• Welcome to our new website!

Call for Adjudicators

The Philadelphia Independence Awards, Philly's nonprofit awards program dedicated to celebrating high school musical theater, seeks Adjudicators for its 2023-24 season. Adjudicators must be theater professionals, graduate students pursuing a Theatre Arts degree (either performing or technical), community members with extensive theater experience, or current/former theater educators that are currently unaffiliated with a participating school. Adjudicators will be screened and selected by the Advisory Board based on an application process.

Serving as a Philadelphia Independence Awards adjucator is an excellent opportunity for educators (or future educators), actors, technicians, production staff, musicians, and/or graduate theater/music/arts education students. Past adjudicators are welcome to re-apply. We strongly encourage people of all races, backgrounds, abilities, orientations, and theatrical disciplines to apply.

Having trouble, contact our webmaster for assistance.

Adjudicator's Responsibilities

All Adjudicators are required to see and evaluate 12-16 (60-75%) of the registered high school musicals (within a 20-mile radius of Philadelphia's City Hall) and to complete an online evaluation within 72 hours of performances. Most productions occur during Thursdays-Sundays in November, March, and April; some weekends may require you to see two or more productions. You must be comfortable sitting in school auditoriums with any/all COVID-related precautions required by the respective school districts.

All adjudicators are compensated with a $20 stipend per production seen and evaluated. Payments are distributed only at the end of the year after all responsibilities are completed.

Additional requirements include attendance at a virtual Adjudicator's training in December. The final awards production is typically held the third weekend in May - attendance is optional.


Adjudicators are responsible for their own transportation to productions. While we try to schedule shows closest to the proximity of adjudicator residence for convenience, public transportation does not always go directly to each school. Travel stipend of $20 per show attended is offered to Adjudicators at the end of the year provided all requirements have been met.

You Should Know

Applications to serve as an adjudicator typically open in late August. Anyone with significant performing arts experience and/or education is eligible to apply. We strongly encourage adjudicators of diverse backgrounds to apply, and we conduct outreach to local theater organizations to seek adjudicators.

All adjudicators must attend one training session during which the process of selecting and evaluating shows is thoroughly explained. This training also touches upon the importance of evaluating shows despite varying budgets, demographics, and socioeconomic limitations.

After adjudicators see a production, they quantify each consideration on a scale of 1-5 using this rubric. These are called “snapshot” scores and are non-binding; they do not impact end-of-the-year voting or nominations. Adjudicators also offer written feedback on the topics of performance, technical, and suggestions for improvement. This information is compiled and sent to the production Director who may or may not choose to share it with their cast/crew.