How are the ariZoni Awards Adjudicated?

For any awards program the adjudication process is the most important process.  We at the ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence agree!  

That is why we have a comprehensive adjudication program designed to  provide the best evaluation possible.

Who are the Adjudicators:

Adjudicators have an application process. They are asked to provide their theater experience and training and other important criteria.  The adjudicators for 2017/2018 include people with degrees in theater (both undergraduate and graduate), theater educators, and those with extensive work in theater.  All would be considered highly qualified.  They are not "hobbiests" but rather those who have real, measurable, theater experience.  

With the biggest adjudicator pool in recent years, the process has been even more selective than in the past. We look for adjudicators who will have few (if any conflicts of interest -- see below)

How do they adjudicate?

There are more than 30 adult and youth theaters represented by the ariZoni Awards. This equates to about 200 productions each season. Since it is impossible for the same people to attend

every production, a process of adjudication has been designed to provide a thoughtful evaluation of each production. It is important for participating theaters to realize that with this adjudication structure, performances are not, and cannot be adjudicated against each other. They are, rather, adjudicated against a fairly complex and detailed rubric that each adjudicator is asked to follow.

Each production will have FIVE people evaluating it using the rubrics provided.  Once the scores are submitted, the highest and lowest score in each category is thrown out and the three mid scores are used to calculate the average score for the area being adjudicated.

Adjudicators are required to note any potential conflicts of interest when they apply.  You can read the adjudicator application to see what information we request of potential adjudicators. They WILL NOT be allowed to adjudicate productions where one or more of these may exist:

  1. They (or their family members) have auditioned for and not been cast

  2. They (or their family member) are cast

  3. Theaters for which they are board members or paid staff

  4. Theaters for which they volunteer extensively or would be considered their "home" theater.

What is done with the ballots?

Starting in 2017, the ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence moved to a completely online adjudication system. Once an adjudicator completes their ballot in the online system, their scores are locked and only accessible by our non-partisan accountant. Once all the ballots are received, the accountant ranks the scores and the nominee list is provided to the ariZoni board members overseeing the reading of the nominations. There are never any changes made by the ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence board members.  They only check for spelling errors and provide pronounciation support to the nominee readers at the reading of the nominations ceremony. 

Once the nomination list is public and theaters have all had a chance to make corrections to any spelling errors on the nomination list (and provide phonetic spellings to us so the names will be read correctly), those changes are submitted to the accountant who then orders the awards based on the final numbers that had already been tallied.

Even ariZoni Theatre Awards board members do not know who the winners are until they are announced at the ceremony.

© 2019 by Robyn McFarland for ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence

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