How viewing works (2019-2020 Season)

Viewing in the 2019-2020 season

What Shows are eligible

Both the show and the theatre need to be eligible for a show to be viewed.  Here are the rules:

Theatre Eligibility: A Theatre shall be considered eligible for receiving nominations when

  • The Theatre is based in and holds performances in Lake County, Porter County, or LaPorte County, Indiana.
  • The Theatre is an organized company whose prime purpose is to produce community theatre.
  • The Theatre pays an annual membership fee.

Show Eligibility: A Show shall be considered eligible for receiving nominations when

  • The show producer or director has submitted an application to be viewed at least one month prior to the first performance. All components requested to be viewed must be completed in the spirit of community theatre, by volunteers in a function that is not their profession. Small stipends to performers, directors, designers, or any other production staff will not immediately make it ineligible for viewing. The discretion of the producer/director in consultation with the Viewing Secretary when needed will guide this determination. Equity actors are not eligible for individual acting awards.
  • The Show was cast through publicized open auditions for all viewable roles.
  • The Show is a scripted show. It need not be published and licensed through a professional licensee but must be a scripted production designed to be performed the same each performance.
  • The Show must have multiple performances. Any show which opens in one season and closes in the next season will be eligible for nominations in the season in which the majority of performances are scheduled. If an equal number of performances occur in each season, the show will be eligible in the season in which it opened.
  • The Foundation respectfully requests that no shows take place in direct time conflict with the annual gala. Should performances take place, no viewing will occur on this night.

Ineligible shows shall include, but not be limited to:

a. Single performance fund-raisers
b. Educational workshops
c. Staged readings for “works-in progress”
d. Unscripted revues (works written for performers already cast).
e. Unscripted works regularly recognized as long or short form improv

How Viewing Works

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.


More specific details can be found in our Policies and Procedures

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