TTAO Fall Newsletter – Oct 2020

You can use this link to view the newsletter in original form:

Fall Board Meeting Round-up

Board Minutes

September Board Meeting Minutes can be found here: Sept Meeting Minutes

Core Values Action Committee Training Video

In June of 2020, the Board of Directors officially adopted the Core Values Action Plan as a continuing plan for TTAO. In September, the Core Values Committee was made a standing committee for TTAO.

Important Reminder:
LOG INTO YOUR TTAO CONNECT ACCOUNT and view the short, required, introductory training video on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Thank you to our Core Values Action Committee Members for their hard and wonderful work in creating this for us!

Real Change

What is the Real Change Campaign?

Real Change is TTAO’s fundraising campaign to place needed dollars into our socio-economically disadvantaged schools and communities.

Money raised will be used to fund:

  • TETA convention attendance
  • Summer Drama camp tuitions
  • Clinics
  • Guest artists

We believe these activities change lives and helps expand theatre in our communities which affects our society as a whole.

We challenge you to be part of the real change, and as you accept your contracts for this upcoming UIL OAP season, think about donating and being the difference in implementing Real Change.

Our goal for 2021 is $22,000

Is it possible? YES!

This campaign is for all TTAO members- adjudicators and contest managers alike. The suggestion is 10% of a contest fee earned for 2021. Please consider donating today at the link below.

TTAO Leadership Nominees

Congratulations to our outstanding slate of nominees to serve on TTAO Standards and Practices and Board of Directors. Elections will take place on December 1st-15th.

A SPECIAL Congratulations to Aquilla Aubrey.

Aquilla will represent our organization as the Region 3 Appointed At-Large position on the Standards and Practices Committee.

Aquilla Aubrey is a lifelong theatre enthusiast. While getting her training as a middle and high school student acting on stage and debating facts in high school forensics competitions, under the direction of the renowned C. Lee Turner, Aquilla developed a love for the arts. The first in her family to attend college, Aquilla earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the
United States International University in San Diego, California, and later earned her Masters degree in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University.

Her early career led her to teaching theatre by day and performing in dinner theatres evenings and weekends while in California. A move across the country to Florida afforded her the opportunity to teach middle school theatre and continue her passion for the arts in education. Later, Aquilla moved back home to Houston and continued to impact the lives of public school students in the arts, teaching in Houston Independent School District and Aldine Independent School District. Aquilla has led efforts to champion Aldine ISD elementary, middle and high school fine arts scholars. Her more than 28 years of experience include elementary to secondary levels as a classroom teacher, director, contest manager, adjudicator, and administrator.

Currently, Aquilla is employed in Aldine ISD as an Administrator with the responsibilities of managing and supporting performing and visual arts programs, UIL academics, speech, debate, and one-act play contests. One professional highlight is when Aquilla served as the administrative liaison between Disney® and Aldine ISD to host the high school cast reunion of the play Godspell which aired on Disney Encore, summer 2019.

No matter the title; teacher, director, contest manager, stage manager, actor, adjudicator, or administrator, Aquilla believes that theatre is the driving force that propels you to new heights and usher’s new life into your world of innovation and imagination on and off stage. Aquilla has one daughter who is married and is the proud “Gigi” to her three grandchildren whom she adores, and they adore her in return.


Elections will take place December 1-15 through Election Buddy. See the election page for more details.

The slate of nominees is below.

TTAO Connect System Updates

  • New statements have been added to all adjudicator agreements regarding payment:
  • TTAO requests that the school responsible for payment handle reservations and payment for travel and lodging directly with vendors (hotels, airlines, etc.).
  • TTAO requests that if any travel reimbursement needs to be distributed to the adjudicator, that the reimbursement be paid separately from judging fees for IRS income purposes.
  • If a contest is cancelled, TTAO requests that the school responsible for payment reimburse the adjudicator for all non-refundable out-of-pocket expenses that were agreed upon in the contractual agreement (hotel, airline ticket, etc.).
  • All payments should be issued to the adjudicator following the critique or no later than thirty days following the contest, unless this contractual agreement is modified to reflect the adjustments.
  • Failure to adhere to the above conditions may result in notification of the State Executive Committee.

The “Help” page has been updated with FAQs.!/help


Contest Payments

TTAO has removed the “per play” option from the judging fee and now only uses a flat fee option in contracts. The flat fee is still calculated based on the recommendation of $75/per play. If you signed a contract for less than this amount please feel free to contact your CM.

Payment Issue Process
This was discussed during the summer board meeting and an outline of steps is available in the MOO as well as on the website under the “Issues & Grievances” tab.

The basic process is as follows:

  1. If an adjudicator is not paid after 30 days or not paid fully contact the contest manager.
  2. If after 7 days the contest manager does not resolve the issue or doesn’t respond the adjudicator should contact the District Executive Committee Chair or administrator responsible for payment. (Day 37)
  3. If the issue is still not resolved, then the adjudicator may file a grievance with TTAO. (Day 44)
  4. If the grievance is found to have merit, TTAO will send a letter (Day 51) asking for prompt payment.
  5. If this does not resolve the issue, then TTAO will send a letter to all superintendents of the district and ask for prompt payment. A warning will be given that all schools in the district will be flagged for payment issues within TTAO in the following year if payment is not rendered in full. Any future invitation from any school in the district will be accompanied by a note to the prospective adjudicators that their district failed to pay fully or on-time the previous year.


Thank You and Congratulations!

Thank you to TxETA for a successful convention. The workshops and meetings were a fantastic opportunity to safely connect with members and share ideas.

Thank you to TTAO TxETA Workshop presenters. Your sessions were insightful and inspiring!

Congratulations to TTAO Members receiving awards!

TXETAEmeritus- C Lee Turner

TXETA Founders- Yvonne Phillips Dupree

TXETA Administrator- Tim Estelle

TXETA Higher Education- Adriana Dominguez

TTAO Special Award- Mandy Epley

TTAO Adjudicator Training – Virtual


Applications are being accepted through Thursday, November 5, or until space is filled. We only have space for 20 participants. Applicants will be notified by November 12 whether or not they have been selected.

To apply, go to the Adjudicator Certification page.


Eligible judges MAY NOT be involved in the direction of an official UIL One-Act play entry during the academic year in which they serve as a judge. This applies at ANY level (high school or middle school). All potential judges must submit an application to be approved for participation. Potential judges should possess the following:

Undergraduate degree in theatre* AND at least one of the following:

  • 5 or more years of post-degree professional theatre experience
  • 5 or more years of post-degree educational theatre experience
  • and/or advanced degree in theatre
  • *Potential adjudicators who do not possess a degree in theatre but who have VERY significant educational theatre experience will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Q: Can I miss part of the workshop and still certify?
A: No. You must attend all parts of the certification workshop to certify. No exceptions.

Q: Who is eligible to certify?
A: Anyone who is not directing or contributing to an official UIL OAP at the high school or middle school level and has a theatre background (as described above) may apply to certify.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: There is no fee for the workshop. However, following the workshop, adjudicators will be required to pay a TTAO $50 membership fee online to activate their membership.

Q: I can’t attend this workshop — are there other opportunities?
A: Hopefully, yes. We try to hold 3 certification workshops each year. With Covid-19 restrictions, we haven’t been able to definitely schedule those. Check for more info.

Q: If I have questions whom do I contact?
A: Craig Hertel:

Join TTAO on Facebook

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

If you are an adjudicator, join us here:

If you are a contest manager, join us at the new site here:

Issues or Questions?

Contact for the fastest way to get problems alleviated.