For musicals: seamlessness into and out of musical numbers. Orchestra balances with singers.
  • Degree of difficulty—sound effects blend into the overall storytelling without drawing attention to themselves.
  • Overcome obstacles inherent in presenting space or piece itself (large tap numbers on a hollow stage).

Costumes

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Serve the story—consistent and appropriate period. Complement the action. Ease of performance.
  • Color palette works with set and lights.
  • Degree of difficulty—unusual period, large cast, many costume changes.
  • Authenticity.

Makeup

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Serves the story—aids projection of character. Accurate to period and consistent.
  • Incorporates six key elements of character analysis—HEARTH (Heredity; Environment—occupation, geography, etc.; Age; Race; Temperament—personality, emotional state; and Health)
  • Consistent with costumes and lights.
  • Degree of difficulty—specialty makeup, large casts, makeup changes (aging characters during the production).

Hair

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Serves the story—aids projection of character. Style is accurate to period and consistent. Consistent with costumes and makeup.
  • Wigs are appropriate to story and stay secure throughout.
  • Degree of difficulty—specialty wigs, large casts, style changes (aging characters during the production).

Special Effects

Each element should:

  • Serve the story being told;
  • Be appropriate to the piece and the presenting space (in context of director’s vision);
  • Be of consistent quality throughout the piece.
  • Creative and appropriate use (not gratuitous) in serving the story.
  • Ease of use by performers (if applicable).
  • Degree of difficulty—large or unusual effects.