UTBA Awards Summary | Non-Equity Categories of Awards


(still being revised for an August 2011 launch)


The non-Equity season runs from September 1 – August 31 of each year. The presentation of the non-Equity UTBA Awards is made at a ceremony in the fall, usually in November.


A. A theatre organization that has not signed a production full contract with Actors’ Equity and wishes to have that Production judged must notify the non-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 production to be judged, the theatre must show that it has committed to produce a minimum of 6 performances over a period of at least 2 consecutive weeks. Additional requirements as to the minimum 6-performance rule are: at least one performance per week must take place on the weekend; weekday matinees do not count towards the minimum of 6 performances; and a production will become ineligible if it actually runs for fewer than the required minimum number of performances.

B. Productions are eligible for judging only if the minimum number of performances are in Salt Lake, Utah, or Davis counties. Productions in other counties may be deemed eligible if there are a sufficient number of UTBA reviewers nearby to judge the production.

C. 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, student or youth theatre (including university and high school 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. A revival of the same work at the same theatre or by essentially the same company is not eligible to be judged in the non-Equity Wing if that prior production was judged in the same Wing less than seven (7) years earlier.
  4. Companies that have a Letter of Agreement (LOA) contract with Actors’ Equity Association are eligible for non-Equity production awards, but members of Equity or other professional theatre unions (e.g., IATSE, SDC, etc.) will not be eligible for personal awards.
  5. Theaters are to provide at least one complimentary ticket to each UTBA committee judge on opening night.
  6. Companies must also agree to have their production reviewed by a UTBA reviewer who also serves as a committee judge.


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 votes from at least 2 judges and at least 4 different design elements obtain votes from at least 2 judges, OR all 3 judges vote for the same element. For non-Equity productions with casts of fewer than 4 actors, only one element need receive at least 4 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, and pay admission, 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. On the final ballot, members may vote in any given category only when they have seen either three of the nominees or at least half, which ever number is smaller.

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.


Awards will be separated by geographical region. UTBA reserves the right to add regions or redefine existing boundaries as is necessary, but such changes must be set before the non-Equity season begins on September 1. Productions that take place outside of the regional boundaries may be permitted to be judged as part of a neighboring region. Such exceptions will be reviewed by the UTBA committee on an individual basis.