UTBA Awards SummaryEquity Categories of Awards


September 1, 2010 thru August 31, 2011


The Equity season runs from September 1 – August 31 of each year. The presentation of the Equity UTBA Awards is made at a ceremony in the fall, usually around the fourth Saturday in October.


A. A theatre organization that has signed a production contract with Actors’ Equity and wishes to have that Production judged must notify the Equity chair by the 18th of the month before the month in which the opening performance of that production is to take place. In order for that Equity production to be judged, the theatre must show that it has committed to produce a minimum of 10 performances over a period of at least 2 consecutive weeks. Additional requirements as to the minimum 10-performance rule are: at least one performance per week must take place on the weekend; weekday matinees do not count towards the minimum of 10 performances; and a production will become ineligible if it actually runs for fewer than the required minimum number of performances.

B. Additional eligibility requirements:

  1. The UTBA Committee does not judge late-night performances (i.e., all curtains at or after 9:30 p.m.), puppet theatre, opera, dance, performance art, children’s theatre, student or youth theatre, foreign language theatre, mime theatre, unscripted or improvised productions, or staged readings. The Committee does not judge touring productions.
  2. The Committee does not judge evenings of multiple plays unless all artistic components, with the exception of actors, are the same for each (i.e. director, set designer, etc.). With rare exceptions, no performer in such productions will qualify for the Principal Actor/Actress category.
  3. For productions presented in repertory, the minimum number of performances requirement may be modified, although for each show included in the repertory presentation there still must be at least three performances each week, with at least one of the performances on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and a total of 14 performances.
  4. A revival of the same work at the same theatre or by essentially the same company is not eligible to be judged in the Equity Wing if that prior production was judged in the same Wing less than seven (7) years earlier.
  5. Theaters are to provide at least one complimentary ticket to each UTBA committee judge on opening night.


A. Three judges are assigned to attend the opening night based on qualifications, expertise, and to ensure that a variety of target audience viewpoints are represented. UTBA judges are limited to judging one opening per season for any company and excused from judging theatres if there is a conflict of interest with a given company or any member of the cast or artistic team.

B. Judges, without conferring with each other, submit votes online by 9:00 a.m. the morning following the opening night for any elements of the production they consider outstanding or to register “no votes.”

C. A show is considered UTBA Recommended if there are positive votes from all 3 judges and at least 2 votes for the same four categories, OR there are 10 or more votes from at least 2 judges; OR all 3 judges vote for the same three categories. For productions with casts of up to 3, only two categories must receive at least 2 votes.

D. If recommended, the theatre and the members of the UTBA Committee are notified. They are not told what elements of the production received votes. Each member is expected to see the production, during the course of the run, and submit an online ballot voting for any element he or she considers outstanding.

E. At the end of the season (9/1 to 8/31) the ballots are tabulated. The top 5 vote recipients in each category are placed on the final ballot, provided the votes for that nominee fall within a predetermined percentage. In the case of a statistical tie, the category may be expanded to include more than 5 nominees on the final ballot.

F. The final ballot will be open to the public.  Voters must be registered readers with verified accounts.

G. The ballots are tabulated and the award recipients are determined after all final ballots are turned in. One recipient is identified per category, except in the case of a statistical tie. Multiple awards may be presented for New Work and New Adaptation categories, as they are non-competitive. The non-Equity awards are presented in November.