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Any PA school (public, private, parochial) within a 20 mile radius of City Hall in Philadelphia.

Each Director completes a form called “Considerations” prior to their show. This form recognizes student contributions as individual or small groups for each show in various categories. When adjudicators see the show, they use the Considerations to guide their evaluations. Besides that, all directors have to do is ensure that adjudicators have tickets for their chosen performances.

Schools that double cast can participate in the program. In such a case, the director will need to choose the cast that will be adjudicated. Directors of schools with double casting should only enter the performance dates of ONE cast. This way, all adjudicators see the same performers in the qualifying roles.


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.

Nominations & Awards

At the end of the year (dates are established by the Board at the start of the school year for eligible productions), adjudicators review their score sheets and select…

Only adjudicators who have seen a majority of the productions in any category qualify to vote. No Board members vote unless they are also adjudicators.

At the end of the year, PIA sends out a “Commitment Letter” to Directors for student performers (which may be leads or supporting actors in PIA) to submit prior to the awards ceremony. This letter certifies the student, if nominated, will attend the Jimmys, as it’s an extremely expensive investment by our sponsors. Adjudicator scores for the Jimmy nominees category during voting are matched against those who submitted Commitment forms to select the PIA nominee. No Board members vote unless they are also adjudicators.


PIA hires local theater artists to evaluate productions. Each adjudicator must see more than 50% of a season’s productions to ensure they have a thorough scope of the season’s offerings and may not have any affiliation with the productions they adjudicate.

After adjudicators see a production, they quantify each consideration on a scale of 1-5 using this rubric through our database. 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.

Brian Weiner, President: bweiner@independenceawards.com