18 September 2004

WATCH meeting

So what better way to spend a rainy Saturday - or at least part of one - than to attend a meeting?

I adjudicate theater for WATCH (warning - convoluted acronym coming!) - the Washington Area Theater Community Honors - which is basically a peer review organization for community theater. Every participating theater has to provide five judges, who in turn see 8 - 10 shows per year and complete ballots adjudicating what they saw. (Scores from 1 to 10 with 1 = suck and 10 = fabulous, no narrative required.)

So today's meeting will be an orientation thing for incoming companies. Because the Washington Post does a lovely job (Thank you, Michael Toscano!!!!) of demonstrating that getting nominations and awards from WATCH is a good thing, we use the orientation meeting to stress the pain-in-the-butt aspects of participation. Todd leans on "you'll see a lot of bad theater" and I lean on "and you'll drive to hell and gone to do it." In order to belong to WATCH, a company must be within 20 miles of the Washington Monument, but we have "exceptioned" in a couple of companies slightly beyond that distance. Which means that judges from La Plata, Maryland will occasionally find themselves treking through DC area traffic (3rd worst in the nation!) to Fauquier, Virginia. I guess it's 50 miles as the crow flies, but that's not how one gets places in this area. At at recent meeting, I suggested raising the dues and buying a special WATCH helicopter.

Anyway, we figure that if folks are aware of the annoying parts from the beginning, they'll be more likely to stick it out. So far, so good.

And Todd does exaggerate to a degree. In my years doing this, I've seen very few bad shows and almost no really bad shows. Most lump under "fine." Some were great. I love doing it. I really do.

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