MY UIL OAP JUDGING PHILOSOPHY

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It’s judge hiring season for UIL One-Act Play. I remember as a director how stressful this time was. The wonder and the fear… so much responsibility to give just one person! And what if the judge hated our play?!! It truly was a nerve-wrecking process.

Now I sit at the other side of the table at the Director’s Meetings and I see the same stress and fear. I love that most of the district’s have gone to panel judging so that there are three sets of eyes and ears (and perspectives) as this is essentially a playoff game with no preseason or district competition to see where you rank among other schools!

For directors and contest managers still looking for judges and looking at my profile, here are my take-aways.

I love UIL OAP… all of it. The camaraderie, the competition, the nerves and the joy.

I respect you and the work that you have put in to get to this point. I competed in non-advancing OAP shows as a student. We worked just as hard as the advancing shows.

Resources are limited. I know that some schools have state of the art equipment and stages and some of you don’t even have a single 4×8 platform. As a director, I worked at 2A, 3A and 4A schools. I have lived in both worlds.

I value your students. As a judge, I give honest critiques, but my goal is that every student walks away feeling empowered by the UIL OAP experience. I don’t believe in belittling students, nor do I believe that it anything is gained by making a student feel as if he or she was solely responsible for the failure or the success of a production.

I appreciate the opportunity and I don’t take it lightly. When I sign my judging ballot, please know that I take the responsibility seriously… I have read your play prior to competition, I have watched the production you have placed on the stage, I have taken detailed notes, and I have given constructive feedback. It is only after the awards and critiques are over that I take a deep breath of relief. Getting it right is that important.

Thanks for taking the time to consider me for a judging assignment.

Emily McLemore

Adjunct Drama Instructor: Ranger College
Visual Art Teacher: Stephenville High School

MFA, Theatre: Florida Atlantic University
BA, Theatre: Hardin-Simmons University

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