Joining the CAT Awards
Information is sent to the presidents of all community theatre groups early each year. The pack contains an entry form, a production details sheet, relevant information on all aspects of the judging process, definitions used in the CAT Awards, and a list of all categories under consideration for that year.
Participating companies submit their annual program with their entry form and an annual entry fee. The entry fee is paid annually, and there is no limit to the number of productions each group can then submit for consideration.
For each production up to 7 pairs of tickets and 14 programs are made available to CAT judges. The judges try to see different performances throughout the season; however, sometimes this is not possible, especially in regional areas. If two companies present the same show, we aim for at least two of the judges for the first production to visit the second production.
After attending the show, judges assess the production’s worthiness for nomination against each of the categories for which it is eligible, using a set of assessment guidelines and a twenty-point rating system.
Each month, the Judging Panel discusses the productions seen and documents any potential nominations.
NOTE: Judges take no part in discussions on shows with which they are associated and leave the room during any discussion; they do not participate in any discussions regarding nominations for their show nor do they vote on winners associated with their own shows.
In order to maximise consistency, the judges use a comprehensive set of assessment guidelines.
Youth/Schools categories: Nominations in the Youth/Schools categories are determined in November. This is to ensure that nominations can be sent to schools before they break up for the year.
Open categories: At a special meeting in December, final nominations of the best in each category are made through a process of spirited debate, leading to consensus.
Nominations are announced at a function (usually a cocktail party) about a week before Christmas.
The Awards ceremony
The Awards presentation is held in February in the Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music. It is a gala function and features a number of excerpts from productions seen through the year.