Frequently Asked Questions


When is the TBA Awards season?

Each season of the TBA Awards runs from September 1 through August 31 and is named for the years it straddles. For example, the 2016/2017 TBA Awards season will run from September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017. The 2017/2018 TBA Awards season will run from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.

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Who can be adjudicator?

Any current individual member of Theatre Bay Area may apply to be an adjudicator in the TBA Awards program. A panel of Theatre Bay Area staff and/or program steering committee members regularly reviews all applications. Acceptance is not guaranteed. Decisions are based on the application content and the specific needs of the program such as geographic coverage.

Each registered company submitting productions for evaluation must fill a seat in the adjudicator pool. These adjudicators are also reviewed by the panel but are not required to be individual members of Theatre Bay Area. Journalists recruited to participate in the awards program are also not required to be individual members.

The TBA Awards are a peer-adjudicated system. Actors, directors, designers, playwrights, composers, lyricists, administrators, journalists, educators and other theatre professionals are the primary adjudicator profile. Other individuals with a demonstrated history of engaging the theatre community as patrons, board members, philanthropists and advocates may also be considered as long as they can meet the minimum expectations.

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What are the minimum expectations of an adjudicator?

Independent adjudicator applicants must commit to seeing an aggregate average of three performances every two months for the term of their participation in the program - a total of 18 performances for a full year.  Adjudicators choose their first performance from a list of available complimentary tickets provided by the production company. Adjudicators are then assigned to their next production based on their selecting a performance date and time during which they are available to attend a production. The adjudicator can then choose their third production, be assigned to their fourth, and so on. Starting in the 2017-18 season, adjudicators will be limited to reserving a maximum of 36 productions, after which they will still be able to adjudicate assigned and self-activated ballots.

[NOTE: Certain adjudicators such as theatre journalists may be exempted from the assignment process if it can be demonstrated they are already regularly seeing productions in excess of the minimum commitment.]

Failure to attend the aggregate minimum number of productions may result in nullification of all evaluation ballots recorded to date by the dismissed adjudicator, which may have a negative effect on the final results of the program for the season. It will also disqualify the dismissed adjudicator from participating in the following season. Dismissed adjudicators may re-apply after a one-year hiatus from the program.

Adjudicators commit to recording their evaluation ballots via the program website within 48 hours of attending a production on a ticket received through the awards program. Adjudicators commit to following the written Adjudicator Conduct Agreement regarding professional behavior, ethics, confidentiality and other aspects of the program which must be completed by ALL adjudicators prior to entering the awards program. Adjudicators commit to following all awards program-related instructions given by the program manager.

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What productions will I attend?

Productions are submitted for evaluation in the awards program by registered company members of Theatre Bay Area. The companies  are not required to submit every production in their season, so some productions may not be available to adjudicators through the awards program even though the company  is participating in the awards program. 

Each submitted production is assigned to one of three evaluation tiers. Each tier requires a different minimum number of evaluation ballots be recorded to qualify for award nomination(s) - presently 12, 9 or 6. The company must provide at least that many complimentary tickets for adjudicators to attend and evaluate the production. They are encouraged, but not required, to provide companion tickets, so you may need to attend certain productions alone. There is a maximum possible ticket allocation of two times the minimum tier-based requirement per production - presently 24, 18 or 12 plus companion tickets (if offered). Preview performances cannot be evaluated.

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How will I be assigned to attend productions?

Adjudicators are able to indicate the extent of their willingness to travel to attend productions by selecting from a list of Bay Area cities which is saved on their profile on the awards program website. Once initially set, changes can only be requested through the Program Manager. The assignment algorithm will match adjudicators to productions based on this list and other factors such as productions not yet meeting their minimum ballot levels, production closing dates, adjudicator history with a Company Member, and other factors. Tier I productions are not available as assigned performances.

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What happens if I cannot attend a production?

Once an adjudicator receives a ticket confirmation notice from the awards program they are expected to make every possible effort to attend the production. When illness or other unforeseen circumstances intervene, the adjudicator should contact the Program Manager by utilizing the Cancel option on their Adjudicator Dashboard as soon as possible to coordinate notification to the theatre and make other arrangements as needed. If there is less than 48 hours to curtain time, adjudicators are requested to contact the theatre box office so the tickets can be released. This and making a request for ADA compliant seating after receiving a ticket confirmation are the only reasons an adjudicator is allowed to contact a participating company box office on awards program business. Repeated failure to attend reserved performances will result in dismissal from the adjudicator pool and a nullification of all ballots recorded to date by the dismissed adjudicator, which may have a negative effect on the final season results.

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How does the evaluation process take place?

Within 48 hours of attending a production adjudicators log in at the awards program website with their username and password, select the ballot for that production on their profile page and record numeric evaluations (from 0.01 to 10.0) on line on the ballot. You are required to evaluate all ballot lines except those that would create a conflict of interests or where the listed artist was absent from the performance attended. These instances should be rare and a menu is provided for approved reasons for abstention. Once recorded, ballots cannot be changed. Failure to record your ballot within the allotted time may nullify your attendance and possibly require the production to provide additional adjudicator tickets to achieve minimum ballot levels. Repeated failure to record a timely ballot will result in dismissal from the adjudicator pool and a nullification of all ballots recorded to date by the dismissed adjudicator, which may have a negative effect on the final season results.

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Can I evaluate productions I attend without getting tickets through the awards program?

Adjudicators may evaluate any eligible participating production they attend regardless of whether their attendance was arranged through the awards program or some other means such as an existing season subscription or being someone’s guest. All that is required is that you register your attendance on the awards program website and adjudicate normally.

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What is a TBA Awards Recommended production?

In addition to annual recognition, the TBA Awards program provides a means for alerting the theatre community and the public to outstanding achievement while a production is still running by designating it a TBA Awards Recommended production. These productions are determined by program adjudicators and not by TBA staff.

At the start of each TBA Awards season, the program’s steering committee reviews and sets the adjudicator ranking threshold required for a production to be deemed a TBA Awards Recommended production.

Each Wednesday during the season, Theatre Bay Area publishes a notice naming all productions that have achieved or surpassed this threshold as a result of the prior week’s adjudicator activity, conferring upon them the designation of TBA Awards Recommended productions. Theatre Bay Area staff then notifies the producing companies of the TBA Awards Recommended productions and supplies a logo that may be used in marketing communication.

At least 50% of the minimum number of adjudicators required in each tier must have submitted evaluation ballots on the production in order for a production to be eligible for TBA Awards Recommended status.

TBA Awards Recommended status can be achieved at any point during a production’s run. Once conferred, TBA Awards Recommended status is not rescinded, even if overall scores drop.

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