Judging

Overview and Requirements

  • The Judging year for 2019 concludes on 31 October. Shows presented after this date will be included in 2020 Judging year.
  • Your company/ school must be a member of the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria. An application for membership can be completed here.
  • Once your membership form is submitted it will be ratified by the committee of management however your judging application can be, and should be submitted in the meantime.
  • Judging Application(s) need to be submitted at least four (4) weeks / twenty-eight (28) days prior to the first performance in your shows show season.
  • Once your Judging Application has been submitted, you will receive confirmation that this has been received at the email address you provided on your application.
  • Please ensure your Company/ School contact details are up to date.
  • Members of the Judging Panel will make contact with your company or ticket secretary to arrange tickets to attend your production.
  • Each company/ school will make available to each judge 2 complimentary tickets (if required) and 1 complimentary program upon attendance. There are a total of 5 Judges for our Open and Junior Sections.

Junior Production/ Performers Judging Requirements

Junior Production – To be eligible for the Junior Production of the Year, 100% of the on-stage cast in the production must be 18 years of age or under as of the opening night of the production, or as at the judges’ discretion. School Judging is for Secondary schools only (Years 7 – 12). Productions should include singing, dancing and acting.

Junior Performer – Male or Female – To be eligible for a Junior Performer Award, a cast member in either an Open or Junior production must be 18 years or under as at the opening night of the production. Companies should state the age of any Junior Performers in an Open production in the program and Application for Judging.

*Please note performers aged 19 years or over as at the first performance are considered open performers in a junior production and as such are ineligible for judging.

Judging Categories

Open Section

  • Production of the Year
  • Direction
  • Musical Direction
  • Choreography
  • Settings
  • Wardrobe
  • Lighting
  • Sound
  • Technical Achievement
  • Male Performer in a Leading Role
  • Female Performer in a Leading Role
  • Male Performer in a Supporting Role
  • Female Performer in a Supporting Role
  • Junior Performer in an Open Production
  • Dancer’s Award
  • Cameo Performance
  • Ensemble Performance
  • Design Award
  • Concert/Revue Performance
  • * 5 Awards of Excellence

There are nominations in each of the above categories, the number being determined by the Panel.

 

Junior Section

  • Junior Production of the Year
  • Direction of a Junior Production
  • Musical Direction of a Junior Production
  • Choreography of a Junior Production
  • Design Award
  • Junior Male Performer in a Leading Role
  • Junior Female Performer in a Leading Role
  • Junior Male Performer in a Supporting Role
  • Junior Female Performer in a Supporting Role
  • * 5 Awards of Excellence

There are nominations in each of the above categories, the number being determined by the Panel.

* 5 Awards of Excellence – Open and Junior Sections

These are for anything and everything not covered in the above. Examples – A particular scene, a program and poster, an ensemble, a dancer, an audio visual feature or a notable performer the Panel feels merits more than a nomination. There are no nominations for these awards.

Judging Guidelines

Both the open and junior judging panels follow a set of guidelines and criteria set out by the Music Theatre Guild in regard to nomination and commendations. The panels meet four times a year to discuss the productions viewed and begin the process of collating the nomination and commendation list from these meetings. Prior to the final meeting, the judges provide a score for each nominated item, without prejudice or influence, which is then averaged by the number of judges who attended the production, resulting in awarding the recipient of each award.

There are five full time panel members. On some occasions, the entire complement of the panel may not be able to attend a production. We have a bank of relief judges who will attend on the panels’ behalf. All relief judges provide an in-depth report as well as inclusion in the scoring at the end of the year. No company is disadvantaged by having a relief judge attend.

Music Theatre Guild Victoria Judges are not permitted to participate in the discussion of a show with which they, their partner, or immediate family have been associated or any other productions of the same show in the same year. Judges are not eligible to be a recipient of an Award within their panel.

Production of the Year

  • Achieves the creatives vision to the highest extent
  • Rates highly across all categories
  • Has no significant weak areas
  • Overall flow and continuity within the production, combining all elements

Direction

  • Evidence of an overarching vision for the production that has been effectively communicated to everyone involved
  • Integration of all aspects of the production (such as design, technical effects, sound, choreography, wardrobe, lighting)
  • Evidence of background research (for example into the history, customs, culture and style of the period) and of this having been passed on to the cast.
  • Effective blocking that allows for purposeful movements, makes use of the performance space, creates visual variety, creates focus for the audience
  • Believable characterisations
  • Clear relationships between characters
  • Generation and maintenance of audience interest and excitement throughout, including during scene changes
  • Variation in pace and rhythm to maintain energy and interest
  • Interesting blocking that supports the action
  • Cast discipline; for example:
    • performers not ad-libbing unnecessarily or making up business as they go along
    • performers working together as a team and not upstaging each other
    • children staying in character and maintaining focus
  • Appropriate casting
  • Effective solutions to any special challenges of the production (for example lots of scene and costume changes, large cast, technical challenges, different historical periods)
  • Effective solutions to any special challenges arising from the venue (for example stage size and shape, lack of technical facilities)
  • Evidence of effective rehearsal and a well-rehearsed production

Musical Direction

  • An engaging interpretation of all aspects of the music that supports the director’s vision for the production
  • Stylistic suitability for genre or period
  • Quality of the vocals in terms of quality, accuracy and diction
  • Quality, accuracy and sensitivity of the orchestra
  • Good balance between orchestra and singers, soloists and chorus, vocal sections, orchestral sections
  • Appropriate tempi
  • Appropriate casting
  • Evidence of making the best use of limited resources; for example adapting style to the talents of the singers, rescoring / rearranging orchestral parts

Choreography

  • Originality
  • Supports the director and musical directors vision, so that all elements of movement and dance work as part of the larger picture
  • Suits the style of the music and matches the genre or period
  • Suits the abilities of the performers and caters effectively for different skill levels
  • Variety across musical numbers
  • Variety within routines, for example using different rhythms, spacing, intensity, climaxes
  • Overcomes any special challenges, for example limitations of stage space, costumes
  • Creative use of performance space
  • Evidence of effective rehearsal techniques

Settings

  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Supports the director’s vision for the production
  • Complements other elements of the production such as lights, costumes, props, choreography
  • Suggests the style and tone of the production and creates mood and atmosphere appropriate to the production
  • Suggests the period and location of the musical
  • Offers creative opportunities for movement and grouping of the actors
  • Internal balance within the components of the set (for example doors, windows, furniture etc. are in appropriate proportion with each other)
  • Appropriate for other aspects of production for example size of cast, size of stage, size of venue
  • Authentic to a particular period or location, where appropriate
  • Overcomes any problems of the venue (small stage, lack of wing space, low ceiling, problems with sight lines etc)
  • Overcomes any special challenges of the production (for example lots of scene changes, large cast, technical challenges, orchestra on stage, etc)
  • Well-constructed, with good quality painting and decoration, and attention to detail

Wardrobe

  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Supports the director’s vision for the production
  • Complements other elements of the production such as set design, lights, choreography
  • Reinforces the style and tone of the production and helps create the mood and atmosphere appropriate to the production
  • Suggests the period and location of the musical
  • Supports performers’ characterisations
  • Distinguishes between major and minor characters
  • Suggests relationships between characters and groups of characters
  • Suggests changes in character development and age
  • Authentic to the period and location of the musical, where appropriate
  • Good use of colour with appropriate balance between colours and use of contrasting colours for effect
  • Effective use of textures
  • Appropriate for different body sizes
  • Overcomes any special challenges of the production (for example lots of costume changes, large cast, lots of movement)
  • Allows free movement, especially for dancers
  • Good sewing techniques with good quality materials and attention to detail.

Lighting

  • Visual impact
  • Supports the director’s vision for the production
  • Complements other elements of the production such as set, costumes, technical effects, sound
  • Reinforces the style and tone of the production and helps create the mood and atmosphere appropriate to the production
  • Indicates time of day and location
  • Defines acting areas and provides focus to the action
  • Colour balance, appropriate to desired effect
  • Even stage coverage with no inappropriate dark patches or over-lit areas
  • Realistic representation of on-stage light sources such as on-stage lamps, fireplaces, windows etc
  • Realistic special lighting effects such as flickering of fireplaces, daybreak, sunset, lightning
  • Smooth and well-rehearsed operation and cues

Sound

  • Audible impact
  • Supports the director’s vision for the production
  • Complements other elements of the production such as technical effects, lighting and mood
  • Reinforces the style and tone of the production and helps create the mood and atmosphere appropriate to the production
  • Provides sound balance throughout the production between orchestra and cast
  • Appropriate use of sound effects to enhance the production, not distract
  • Even stage coverage
  • Microphones on cue when required
  • Removes all frequency and possibility of buzzing, crackling etc
  • Use of quality equipment to support above
  • Smooth and well-rehearsed operation and cues

Technical Achievement

This award is given to a production as a whole. It can refer to multimedia, sound design, special make-up effects, prosthetics, pyrotechnics, special effects, scenic painting and props. The use of advanced technology is also considered in this section and that all technical elements of the production are well rehearsed and align.

  • Supports the director’s vision for the production
  • Innovative
  • Audience impact
  • Complements other elements of the production such as set and lights
  • Reinforces the style and tone of the production and helps create the mood and atmosphere appropriate to the production
  • Technically challenging
  • Well-rehearsed

Male and Female Performers (Lead, Supporting, Junior, First Performance in a Featured Role and Cameo)

  • Ability to create a believable character within a role
  • Ability to feel the right emotions within the role, and communicate them to audience
  • Communication with, and reaction to other actors
  • Ability to hold attention of the audience and other actors
  • Ability to sustain a role through an entire performance; to sustain momentum, mood, atmosphere, rhythm and pace.
  • Effective use of space and positioning in relation to other actors and the audience
  • Effective physical movement, and use of props or set
  • Effective vocal technique which supports the characterisation, including projection, articulation, variety, intonation, accents
  • Suitability of the voice for the role
  • Musicianship
  • Vocal quality including tone, accuracy, dynamics, diction, evenness across vocal range
  • Ability to ‘sell’ a song even if lacking in vocal resources.

Dancers

  • Strong technique
  • Ability to showcase the choreographers intention
  • Line, Body and Movement aligned
  • Excels in all the dance numbers, whether featured or not
  • Ability to feel the right emotions within the role, and communicate them to audience
  • Ability to sustain a role through an entire performance
  • Effective use of space and positioning

Ensemble

An ensemble means a group of performers working together closely as a group, where it is the group itself that is important, rather than the individual members of the group. The size of the group doesn’t matter – it can range from a group of two up to the entire cast. There needs to be a real sense of togetherness, trust and mutual respect evident among the performers.

Design

The design award can include a range of differing areas within a production, that may not be able to be placed within an individual category (programme design, costume transition, properties design etc). Think of it as a wow moment of a show.

Concert / Revue

The Concert / Revue Award can be a non-narrative or narrative production. It can be self-devised, or available for hire through a rights company. It does not need to have “In Concert” within the title to be considered. It is preferable that the production has a through-line and connecting story, rather than a group of mis-matched songs put together for no reason. As with Production of the Year, the panel assess the same criteria for the Concert / Revue Award.

  • Achieves the creatives vision to the highest extent
  • Has no significant weak areas
  • Overall flow and continuity within the production, combining all elements

Judging Panels 2019

Judging Administration

  • Mitchell Brusamarello

Open Section

  • Elise Dahl
  • Elly Foster
  • Trevor Osburn
  • Beverley Meldrum
  • Nicole Lylak

Junior Section

  • Tyler Hess
  • Ann Hubbard
  • Liz Zito
  • Nick Rees
  • Carole Cuthbertson