What Exactly Are the Judges Evaluating?

For the Individual Performer Categories

Acting--Are they natural? Confident? Do they know their lines? Are they believable? Do they "Tell the story" or are they just reciting the lines they've memorized? Do they talk to the people they're in the scene with, or do they talk to the audience?

Vocal Ability/Diction--How well do they sing? Are they hitting the notes? Can you understand them? Do the speak clearly or do they mumble? Do their sentences drop off at the end? Do they have a repetitive voice pattern?

Dancing Ability--Are they "light on their feet"? Are they confident? Do they need to look at the floor, or the feet of others? (put "5" if part is not a dancing part)

Sense of Character--Do they know who they are supposed to be? Did they research? Do their body movements portray their character? Do they "carry" themselves correctly?

Blocking/Movement--They know how to move around the stage, countering, etc? Do they know to how to move so as to not upstage another actor, or be upstaged? Do they use the whole stage, or do they awkwardly try to move center to deliver lines?

Overall Singing

Projection/Volume--Despite use of microphones, do the students project? Can you hear the ensemble? Is the group being drowned out by the orchestra?

Intonation/Pitch--Are they in tune? Are the notes strong or do they waver?

Tone/Style--Do they have a uniform sound? Are they singing with correct vowels (when appropriate)? Are they singing in a light airy tone when the song is meant to be bold and brassy?

Difficulty--Is the music in unison most of the time? Are they singing 4 or more part harmony? Do they sing many melodic lines simultaneously? Can you hear parts during big choreography sections?

Overall Choreography Execution

Execution--How in sync are they? Do they seem confident in their steps? Is it "clean"?

Energy--Are they peppy? Smiling? Engaged?

Use of Surroundings--Do they use the space well? Higher score for use of props, levels, scenery.

Style--Are they dancing with the right style for the music? (I.e. not overly peppy in somber songs)

Consistency--Are some dances noticeably less together? Maybe need more practice?


Difficulty--What are they being asked to do? Is it more than just "step, touch" or "Jazz squares"?

Amount--Rate number of songs that require dance, versus those that are "blocked."


Movement--Does the group know how to move around the stage? No tripping over each other?

Projection--Are they speaking loudly and clearly, especially when not miked?

Energy --Are they engaged? Actively involved in the action even when in the background?

Overall Acting

Sense of Character--Does the group understand the show? The time period? Who they are?

Execution of Blocking--Do people know how to move to accentuate the dialogue?

Pacing/Energy --Does the dialogue have a natural flow? Do people pick up cues quickly? Do they react within lines?

Voice: Projection--Are they speaking loudly and clearly?

Voice: Inflection--Do they speak like "normal" people? No "attack" delivery of sentences?

Interaction--Do they work together to keep the scene moving?

Focus--Are they "locked in"? Are they distracted? Do they look at the people they are talking with?


Difficulty--Is the subject matter especially difficult for teenagers? Is it juvenile?

Overall Production Quality

Execution--How did you feel about the show overall? Would you say it had a nice flow, energy, cohesiveness?

Acting--Did the actors tell the story? Did they act as though no audience was watching? Did they interact with each other or recite to the audience? Were they confident?

Singing--Overall, were they in tune? Did they sing like stage performers vs. choir performers? Was the music good? Harmonies present & balanced?

Dancing--Were the dances "tight" and clean? Did the kids look at their feet? Were they well-rehearsed? Was the choreography challenging, but clean? Was it too easy? Basic stuff?

Other things to consider about the overall show

Curtain Speech--Did it set the tone of the show? Was it too long? Was it necessary? Could the information been taken care of in the program?

Overture & Entracte--Did it set the mood of the show? Was the orchestra good? Scene changes were they noticeably long? Were they rehearsed? Did they use the "Apron" or "Traveller" scenes to facilitate the changing of scenes? Was there adequate scene change music?

Use of Orchestra--Did the orchestra overpower the singers? Did the actors have to "wait" for the orchestra? Were the actors told to watch the director, or did the director follow the actors?