Thursday, 6 August 2015

A Lifelong Love of Adjudication

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

I was adjudicated for the first time when I was 15 years old. Chris Covert was adjudicating the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario (ACT-CO) Festival, and I was acting in a production of The Innocents at The Curtain Club in Richmond Hill.  Chris’s health was deteriorating (it was his final Festival) but in spite of that, the way he spoke with me about craft—as someone still figuring out “acting technique”—created a lifelong love of the potential in a great adjudication.  I’ve been a fan of great adjudication ever since.

In 2010, a group of Theatre Ontario staff and established adjudicators met to discuss the state of adjudication in the province.  We’d heard concerns from adjudicators, regional associations, and community theatre members—and saw an opportunity to review Theatre Ontario’s work in the area of adjudication.
Theatre Ontario's Adjudicators Symposium

One of the initiatives we introduced was the Adjudicators Symposium—a forum for adjudicators to come together, share experiences, and identify professional development opportunities.  Going into our sixth Symposium, we’ve explored things like standards for adjudication, peer review, and techniques for handling difficult situations in an adjudication.

The agendas have been created by input from the adjudicators—and also by input from the community theatre sector.  As we plan our Adjudicators Symposium for 2015, we’d like to hear from you—we invite your input as a conversation in the comments below, or by email (  What have your adjudication experiences been like?  What opportunities do you see in the adjudication process?  Where do we need to go from here?

I’ve lost count of the number of adjudications I’ve attended over the past 25 years.  As an artist, I’ve benefited from some wonderful adjudications, and I’ve suffered through some worthless adjudications.  The useful adjudications have—thankfully—outweighed the useless ones.  We look forward to the community’s input as we try to create far more wonderful adjudications at Ontario’s community theatres, and continue to develop for others a lifelong love of adjudication.

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