Announcing Revamped Nomination System For 2012 Gregory Awards

The Gregory Awards are a set of honors dedicated to theatre in Washington State. Administered by Theatre Puget Sound, the Gregory Awards present an opportunity to come together to celebrate theatre in our region, honor the outstanding achievements of our theatre practitioners, and to raise the visibility of the local theatre scene as a whole. The Gregory Awards began with a single category, the Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award, in 1998. Since then, it has grown to include recognizing many outstanding contributions over the previous season.

One of our proudest points of the Gregory Awards is our willingness to make improvements each year, keeping what works and reforming the rest. With our third birthday coming up, we have decided now is the time to improve our nomination system.

Current System

For the 2010-2011 season (Aug 1, 2010 – July 31, 2011) nominations are created this way:

  • At the end of the season, we ask our team of nominators (about 30 people comprised of artists, critics and arts patrons) to each send us a list of their favorite shows/actors/artists in each category.
  • The results are compiled and the top 4 in each category become the “nominees.”
  • Nominees are announced – then TPS members and Seattle Performs members (typically the general public) receive a ballot for a write-in in each category.  The top person/show from each category are added to the nominee list as “Member’s Voice” candidate and “People’s Choice” candidate, respectively.
  • for example: last year’s nominator picks for “Outstanding Theatre” were Balagan, Book-It, Contemporary Classics and Village Theatre.  Then the members added ACT as their write-in and Seattle Performs members chose Seattle Repertory Theatre.  All 6 companies were on the final ballot.
  • To choose the winners, TPS members are then given a ballot with all nominees.  Votes are tabulated and the one in each category with the most votes is deemed the recipient.

New System

Intention: The new nomination system was built in order to address the biggest flaw we see in the current system: fairness.  Under the current system, since we don’t ask the nominators until after the season, we have no way of knowing what shows are seen and what are missed.  Also, without a standard grading system, it is unclear if all nominators are choosing shows and artists based on the same guidelines.  With that in mind, we set out to make our nominator system as clear as possible and give every production an equal chance in the nominations.

Disclaimer

Subject to change and refinement.  Some dates, timelines and web features will not be completely in effect at the start of the season.  More details will be sent to all organizations and will be available online.

Nominator Pool

A nominator pool of approximately 60 people will be created.  TPS will accept applications to become a nominator and will select people based on, among other qualifications:

  • Range of theatrical viewing experience
  • Location and availability
  • Demonstrated understanding of theatrical artistry

Nominators are chosen on a 1-season basis with the option to continue for up to 3 seasons without re-applying.  You do not have to be an artist to be a Nominator, though an understanding of theatre is important.  Applications will be accepted in the following days.

Nominators will typically see about 20 shows in a season.  While they are not restricted from seeing theatre, they can only represent the Gregory Awards and give a graded score on the plays they are specifically assigned to attend.

The Nominator Process

  • Every show will be seen by 6-8 randomly chosen Nominators – the application will tell us which Nominators should NOT see a certain show due to travel restrictions, company affiliations, etc.
  • All Nominators will receive a complimentary ticket to the plays they attend – it is up to each company if they would like to give single tickets or pairs of tickets.  Tickets are reserved in advance (for the sake of the companies, no last minute reservations are allowed) and companies will have the names of their assigned Nominators in order to better facilitate reservations.
  • After seeing their assigned play, a Nominator will have 48 hours to get their form in.
  • Nominators will give a 1-100 vote on all production, lighting, and acting performances– 81-100 outstanding/excellent, 61-80 very good, 41-60 good, 21-40 competent, and 1-20 not professional.  Nominators will have a packet with more specifics on each category and what the numbers mean.  Votes will not be made public.
  • At the end of the season, votes will be tabulated and the top 4 of each category will become the “nominees” for the season.
  • Final voting will still be made by TPS members.

Organization Responsibilities

With the new system, we will be depending on each organization to help us with this system.  They will be asked to do the following things:

  • Submit their plays online and in advance.  Once the system gets rolling, submissions will be required 6 weeks in advance and cast and crew lists will be due by opening night.
  • Notify TPS in a timely manner of any no-show or unprofessional Nominators.
  • Provide at least 8 complimentary tickets to each submitted play and a contact for Nominators to use when requesting tickets
  • Assistance in growing our Nominator pool (for example, we may have flyers with more information on becoming a Nominator, or a poster)

While some of these are a bit more involvement than previous seasons, we feel this is the best solution for each play to have an equal opportunity at the awards ceremony.

We hope to have more specific details up in the next few days, along with a workshop or two for people to ask questions and get more details.  We will also soon be accepting applications to become a TPS Nominator.  Thanks for your patience and we hope you are as excited as we are about the possibilities and potential of this new system.

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