theatreWashington, the umbrella organization to promote area theater which sponsors the annual Helen Hayes Awards, has issued a call to the general public seeking potential judges for those awards. The deadline for applications is October 5.
theatreWashington will accept applications from all segments of the community, but its Selection Committee will award Helen Hayes judgeships on the basis of “artistic experience; education; evaluative, analytical and inquisitive skills; taste; discernment; attitude; receptiveness to new experience; an ability to articulate concepts…varied exposure and life experiences; evidence of personal responsibility; previous exposure to Washington theatres [and] available time.” The organization also said that it will consider real and perceived conflicts of interest in selecting judges.
Eight Helen Hayes judges evaluate every production being considered for a Helen Hayes Award. The organization stated that Helen Hayes Judges could expect to see between thirty and forty shows a year. Judges must notify the organization of their availability on a monthly basis, and must attend whatever show they’re assigned. Ballots are due within 24 hours.
Appointments to Helen Hayes judgeships normally last for three years. Judges appointed in response to this call for applications will serve beginning January of 2013, probably through December of 2015.
DCTS’ Brad Hathaway, who for many years ran his own website, Potomac Stages, was a Helen Hayes judge. He gives this report of his experience:
“At first blush it may sound great, having the chance to see great theater for free … and it is.
“But a judge has to shuffle his or her own schedule to accommodate the openings. That can cause issues with other activities. Then, too, not all the assigned shows are those you might have chosen for yourself. But each is a chance to stumble on to something wonderful and every time the lights go down a judge is hoping to experience something deserving of recognition.
“Those of us who treasure those moments get a chance to contribute more than mere applause. “
If you’d like to be considered as a Helen Hayes judge, apply here.