Viewing in the 2019-2020 season:
Each viewer is expected to see all viewable shows in their category, however, 75% is the baseline required amount. If a viewer cannot fulfill this, they are dropped from the list. Show producers/directors submit an online form to apply to have their show viewed at least one month before the first performance. On this form, any specific element can be pulled out as not viewable at the discretion of the theatre.
Viewers submit an online form within 72 hours after viewing each production. On this form, there is a scoring section for technical elements including overall show, direction, sets, lights, sound, and costumes for plays, additionally music and vocal direction as well as choreography are scored for musicals. Each element is scored from 1-5 with 5 being best. Each
element score is averaged over the number of viewers and the top half end up on the initial ballot at the end of the season.
A second section of the form allows viewers to submit acting nominations by listing the actor’s name and character name. In order to appear on the preliminary ballot, an actor must receive a baseline percentage of nominations.
A final section provides places for viewer’s choice nominations, additional nominations that don’t fit on the form, their “best of show” selection and any notes to the Viewing Secretary. At the end of the season in early September, an initial ballot consisting of all the qualified nominations in each category is created. Nominations are qualified based on score or number of
mentions as noted above and cross-referenced with the applications to be viewed filled out by the show producer/director. This form indicates category placement and nonviewable components (viewers are not told these in advance in order not to skew their perception of a show). Then each viewer individually selects their top five in each category and submits them
After the acting votes and technical scores are tabulated, a final list of nominees in each category is announced (usually around September 15). At this time, each viewer receives a final mailed ballot personalized to them. If they did not see a production, it is not included in their final ballot. They rank each category nominees and send their ballots to an independent
tabulator who compiles the votes and prepares the sealed envelopes for presentation the night of the gala. No one but the independent tabulator knows the winners until that night.