Who sees more theatre than a Judge for the Helen Hayes Awards?
theatreWashington annually seeks individuals with a deep passion and knowledge of theatre to serve as judges for the Helen Hayes Awards. Each judge serves a term of three years.
This volunteer position requires time, consideration, and dedication, but allows you to experience the whole of Washington’s dynamic and diverse theatre. And it is a meaningful and rewarding responsibility to continue the recognition of the region’s world-class theatre in this signature theatreWashington program.
All applications will be thoroughly vetted and reviewed by a Selection Committee comprised of, among others, three Artistic Directors from participating theatres. Depending upon their area of theatre expertise, a pool of 60 judges will be identified and assigned to serve.
If you are interested in knowing more, please see the detailed information below.
See the current list of 2012 Helen Hayes Awards Judges here.
Helen Hayes Awards Judge Responsibilities
- From the pool of 60, eight judges are assigned to see each eligible production.
- Based on the volume of shows being produced in the metropolitan Washington community, we project that each judge will attend 30-40 shows during the year.
- Judges are asked for scheduling conflicts on a month by month basis and are then assigned productions to attend.
- Once a judge communicates that he/she is available on a given date, the judge is expected and required to accept the assignment, regardless of location, theatre, or production unless a real or perceived conflict of interest exists.
- Every judge will disclose any real or perceived conflicts of interest upon learning of a pending assignment. We will also vet all candidates with the theatre leadership to reveal their perceived conflicts of interest before empanelling any new judges.
- Judges evaluate every artist in the production on a graded point scale in each ballot category based on the breadth of their experience with Washington theatre.
- Ballots must be submitted within 24 hours of seeing a show.
- Numerous cancellations, no-shows, tardy ballots, discussing ballots, arriving late, leaving early, or any other inappropriate behavior are grounds for dismissal.
- Judges must attend an orientation and a series of three additional sessions annually to insure that they fully understand the scope of their responsibilities.
Helen Hayes Awards Judge Qualifications
- A selection committee will evaluate every judge applicant against the defined criteria to which all Helen Hayes Awards judges must comply. These criteria include: taste; discernment; evaluative, analytical, and inquisitive skills; receptiveness to new experiences; real or perceived conflict of interest; affiliation with theatreWashington staff and/or Board; artistic experience; education; attitude; independence; varied exposure and experiences; evidence of personal responsibility; participation at Washington theatres; ability to articulate concepts; life experience; and available time.
- In addition to the criteria and qualifications of individual candidates, consideration is given to the balance of the judging pool as a whole. Issues such as diversity and previous nominator and/or judging experience are evaluated while also trying to strike an even mix of theatre and arts professionals, academics, learned audience members, and journalists.
The Helen Hayes Awards Judging Process
- Once empanelled, eight judges from the pool of 60 will be assigned to see each eligible production.
- Judges evaluate each artist in the production on a graded point scale in each category, and submit their ballots within 24 hours of seeing a show.
- No judge will evaluate a performance at a theatre where he/she has a real or a perceived conflict of interest. Assignment of the judge’s panel is made with the intent to reflect the proportional composition of the expertise that comprises the pool of Judges.
- At the conclusion of the 12-month judging cycle, an independent tabulation firm will tabulate the combined point total from the judges who saw each show. These totals will determine the final nominees in each category. In the case of tied votes, a tie-breaking system will be used.
- The combined point total will also be used to determine the final recipients, who will be announced at the annual presentation of The Helen Hayes Awards.