The Adjudication Process and Criteria

From The AACT Handbook

Adjudicators for festivals in the AACFest cycle must be individuals with a wide range of theatrical training and experience.  Adjudicators view each festival production and share their observations with the entering companies and the audience.  Comments should be confined to those with the AACT Adjudication Guidelines (below).

Plays are to be adjudicated based on the overall production, with acting and directing as the major elements.  All types of productions (comedy, drama, original works, musicals, revues, avant-garde, “controversial”, etc.) are acceptable entries to the festival and must be considered on a similar basis, with the best production being the one most full realizing the intent of the material and the concept for the show.   Design and technical competence is to be given consideration as to its effectiveness as an integral part of the total production experience.

Each company has a free choice of material (a one-act, a cutting, a selected act, etc.).  Adjudicators may not question the choice, except as to its appropriateness for the company, and comment only on how it was performed.

AACT Adjudication Guidelines

Among the criteria to be considered are:

  • Is the acting believable and technically skillful, with effective timing?
  • Are the characters well interpreted?     
  • Does the company display ensemble work?
  • Is the material appropriate for the company?
  • Is the concept appropriate for the material and realized by the company?
  • Has the structure of the production been controlled?    
  • Are the movements and stage pictures effective?
  • Is the production well-paced?   
  • Do the technical elements support the overall production?
  • How effective was the total impact?

Focus is to be placed on positive solutions to problems the companies have with production issues by suggesting alternative possibilities.  Productions may advance to other festivals; these companies should be able to benefit by incorporating the adjudicators’ comments.  Caution:  the adjudicator should not redirect the show.

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