Contest Disruption Updates

UIL UPDATE AS OF 4/2/20:

UIL Amends Suspension of Activities Due to COVID-19

RELEASE ➡️ bit.ly/39Enanp

INFO & UPDATES ➡️ uiltexas.org/covid-19-information

IMPORTANT UPDATE AS OF 3/20/20 – PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY:

As of the time of this update, UIL has decided to try to continue with District contests that have not yet happened and conduct each tier of the contest process through the State Meet. However, UIL has now extended its suspension of all activities, and the earliest any contests may resume as of this writing is May 4.

*No rescheduling is being done at this point. As we all know this is a continually evolving situation due to COVID-19. UIL has not determined a timeline for these contests at this point.*

*WHAT ADJUDICATORS CAN DO RIGHT NOW:

1. UPDATE AVAILABILITY FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: Adjudicators should get into TTAO Connect and update their availability through the month of May. Paula Rodriguez has already communicated with Contest Managers, and your District or Bi-District CMs should contact you when/if a new contest date is determined, cancel any inapplicable contracts, and issue you new ones in TTAO Connect. So, again, as a judge, the only thing you really need to do in TTAO Connect right now is update your current availability through May, CMs should take care of the rest.

(Note: Please remember that when/if you get a new contest date from a CM, you should not mark that as unavailable in TTAO Connect, as it will not let the Contest Manager send you the newly updated contract for that day; once that contract is accepted, the system will automatically reserve the date for you.)

2. TRY TO CANCEL PERSONALLY PURCHASED TRAVEL: If you purchased a flight, etc. for a contest out of pocket for reimbursement that you know will no longer be applicable because of changed contest dates, Ms. Rodriguez has stated that you should try to cancel those flights, etc. and that many airlines are offering refunds.

3. IF YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO WITHDRAW: If a judge already knows they need to withdraw from a District or Bi-District contest that could be scheduled in the future due to COVID-19 concerns and/or scheduling/site change, etc. concerns, they should go ahead and inform their CM for that contest. Right now, Ms. Rodriguez has stated that she is keeping all Area, Region and State judging assignments as is. Should an adjudicator need to withdraw from any of those, they should contact her directly at: prodriguez@uiltexas.org.

This is all an incredibly fluid situation at this point. It is important to reiterate that no rescheduling is occurring at this time. All decisions remain flexible as UIL continues to monitor and reassess this ever-changing situation. As well, Ms. Rodriguez has also said that if you have specific questions you may contact her as the UIL State Theatre Director. Thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding.

3-14 UPDATE: NEW ADJUDICATOR CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS 

TTAO Friends: 

Our team has been working to find the most straightforward way to change dates, sites, judges, etc. etc. in TTAO Connect for Adjudicator Contractual Agreements when need be. As we all know, the present circumstances offer challenges that no one could really anticipate, and the Connect system didn’t anticipate it either! So, what has been determined is that the original Contractual Agreements/Events will need to be canceled/deleted in Connect BY THE CONTEST MANAGER if there are changes, and new events/Contractual Agreements will need to be created/distributed to Adjudicators (for any changes… dates, sites, etc. etc.)

*ADJUDICATORS: Please anticipate communication from your Contest Managers about any contest shifts/new Contractual Agreements coming your way. Also, *all* Adjudicators need to remain aware that you may be receiving new offers to judge during this period of time if the originally slated judges can no longer serve given shifts, health concerns, etc. See below regarding how Contest Managers are being asked to approach all of this, and please remain diligent about checking your emails regularly – including your “spammy” folders. This is very important, as you will again have that 72 hour window to either accept or reject a contract through Connect, but *please* do this as soon as possible! Your Contest Managers are working hard doing *all the things* right now!

*CONTEST MANAGERS: Please approach new Contractual Agreements in the following way:

1. Make sure that you get the currently slated judges’ contact information from the existing contract in Connect before you cancel it so that you have their direct contact information handy.

2. Directly contact the originally slated judges and communicate to them the proposed changes. Please try to be as thorough as possible in your communication with them about any changes (date, site, travel accommodations/reimbursement approach, number of schools, pay, etc. etc.) and understand that some of those judges may or may not be able to continue to serve given those changes and/or their own circumstances (i.e. if they have health concerns regarding the coronavirus, etc.). Also, make sure that they know when you are going to cancel the existing Contractual Agreement and issue the new Contractual Agreement so they remain on the “look-out” for it coming to them via email once you have created it in TTAO Connect. This will be important, as they will still have the 72 hour window to accept or reject the new Contractual Agreement.

3. Create the new Event/Contractual Agreements in Connect with the appropriately changed dynamics of the contest and issue it to appropriate judges (be those the originally slated ones or new ones).

All of the above approach will need to be done in the future as well by Contest Managers if the specifics of a contest change again (hopefully, that won’t be the case, of course, but as we all know, we are in uncertain times right now).

***Again, if Contest Managers have questions about shifting a contest in any way, please contact Paula Rodriguez as the UIL State Theatre Director directly. As well, if a contest date, site, etc. is shifting, please make sure that she knows that. (Just fyi: Ms. Rodriguez has already recently communicated that at this time, there is no need to open/edit the Spring Meet entry system for District Competitions.)***

As always, thank you to you all for your patience, flexibility, and hard work! Obviously, this is not where any of us wanted to be, but here we are… and we will “make it work” for those kids.

Best to you and yours-
Carrie

Carrie Klypchak, PhD
Chair, TTAO

3/13 UPDATE: CONTEST DATES

Paula Rodriguez again gave me permission to share the below with you all that she just posted on the One-Act Play Director’s Facebook page from UIL. I know that everyone will have many questions regarding contractual agreements, scheduling, etc.


Adjudicators: Please stay in close communication with your Contest Managers regarding any shifts. Also, please make sure that your availability is completely updated on TTAO Connect, as shifts will undoubtedly need to happen.


Contest Managers: If you have any questions regarding the re-scheduling of a contest, adjudicator assignments, etc., please contact Paula directly using her contact information that she provides in her below message.


Continuing thanks to you all for your flexibility, patience, and commitment to working together for the good of the students. And, again, please know that whatever I find out, I will continue to let you know as soon as possible (in the end, you may get tired of hearing from me… but I’ll definitely let you know when/if info. comes my way:)!


Best-Carrie
Carrie Klypchak, PhDChair, TTAO

PAULA’S MESSAGE:

UIL One Act Play Directors,

As we continue to monitor the rapidly changing status of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and how it is impacting students and their activities we have the following updates regarding the remaining UIL One act Play Contests for the 2019-2020 school year.

All UIL events scheduled March 16-29 are to be suspended. Rehearsals and practices during the time of suspension may be held with approval from the local school district. Beginning on March 30th events may resume with the considerations that follow. Any changes to these dates will be communicated as they become available.

One-Act Play

Note: Sunday competitions are allowed.

  • One-Act Play District/Bi-District certification deadline, originally scheduled March 26, has been extended to April 7.
  • One-Act Play Area certification deadline, originally scheduled for April 4, has been extended to April 14.

We ask that schools and local District Executive Committees work collaboratively and reasonably with one another in rescheduling district and bi-district one-act play. Area one-act play will be scheduled based on host site availability and will be communicated via the UIL website.

Regional Academic, Speech and One-Act Play

Academic Regional Meets are still scheduled for April 17-18 and One-Act Play Regional dates remain April 15-18. Current sites are subject to change.

District Competition

Scheduling your district competitions remain at your local administration’s discretion. We ask that schools and local District Executive Committees work collaboratively and reasonably with one another in rescheduling district competitions, as well as bi-district one-act play. Area one-act play will be scheduled based on host site availability.

Our office will work with contest managers and contest sites to reschedule as school districts allow. One Act Play directors, please have your contest managers update the State theatre director, Paula Rodriguez, prodriguez@uiltexas.org, with any changes in contest dates and locations. If you have immediate concerns, do not hesitate to call (512) 471-4517.We appreciate your cooperation and all that you do for UIL member schools.

Thank you,
Paula Rodriguez

How TTAO Recommends OAP Judges to UIL

We are so very excited to announce that TTAO has grown so much over the past several years as a dynamic independent non-profit organization that the Board has recently voted to create a new, rotating committee in our organization… the Area/Region/State Recommendation Committee!

This new committee will be made up of each year’s State judges, and they will make recommendations for new upper-level judge status designations, as well as provide recommendations to the UIL State Theatre Director for her consideration in her assignment of Area, Region, and State judges!

Below is a short video for all of our members that will explain the process in more depth. This new committee has been under discussion by Board members for several years, however, and we would like to take this opportunity now to extend our overwhelming gratitude to the State judges this year who have jumped on board and helped us make this happen!

Winter 2020 Newsletter


Board Updates & Announcements

Board of Directors Meeting Notice

Date: January 26, 2020
Location: Virtual
Focus: Regular Board Meeting for TTAO Business


Payment Issues Process

There is a new process in place for adjudicators who are not paid within 30 days of a contest. Please be sure to read over the steps outlined from our summer board meeting.

The payment issue process can be found on the TTAO website under “Issues and Grievances” https://www.ttao.org/issues-and-grievances/ as well as in the update Manual of Operations.

Updated Manual of Operations: https://www.ttao.org/ttao-business/


New OAP Rules for 2020:

  1. Best Actor and Best Actress will now be awarded to the 2 Best Performers, regardless of gender. The new ballot can be downloaded from the website here: https://www.ttao.org/service-3/
  2. Each school can now have a company of 20 that can be divided however they wish. However, in order to be considered for an acting award the cast member must be listed as an actor /actress in the program.


Grievance and Issues

Do you have a suggestion, question, concern or grievance that you would like for the TTAO Board to address during their June meeting? Any recommendations for actions are welcomed and considered by the Standards and Practices Committee.

The Grievance Form is on the TTAO website at https://www.ttao.org/issues-and-grievances/


December Election Results

Welcome to the new Board and Standards & Practices Committee Members!

Mandy Epley – Board of Directors – Communications Director-Elect

Karen King – Board of Directors – Treasurer-Elect/Historian

R. Scott Allen- Board of Directors – Director-at-Large

Jim Mammarella- Board of Directors – Director-at-Large

Aimee Kasprzyk- Standards & Practices Committee – Region 3/Contest Manager

Freddie Buckner – Standards & Practices Committee – Region 3/ Adjudicator

Upcoming Contest Season Reminders

TTAO Code of Ethics

Please review the TTAO Code of Ethics and Professional Standards for both Adjudicators and Contest Managers before the season begins: The full list can be found on the TTAO site here: https://www.ttao.org/issues-and-grievances/code-of-ethics-and-professional-standards/


Contest Evaluations

Don’t forget to submit your evaluation form after completing a contest. All forms can be found at https://www.ttao.org/service-3/

Contest Managers you can also remind Directors during the Directors Meeting to complete their evaluation form of the contest afterwards as well.


Social Media Reminders

UIL and TTAO strongly discourage adjudicators from posting results of contests they adjudicate on social media. If you are a Contest Manager/Judge and you want to post results, please include your title as contest manager when posting.

Please realize that any comment about a contest you have judged could either:

  1. Influence another adjudicator’s opinion about the quality of the work you saw even if you mean it in a very general way.
  2. Compel other panelists to post an equally praising post.

General Rule of Thumb: Don’t post anything about your contests if you are in doubt.

Some other Social Media Considerations:

1. Consider unfollowing or unfriending on Facebook high school directors of shows you may adjudicate during a contest season. This could help to eliminate the impression of impropriety because you would remove yourself from seeing anything that director may post about his/her show. Unfollowing may be the easiest method to reverse after contest season.

2. Be aware that directors, administrators, parents and students can and sometimes will search and find your social media postings. Be careful about posting things/photos that could give an unhappy person ammunition to potentially use against you in a complaint.

3. Join the following for important updates, reminders and connections to your fellow adjudicators and/or contest managers:
– Texas Theatre Adjudicators & Officials Facebook page (link below)
– TTAO/UIL One Act Play Adjudicators Facebook page (link below)


Adjudicators- Tips for Approaching the Critique

  • Please refrain from saying that you have directed, performed in, or seen the play before in a critique. A common complaint from directors in their evaluations is that a judge mentioned they have directed, performed, or seen the play before and they feel they were not given a fair evaluation. Even advancing directors have complained of this. Steer clear!
  • Read your scripts! (if they arrive on time) The contest is paying for you to be prepared for the contest as well as your feedback. You are supposed to be an expert audience member, not just another audience member. Even if you have seen the play before review the cutting to be familiar with what that school is attempting to create. We receive a lot of complaints in director’s evaluations where the directors feel like judges have not read their cutting–the evidence is that judges mention scenes or characters that are not in their cutting.
  • Focus on acting and directing in the critique. While comments on technical shortcomings are warranted sometimes, more than likely they weren’t the deciding factor in the contest. We get a lot of complaints from directors mentioning that a judge spent too much time focusing on inconsequential tech issues and not enough on acting and directing. Let students and directors go home feeling they didn’t advance because they need to improve their acting and directing, not because they didn’t have the period shoes necessary to produce the play. Technical comments can help advancing shows prepare for the next round, however, its best practice to limit tech notes for non-advancing plays.
  • Win your audience over early. Early praise for the director and students allow them to trust you as a messenger of feedback. Think of ways to start the critique to celebrate their work. What are some ways you win your audience over when giving critiques? Also note that the use of humor can be very effective, but it can also be misunderstood by your audience (directors, students, parents, etc.) Just be aware of what you are saying and how it is being received and interpreted.,
  • Avoid saying such things as: “When I directed this play…” “I’ll see you at State!” (Unless it is for someone advancing to the State Contest from a Regional Contest.)

Upcoming Certification Opportunities

Contest Manager – Mar 20-21 at Atascocita High School

**more details are TBA**

Check the TTAO Facebook groups or TTAO website for further information: https://www.ttao.org/contest-management-certification/

Upcoming Important Dates

March 26: All District & Bi-District meets must be completed on or before this date
March 30 – April 4: Area OAP Meets
April 15 – April 18: Regional Meets
April 30 – May 2: State OAP Meets

Join TTAO on Facebook

Did you know that TTAO is on Facebook? Join us in one of our groups to be part of the OAP community year around!

If you are an adjudicator, join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681476041915336/

If you are a contest manager, join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/305846376219841/

Fall 2019 Newsletter

Board Updates & Announcements

New OAP Rules for 2020:

1.      Best Actor and Best Actress will now be awarded to the 2 Best Performers, regardless of gender. The new ballot can be downloaded from the website here: https://www.ttao.org/service-3/

2.      Each school can now have a company of 20 that can be divided however they wish. However, in order to be considered for an acting award the cast member must be listed as an actor /actress in the program.

Annual Renewal and Lapse Changes

May 1st through June 1st is the window for renewal to be considered for Area, Region, and State assignments. 

If an adjudicator misses the renewal window  they may still pay dues, and meet renewal requirements until April 30th of the following year.   If they have not renewed by April 30th they will be removed from the judging list and will have to reapply and recertify.  

If a judge would like to remain on the list, but not judge during a contest season they must still pay dues, and meet renewal requirements for that season to stay current.  If they are a lifetime member, they must still meet renewal requirements including accepting renewal statements and marking availability.

Important: If you renewed this summer (since May 1, 2019)  you are good. Do not pay again. If you have not yet renewed for 2020, you have until April 30th or your profile will be removed. In order to renew, you will have to re-apply and go through the on-site certification process.

You can see if you’ve renewed by checking your account an under Membership see the date 2020 (or lifetime member) or if your name currently appears in the adjudicator or contest manager directory.

Payment Issues Process

There is a new process in place for adjudicators who are not paid within 30 days of a contest. Please be sure to read over the steps outlined from our summer board meeting.

The payment issue process can be found on the TTAO website under “Issues and Grievances” https://www.ttao.org/issues-and-grievances/ as well as in the update Manual of Operations.

Updated Manual of Operations: https://www.ttao.org/ttao-business/

2019 Elections

2019 Elections will be held online from Dec 1 – 14. Nominees & their profiles can be found on the TTAO website: https://www.ttao.org/ttao-business/elections/

TTAO members will receive an email on Dec 1st with an online ballot. Please be sure to submit your ballot by 11:59 pm CST on Dec 14th. Ballots submitted after this date will not be considered.

If you do not receive your ballot be sure to check your spam folder for the email. And if have questions, please contact support@ttao.org.

TTAO Connect Updates & Reminders

Adjudicators you do not need to block out your calendar for contest dates. Once a contract is in place, the system will automatically block that day for you (although it doesn’t visibly show it’s blocked on your calendar).

Contest Managers new training modules have been added to your account. We highly encourage you to complete the modules BEFORE the next adjudicator contracting date in November as your Connect account will be limited until training is complete.

  • Non-TTAO CMs will need to complete all modules each year.
  • TTAO CMs will need to complete all modules for this year, but for each subsequent year will only need to complete the new rules module.
  •  The only exception to this is if you complete an on-site training, in which that will replace the need to complete the online training. 

Certification Opportunities

Adjudicator

Nov 8 – 9, 2019 at Plano East Senior High School

*Applications are now open: http://bit.ly/PlanoAdCert

May 1, 2020 at the State Meet in Austin – More Info is TBA

See the website for more details: https://www.ttao.org/adjudicator-certification/

Contest Manager

Dec 6-7, 2019 at Rouse High School in Leander

Mar 20-21, 2020 at Atascocita High School in Humble

*See the website for more details: https://www.ttao.org/contest-management-certification/

TTAO Core Values

Education

Our priority is theatre education for students and their teachers. Our policies serve to improve theatre training within the UIL contest framework.

Diversity

We celebrate differences and include all the varied voices that represent students and the communities we serve.

Integrity

We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We expect and practice personal and professional integrity.

Transparency

We commit to open communication and access to information, including governing documents. This instils trust and insures accountability.

Service

We serve our learning community by bringing our knowledge, experience, and leadership to students and teachers through professional training that instils confidence and provides growth.

Upcoming Important Dates

Nov 2nd – First day to contract District & Zone panel adjudicators
Dec 1st – 14th – Online Election Voting

Join TTAO on Facebook

Did you know that TTAO is on Facebook? Join us in one of our groups to be part of the OAP community year around!

If you are an adjudicator, join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681476041915336/

If you are a contest manager, join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/305846376219841/