The awards feature a new voting system, which will include a return to a two-tiered organization with nominators and judges.
The eligibility requirements that all theatres must meet to participate have become more rigorous and now include:
- The theatre must be a 501(c)3 or fiscally sponsored organization
- Each show must have a 12-performance minimum run (this may include previews)
- Pay scale: Actors — $150/week minimum; Designers — $500/show minimum; Directors — $750/show minimum
- Performances happen within a 30-mile radius of City Hall
Eight nominators will be sent to see each eligible/participating production. Five votes in any one category will move the show to the next round, where all the judges (10-12) will be required to see the production.
The change in methodology that will take a show to the judge's level, which has been increased from three to five votes in any category, is designed to make the number of shows seen by judges more manageable. With this adjustment, judges will be required to see 50-60 productions each season, rather than the previous 90-100. Theatre Philadelphia believes this decrease in the amount of shows required will permit more theatre professionals to serve as judges.
Another change is that judges will meet quarterly to discuss the shows they have seen and what productions, performances and designs are in contention. "The Philadelphia theatre community is stronger and more vibrant than ever," Theatre Philadelphia board president Kevin Glaccum said in a statement. "The Board of Theatre Philadelphia whole-heartedly agreed with the results of the community survey and is eager to bring back an event that celebrates the excellence of the work created here."
Theatre Philadelphia seeks to bring together the greater Philadelphia theatre community in a coalition to support the values and needs of artists, professionals and companies.
More information can be found by visiting theatrealliance.org.