The most important function of the adjudicator is to serve as an educator. True, individual awards must be selected, but adjudication without a carefully prepared critique, which teaches as it evaluates, would deprive festival participants of a most valuable feature—opportunity for qualitative improvement. The successful judge must be objective, direct, and detailed in criticism, but with respect for all those involved in the production at hand.
Adjudicators for festivals have a wide range of theatrical training and experience. They view each festival production and share their observations with the entering companies and the audience. Plays are adjudicated based on the overall production, with acting and directing as the major elements.
|Jim Sohre travels throughout Europe and North America regularly to review performances for Opera Today, Music and Vision and Café Momus. He also serves as Artistic Director for Opera Las Vegas, and is a founding member of the Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards program. He recently completed a 40-year civilian career with the Army Entertainment program, and was the longtime chair of the International Committee for the Association of Community Theatre (AACT). Jim has also directed and/or served as music director for more than 200 productions. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Theatre from Tulsa University, and has adjudicated theatre festivals in Germany, Japan, Canada, and the United States, and is the recipient of the Mort Clark International Theatre Award.||Benny Sato Ambush is a professional freelance SDC stage director, former Producer/Artistic Director, educator, consultant and published commentator. He formerly was the Distinguished Producing Director-In-Residence at Emerson Stage, the producing wing of the Department of Performing Arts, Emerson College, Boston, MA. He has served on numerous regional and national boards – including Theatre Communications Group (TCG); has served for decades as an NEA and state arts council panelist and site evaluator; is active nationally in the advocacy of cultural equity, non-traditional casting and pluralism in the American theater. He has won many awards throughout the nation. He holds an MFA in Stage Directing from the University of California, San Diego.||Jan Palmer Sayer studied at Trent Park College and at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. Four years ago, she retired as Headteacher of Hertswood, a Specialist Arts College. In 1998, she was awarded an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies while running her own theatre company – Shattered Windscreen. Her theatrical exploits have taken her as far afield as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where her production of The Fall of the House of Usher was awarded 5 stars by The Scotsman. In 2015, her production of The Grapes of Wrath was seen at the famous cliffside Minack Theatre--gaining the coveted Minack Trophy for the best production of 2015. Over the last year she has adjudicated festivals in England, Ireland and Scotland, the British Final of One Act Plays in Wales as well as the British All Winners Festival in her home town of Hertford.|