TTAO Spring Newsletter – April 2021

CONGRATULATIONS!

To the 2021 State OAP Contest Managers and Adjudicators:

1A – CM
Aimee Ingham Kasprzyk

Judges
Alison Frost
Jerry Cotton
Yvonne Phillips-Dupree

2A – CM
Mike Doggett

Judges
Deb Shaw
Mariana Jones Meaders
Freddie Buckner

3A – CM
Larry Carpenter

Judges
Scott Allen
Margaret Valenta Davis
Terri Castleberry

4A – CM
Carla Schumann

Judges
Phillip Morgan
Kim Kao Hines
Travis Springfield

5A – CM
Amy Jordan

Judges
Cathy Huvar
Gary Davis
Lisa Hale

6A – CM
Jerry Ivins

Judges
Michael Kim Frederick
Kelsey Altom Kling
Kathy L Harvey

TTAO VIRTUAL ADJUDICATOR CERTIFICATION

ELIGIBILITY
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.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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: If I have questions whom do I contact?
A: Craig Hertel: craighertel@gmail.com

Register Here: https://bit.ly/3gzzyw0

TTAO SCHOLARSHIP

Please spread the word. Deadline for applications is June 1st.

Visit TTAO Awards & Scholarships page for more information and to download the application: https://www.ttao.org/awards-and-scholarships/

EVALUATION REMINDERS

We all know evaluation forms are important. Which is why adjudicators also have the opportunity to evaluate each contest. Find your specific form here.

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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681476041915336/

If you are a contest manager, join us at the new site here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/561273894440216/?ref=share

ISSUES OR QUESTIONS?

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

TTAO Winter Newsletter – Feb 2021

To view the newsletter in its original form use this link: https://www.smore.com/a0f1q

TTAO Sends Support as Our Members Recover from the Winter Storm

Please know that TTAO is sending you all care and positive energies as you are coming out of dealing with the storm. It’s been so hard for so many, and we hope that this newsletter communication finds you safe, warm, and being able to start turning the corner on all of this in your neck of the woods. We know many of you are recovering from damage to your homes and we send our very best to you and yours.

Congratulations to Our TTAO Legacy and Service Award Winners

About the awards:

The TTAO Service Award shall be bestowed on a member or members in recognition for outstanding service to the organization beyond the duties of a particular office, role or assignment. The TTAO Service Award will honor a member of TTAO or continuous and significant service to the TTAO organization.

The TTAO Legacy Award shall be bestowed upon a member or members in recognition for substantial history of contributions and advocacy for educational theatre in Texas and particular support and development of the UIL One-Act Play competition. Recipients may not be current Board or Standard & Practices Committee members. Recipients should be retired Adjudicators and Contest Managers.

Special Recognitions may be recommended by the Board or Standards and Practice members for individuals completing terms in office, donation of time or services to TTAO, completion of specific tasks or other achievements. Recipients may be current Board or Standards & Practice Committee members.

2021 C. Lee Turner Real Change Award

TTAO is humbly honored to share that we are naming our 2021 Real Change Award the “2021 C. Lee Turner Real Change Award” in loving memory of such an influential theatre artist and teacher who truly embodied *real change*. As a member of TTAO, if you have not already done so, you may donate to this award by going to https://www.ttao.org/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:

  • TxETA 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.

Amazing Black Playwrights

In celebration of Black History Month, Sharron Jenkins graciously shared with TTAO members amazing Black playwrights who you should know about and read. Thank you, Sharron!

Click here for the list of playwrights.

Renewal Statement Reminders

I know the best place to send any TTAO related question regarding any aspect of the contest or TTAO Connect is support@ttao.org.

I understand that according to UIL rules I must critique the shows assigned by a blind draw overseen by the Contest Manager. I know that each Adjudicator should draw at least 1 advancing and 1 non-advancing show (at region the alternate school is treated as an advancing school in this instance). I also understand that if there is an uneven amount of shows at a contest that the Acting Awards Judge critiques fewer shows than the other Adjudicators. I know I that may not exchange or swap critiques with other adjudicators on a panel.

I understand that it is my responsibility to make sure that the clinic conflict form is complete and turned into the UIL state office. I understand that it is an ethics violation if I fail to turn in a clinic conflict sheet for any clinic in which I take part.

I will not participate in another adjudicator’s oral critique.

I understand that I am to only orally critique the shows that I drew. I will use the written critique to communicate anything to the other companies I do not speak to.

I will not use other adjudicators’ written evaluations as the basis or part of my oral critique. I understand that I am to deliver my own thoughts and ideas to the company and not read my colleagues’ work to companies during this time.

I understand that it is my responsibility to report to the Contest Manager immediately if I believe a member of the panel I am serving on is not of sound mind to carry out their duties as an Adjudicator. I further understand that if I wait to report an incident after the contest is over, that it may be too late for appropriate action to take place.

I understand that I may NOT be listed as a director on any official OAP entry (High School or Middle School) this coming school year in order to be eligible to judge.

I understand that there is NO LONGER a Best Actor or Best Actress Award at any UIL contest. These awards have been replaced with two Best Performer Awards that can be awarded to any gender combination of two actors.

I understand that UIL continues to limit the company size (actors and technicians) to 20 total; however, schools may now use any combination of actors and technicians to reach the total of 20. For example a show could have 18 actors and 2 technicians or a school could have 5 actors and 15 technicians. Students listed as technicians cannot appear onstage in a role (Townsperson, etc.); however students listed as actors may assist in running tech offstage.

I understand that TTAO has a defined process for an Adjudicator to follow regarding payment issues after a contest that can be found in the Manual of Operations at www.ttao.org.

I understand that TTAO has a thorough and defined Conflict of Interest Policy for Adjudicators, which can be found at www.ttao.org. I further agree to familiarize myself with and adhere to that Conflict of Interest Policy.

I understand that the UIL State Theatre Director chooses and assigns all upper level judges (Area, Region, and State adjudicators) each year.

I understand that Adjudicators shall accept only 6 official UIL contests unless the State Theatre Director approves additional contests for emergency/just cause. A district’s zone contests are considered 1 official contest (Note: This does not restrict the number of workshops, clinics, or festivals in which the adjudicator participates, AND does NOT include junior high/middle school contests, non-UIL contests, or the UIL State Contest.) I know that it is my responsibility to assure that I do not exceed the six contest limit as outlined above in a given season.

I understand that TTAO’s official Core Values are as follows: 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 instills 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 instills confidence and provides growth.

I will not speak about any contest show to other adjudicators on a panel until all judge rankings have officially been submitted to the Contest Manager.

I understand that an ensemble All Star Cast or Honorable Mention All Star Cast award is reserved only for a group of actors who cannot be identified as individuals.

I understand that a Contest Manager will send me a new Region contractual agreement for the coming year, if applicable — even if the UIL State Theatre Director assigns me to judge the same contest in 2021 that was not able to be realized due to COVID-19 cancellations in 2020.

Tips for Approaching Your 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.)

On Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials Organization supports and promotes the diversity of plays, directors, and students in today’s UIL One Act Play competition. As advocates for all forms of educational theatre in the state of Texas, Contests Managers and Adjudicators shall not knowingly make discriminatory statements or decisions, ensuring that personal bias is removed and that each performance evaluation is aligned with the official UIL rubric.

TTAO Connect Systems 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.

Evaluation Reminders

We all know evaluation forms are important. Which is why adjudicators also have the opportunity to evaluate each contest. Find your specific form here.

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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681476041915336/

If you are a contest manager, join us at the new site here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/561273894440216/?ref=share

Issues or Questions?

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

TTAO Fall Newsletter – Oct 2020

You can use this link to view the newsletter in original form: https://www.smore.com/6r8kp

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

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.  https://connect.ttao.org/#!/help

Reminders

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.

TTAO at TxETA

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

FRIDAY-SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4-5

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.

ELIGIBILITY

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.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 TTAO.org for more info.

Q: If I have questions whom do I contact?
A: Craig Hertel: craighertel@gmail.com

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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681476041915336/

If you are a contest manager, join us at the new site here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/561273894440216/?ref=share

Issues or Questions?

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

TTAO 2020 Election Results

What an outstanding slate of nominees! 

Thank you to all members who took the time to cast their vote.  Congratulations to all!

Please find the 2020 TTAO Election results below. 

TTAO Board of Directors

  *Chair Elect  –  Yvonne Phillips-Dupree

  *Director-At-Large  –  Phillip Taylor

Standards & Practices Committee

  *Region 1 Adjudicator   –  Kathy L. Harvey

  *Region 1 Contest Manager  –  Tana Howard