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” as well as in the update Manual of Operations.

Updated Manual of Operations:

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:
  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

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:

Contest Evaluations

Don’t forget to submit your evaluation form after completing a contest. All forms can be found at

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:

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:

If you are a contest manager, join us here: