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/

Summer 2019 Newsletter

A Message from the Chair

Welcome to our new Board Chair – Carrie Klypchak!

A note from Carrie:

I’d like to start by taking a moment to, again, formally say “thank you” to Mark Pickell for his outstanding leadership of our organization for the past two years. There are truly no words to adequately describe the magnitude of his contributions. I am humbled to have assumed the role of Chair of TTAO, and am so very grateful that he will be continuing offering his vast knowledge, energy, and creativity to our organization and community as Past Chair during my tenure.

Best,
Carrie

Summer Board Meeting Round Up

The board had a busy but productive meeting in June. Many different topics and items were covered and decided on. To find a summary of everything discussed please see the meeting minutes on the TTAO website here:  https://www.ttao.org/ttao-business/

We increased the amount of evaluations FOR adjudicators this year – yay!!! BUT we didn’t receive very many evaluations FROM adjudicators evaluating the contest. Let’s make that a goal this upcoming season. (we’ll send reminders during contest time)

And remember that your social media posts are open for all to see. Continue to be mindful of what you share across your social media channels during the school year and during contest season.

Area/Region/State Assignments

Congratulations to those that were selected! All assignments can be found on the UIL website. https://www.uiltexas.org/theatre/judges

Connect System Updates

1. The time limit for an agreement to be auto-rejected is 72 Hours. Adjudicators should accept any agreements within that time frame so the CM knows whether or not to move on to contracting someone else. Adjudicators please check your email regularly (and your spam folders!)

2. Adjudicators now have the ability to clear rejected contracts which will allow a CM to resend it if they so wish. From your home dashboard select the 3 line icon next to the pending agreements header and click “show rejected”.

3. There are new fields for CMs to input District Executive Committee Chair/ Payment contact information (required) and Secondary Payment Contact Information (Bookkeeper, Admin Assistant, Principal) (optional).

4. Contracts no longer can be created with a base fee “per play”. There will now just be a single base fee agreed to and paid out.

Many of these changes are based on your feedback of what was/wasn’t working. Thank you for supporting the system and bearing with us as we continue to improve it!

Reminders

YouTube Tutorials:

*Remember we have a lot of tutorial videos created for different aspects of the Connect system including Connect renewal, creating a contest, inviting adjudicators, accepting contracts and more. View our channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7pmkhmo8uba9qo3y1oACmQ/videos

Adjudicators:

*Please do not “save the date” on your availability calendar. When the CM goes to send you a contract, they will not be able to find you in the system.

*Please remember that you can only agree to 6 contests per season. Keep this in mind, as some upper level agreements/judging offers for contests that you may have been assigned by UIL are still being sent out. As well, remember that if you judge 2 Zone contests (or on rare occasions 3)  deriving from the same District, that will only count as 1 contest toward your 6 (as Zones contests are essentially “sub-contests” of a District). Middle School & State contests do not count against your 6.

* The following rule must be followed: “Eligible judges MAY NOT be involved in the direction of an official UIL One-Act play entry during the 2019-2020 academic year at ANY level (high school or middle school).” If, for any reason, your status has changed regarding this rule since you became a certified adjudicator and you are therefore not eligible to judge this season, you may maintain your membership in TTAO, but you must mark all dates as unavailable in TTAO Connect for this year. Please do this immediately if you have not already done so. (We are currently exploring ways in the future to more readily designate “active” from “inactive” judges from year to year in TTAO Connect.)

Contest Managers:

*The option to “add an adjudicator” will not appear until you input a location for the contest. This is the setup of the Connect system.

*Please remember that all panelists must be paid the same judging fee at a specific contest.

*Also, please be sure to put in the correct alignment when creating contracts. (We’ve altered this section of the contracts a bit which should help moving forward!)

ConferenceA-AAAAAA
Region1-4 (I-IV)
Area1-2
Bi-DistrictA-B
District1-32
(Zone)A-B

TTAO at TETA:

*Please join us for TTAO events at the Texas Educational Theatre Association Convention: TheatreFest 2019 on Sept. 26-29 at the Dallas Hyatt Reunion!

TTAO MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS AT TETA

1. TTAO Executive Board Meeting (Board only)

Thursday 11-3:30

2. TTAO Presents: The Jargon of Adjudication (Yvonne Dupree, Travis Springfield, Rick Garcia, and Jill Ludington)

Thursday 5pm

3. TTAO/UIL OAP Contest Managers Training 101 (Robin Robinson and Craig Hertel)

Friday 8am

4. TTAO/UIL Theatrical Number Sense: How OAP Tabulation Works (Robin Robinson and Craig Hertel)
Friday 9:30am

5. TTAO/UIL Contest Managers Training II: New Rules and Procedures ( Robin Robinson and Craig Hertel)
Friday 11am

6. TTAO Presents: How to Get More Contests (Ray Newburg, Mandy Epley, Kim Hines, Ezekiel Morgan, and Kathy Harvey)
Friday 12:30pm

7. TTAO New Adjudicators and Contest Managers Meet & Greet (For NEW Adjudicators and newly certified TTAO Contest Managers, TTAO Leadership, and State Judges/Contest Managers) *This is happening OFF SITE – digital invitations will be sent with more info in the coming weeks*
Friday 3:30pm – 5:30pm

8. TTAO: Meet the State Adjudicators and Contest Managers (Mark Pickell)
Saturday 9:30am

9. TTAO: Open Forum (Carrie Klypchak)
Saturday 11am

10. TTAO Business Meeting (Carrie Klypchak) 
Saturday 12:30pm 
*All members are encouraged to attend! In addition, anyone who is being nominated for a position on the Board or Standards & Practices Committee MUST attend the Business meeting.*

10. TTAO Presents: Diversity (Omar Laos, Yvonne Dupree, and Freddie Buckner)
Sunday 9:30am

***PLEASE KEEP AN EYE ON THE OFFICIAL SCHEDULE AT THEATREFEST IN CASE TETA HAS TO MAKE SCHEDULING ADJUSTMENTS AT THE CONVENTION!***

Join TTAO on Facebook

Did you know that TTAO is on Facebook? Join us in one of our groups for the latest updates and tips related to OAP!

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/

Upcoming Important Dates

Sep 26 – 29 – TETA in Dallas
Nov 2nd – First day to complete your District & Zone panel

Issues or Questions?  

Contact support@ttao.org for the fastest way to get problems alleviated.

Issues using TTAO Connect?

Welcome to the new website for TTAO.  We are still transitioning materials and links from the old site.  Please pardon the dust while we are still under construction!

Any questions regarding TTAO Connect should be directed to support@ttao.org