TTAO Fall Newsletter

October 30th, 2020

Fall Board Meeting Round-Up

Board Minutes

September Board Meeting Minutes can be found in the link below.

Core Values Action Committee- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Video

In June of 2020, the Board of Directors officially adopted the Core Values Action Plan as a continuing plan for TTAO. In September, the Core Values Committee was made a standing committee for TTAO.

Important Reminder

LOG INTO YOUR TTAO CONNECT ACCOUNT and view the short, required, introductory training video on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Thank you to our Core Values Action Committee Members for their hard and wonderful work in creating this for us!

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Real Change

What is the Real Change Campaign?

Real Change is TTAO’s fundraising campaign to place needed dollars into our socio-economically disadvantaged schools and communities.

Money raised will be used to fund:

  • TETA convention attendance
  • Summer Drama camp tuitions
  • Clinics
  • Guest artists

We believe these activities change lives and helps expand theatre in our communities which affects our society as a whole.

We challenge you to be part of the real change, and as you accept your contracts for this upcoming UIL OAP season, think about donating and being the difference in implementing Real Change.

Our goal for 2021 is $22,000

Is it possible? YES!

This campaign is for all TTAO members- adjudicators and contest managers alike. The suggestion is 10% of a contest fee earned for 2021. Please consider donating today at the link below.

TTAO Leadership Nominees

Congratulations to our outstanding slate of nominees to serve on TTAO Standards and Practices and Board of Directors. Elections will take place on December 1st-15th.

Be sure to check out this page and our upcoming TTAO Fall Newsletter to learn more about those nominated to serve.

A SPECIAL Congratulations to Aquilla Aubrey.

Aquilla will represent our organization as the Region 3 Appointed At-Large position on the Standards and Practices Committee.

Aquilla Aubrey is a lifelong theatre enthusiast. While getting her training as a middle and high
school student acting on stage and debating facts in high school forensics competitions, under the direction of the renowned C. Lee Turner, Aquilla developed a love for the arts.
The first in her family to attend college, Aquilla earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the
United States International University in San Diego, California, and later earned her Masters
degree in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University.
Her early career led her to teaching theatre by day and performing in dinner theatres evenings
and weekends while in California. A move across the country to Florida afforded her the
opportunity to teach middle school theatre and continue her passion for the arts in education.
Later, Aquilla moved back home to Houston and continued to impact the lives of public school students in the arts, teaching in Houston Independent School District and Aldine Independent
School District. Aquilla has led efforts to champion Aldine ISD elementary, middle and high
school fine arts scholars. Her more than 28 years of experience include elementary to
secondary levels as a classroom teacher, director, contest manager, adjudicator, and
Currently, Aquilla is employed in Aldine ISD as an Administrator with the responsibilities of
managing and supporting performing and visual arts programs, UIL academics, speech, debate, and one-act play contests.
One professional highlight is when Aquilla served as the administrative liaison between Disney® and Aldine ISD to host the high school cast reunion of the play Godspell which aired on Disney Encore, summer 2019.
No matter the title; teacher, director, contest manager, stage manager, actor, adjudicator, or
administrator, Aquilla believes that theatre is the driving force that propels you to new heights
and usher's new life into your world of innovation and imagination on and off stage.
Aquilla has one daughter who is married and is the proud “Gigi” to her three grandchildren
whom she adores, and they adore her in return.

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Elections will take place December 1-15 through Election Buddy.

The slate of nominees is below.

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Nominees biographies, photos, and video speeches

Standards and Practices: Region 1- Contest Manager Nominees

Tana Howard

I have been a director for 15 years at Sands CISD directing 30 contest shows for JH and HS OAP. Over those years I have worked the State contest nearly every year, from Teacher Honor Crew and Head Timer to Critique Host and taking on House Managing duties currently. I also serve on the UIL Advisory Committee Board. I truly enjoy not only the quality of shows but also experiencing the whole contest. I have taken my students to Regionals four times with one trip to State where we were State Runners up with Golden Boy and currently hold 10 consecutive District Titles in Junior High. Since 2013 I have Contest Managed countless contests and love serving West Texas in this capacity. In 2019 was awarded the UIL Sponsor of Excellence. My passion is theatre and this contest and I would love to be able to serve you on the Standards and Practices Committee for TTAO. Thank you for your time and consideration, stay safe out there and I hope to see you this contest season!

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Tim Tatum

I have been involved in the One Act Play world since I was in high school. I got a full scholarship from Jim Rambo and started my college career in Theatre. Marriage and children changed my path for a few years but Theatre found me again and became my career. I have taught elementary through high school, competed in One Act Play, Contest managed all over Texas, and recently certified to judge and had the pleasure of doing that and working festivals. I am directing again and plan on keeping the judging to keep me busy if I ever decide to retire. I love the whole process, I love the community of friends that I have gained through this life. Theatre folks stick together like none other! Presently I am teaching high school at Talking School for Young Women Leaders, and middle school at Dunbar College Preparatory Academy in Lubbock ISD.

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Standards and Practices: Region 1-Adjudicator Nominees

Bob Chanda

Dr. Bob Chanda is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Hub Theatre Group and former Senior
Administrator of Special Projects at Texas Tech’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and a
recipient of a PhD in Fine Arts(Theatre) at Texas Tech University. He is an experienced
actor/director both in educational and professional theatre, a UIL Critic Judge, a teacher of acting
and directing workshops and a guest judge at one-act festivals. Dr. Chanda has years of experience
judging one-acts and working with high school actors both in his capacity as a teacher of UIL
workshops and festivals, and in his role as co-owner of the nationally recognized Hub Performing Arts School.
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Kathy Harvey

B.A.: Theatre/Radio-TV: Midwestern State University

M.A.: Counseling & Education Administration.

M.A.: English: Midwestern State University

I have been a part of the one-act play process as a student, director, clinician, contest manager, and adjudicator. This year marks my 30th year as a UIL participant and I've been privileged to judge at all levels from zone to the State contest. My theatre experience includes teaching and directing junior high, high school, and community theatre. I am a former member of the Texas Theatre Adjudicator and Officials Board where I served as Treasurer from 2016-2018 and a member of TXETA. I am currently employed as an education specialist at Region 9 Education Service Center in Wichita Falls where I focus on Fine Arts, Social Studies, and Title 1 initiatives.

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Board of Directors: Chair-Elect Nominees

Ezekiel Morgan

Ezekiel Morgan has worked with UIL for more than 27 years, judging on all levels including State. Ezekiel graduated from the HSPVA in Houston and received his BA from Prairie View A & M University with an emphasis on acting/directing and a MA in Counseling and Education Leadership and MA in Theatre from Texas A&M Commerce. He studied abroad at Williams University with The Williamstown Theatre Festival. Ezekiel received several accolades in theatre from acting to directing to producing. Among the honors; Ezekiel was the Winner of the Prestigious Irene Ryan award (ACTF) Regional Winner and a Runner-Up National Winner; winning 3 out of 4 awards at the Kennedy for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. He has been a guest director for several productions in and out of the state of Texas. Ezekiel is the Founder and Artistic Director of UTAKE -1 Productions. As founder and Artistic Director he continues to strive and “Create Worlds that No one knew existed. He currently is a Theatre Professor at Blinn College-Brenham. Ezekiel served as a Committee member on the Standards and Practice of Adjudication and on the Board of Directors of TTAO under Chairpersons: Paula Rodriguez, Perry Crafton, Travis Springfield, Dr. Jerry Ivins, and Mark Pickel. Ezekiel has assisted TTAO from training new adjudicators to conducting workshops under the previous Chairpersons. Mr. Morgan's Motto is "Taking Talents to the next level of Perfection".

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Yvonne Phillips-Dupree

Yvonne J. Phillips-Dupree is a veteran of education who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from
Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA with a concentration in acting. I am currently retired from the Houston Independent School District after having dedicated many years of service. Previously, I taught theater arts at Ross Sterling Senior High School for over 20 years and competed at the U.I.L. One Act Play State Meet five times. I have directed professionally at the Encore Theater, the Ensemble Theatre and the Fade to Black Theater Festival in Houston, Texas. I am currently the President of the Board of Directors of the Shabach Enterprise Fade to Black Theater Festival and a Board Member of the Texas Theater Adjudicators and Officials Organization.
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Board of Directors: Director-At-Large Nominees

Omar Leos

Omar's career in educational theater spans over 20 years in San Antonio public schools. His OAP's have advanced to the district, area and regional levels and as the theater director at Thomas Edison High School, was a State One Act Play finalist in 2011. He believes strongly in the importance of arts education and the OAP to build the next generation of fine arts advocates. Omar also is an active theater director in San Antonio having directed in almost every theater in the city and is currently on the board of trustees for The Public Theater of San Antonio, the first Equity theater in San Antonio. He is also currently on the Board of Trustees for the North East Independent School District. Omar holds a BA in Theater and English from The University of the Incarnate Word and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Lamar University. For four years he was the Coordinator for Visual and Theater Arts for San Antonio ISD and is currently the Fine Arts Director for Harlandale ISD in San Antonio.

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Phillip Taylor

Phillip Taylor has a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from the University of Houston and a BS from The University of Texas at Austin. He is currently a doctoral candidate for the University of Houston. As a director, he advanced to the UIL One-Act Play State Meet in 2011, 2012, 2013, & 2015 winning the State Championships in 2012 and 2013. He taught high school and middle school in conferences 2A, 3A, and 4A, and 5A. He sponsored several other UIL Academic Events and coached students to the State Meet in Prose, Poetry, Persuasive Speaking, CX Debate, and the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition. He has conducted various theatre/speech workshops and OAP clinics for middle school and high school programs around the state. He also served as a TAPPS One-Act Play Regional & State Judge. He is an active member of TxETA and has served on the convention staff in previous years. He is the Co-Chair for the TxETA EDIA Task Force. Additionally, he is on the Standards and Practices Committee for TTAO and serves as the Chair for the TTAO Core Values Action Committee. Currently, as the Administrative Supervisor of Fine Arts for Austin ISD, he oversees various fine arts programs and initiatives that directly support 130 campuses.

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TTAO Connect Systems Updates

  • New statements have been added to all adjudicator agreements regarding payment:

    • TTAO requests that the school responsible for payment handle reservations and payment for travel and lodging directly with vendors (hotels, airlines, etc.).

    • TTAO requests that if any travel reimbursement needs to be distributed to the adjudicator, that the reimbursement be paid separately from judging fees for IRS income purposes.

    • If a contest is cancelled, TTAO requests that the school responsible for payment reimburse the adjudicator for all non-refundable out-of-pocket expenses that were agreed upon in the contractual agreement (hotel, airline ticket, etc.).

    • All payments should be issued to the adjudicator following the critique or no later than thirty days following the contest, unless this contractual agreement is modified to reflect the adjustments.

    • Failure to adhere to the above conditions may result in notification of the State Executive Committee.

The "Help" page has been updated with FAQs.!/help


Contest Payments

TTAO has removed the "per play" option from the judging fee and now only uses a flat fee option in contracts. The flat fee is still calculated based on the recommendation of $75/per play. If you signed a contract for less than this amount please feel free to contact your CM.

- Payment Issue Process

This was discussed during the summer board meeting and an outline of steps is available in the MOO as well as on the website under the "Issues & Grievances" tab.

The basic process is as follows:

1. If an adjudicator is not paid after 30 days or not paid fully contact the contest manager.

2. If after 7 days the contest manager does not resolve the issue or doesn’t respond the adjudicator should contact the District Executive Committee Chair or administrator responsible for payment. (Day 37)

3. If the issue is still not resolved, then the adjudicator may file a grievance with TTAO. (Day 44)

4. If the grievance is found to have merit, TTAO will send a letter (Day 51) asking for prompt payment.

5. If this does not resolve the issue, then TTAO will send a letter to all superintendents of the district and ask for prompt payment. A warning will be given that all schools in the district will be flagged for payment issues within TTAO in the following year if payment is not rendered in full. Any future invitation from any school in the district will be accompanied by a note to the prospective adjudicators that their district failed to pay fully or on-time the previous year.


Thank you and Congratulations!

Thank you to TxETA for a successful convention. The workshops and meetings were a fantastic opportunity to safely connect with members and share ideas.

Thank you to TTAO TxETA Workshop presenters. Your sessions were insightful and inspiring!

Congratulations to TTAO Members receiving awards!

TXETAEmeritus- C Lee Turner

TXETA Founders- Yvonne Phillips Dupree

TXETA Administrator- Tim Estelle

TXETA Higher Education- Adriana Dominguez

TTAO Special Award- Mandy Epley

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TTAO Adjudicator Training-Virtual


Applications are being accepted through Thursday, November 5, or until space is filled. We only have space for 20 participants. Applicants will be notified by November 12 whether or not they have been selected.

To apply, go to…


Friday, December 4

5:00-9:30 PM Classroom Training

Saturday, December 5

9:00 AM Virtual Director's Meeting

9:30 AM Virtual Shows Begin

2:00 PM (approximate) Virtual Awards and Critiques

4:00 PM (approximate) Conclusion


Eligible judges MAY NOT be involved in the direction of an official UIL One-Act play entry during the academic year in which they serve as a judge. This applies at ANY level (high school or middle school). All potential judges must submit an application to be approved for participation. Potential judges should possess the following:

Undergraduate degree in theatre* AND at least one of the following:

• 5 or more years of post-degree professional theatre experience

• 5 or more years of post-degree educational theatre experience

• and/or advanced degree in theatre

*Potential adjudicators who do not possess a degree in theatre but who have VERY significant educational theatre experience will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Q: Can I miss part of the workshop and still certify?

A: No. You must attend all parts of the certification workshop to certify. No exceptions.

Q: Who is eligible to certify?

A: Anyone who is not directing or contributing to an official UIL OAP at the high school or middle school level and has a theatre background (as described above) may apply to certify.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: There is no fee for the workshop. However, following the workshop, adjudicators will be required to pay a TTAO $50 membership fee online to activate their membership.

Q: I can't attend this workshop -- are there other opportunities?

A: Hopefully, yes. We try to hold 3 certification workshops each year. With Covid-19 restrictions, we haven't been able to definitely schedule those. Check for more info.

Q: If I have questions whom do I contact?

A: Craig Hertel:

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Join TTAO on Facebook

Did you know that TTAO is on Facebook? Join us one of our groups for the latest updates and tips related to One Act Play!

If you are an adjudicator, join us here:

If you are a contest manager, join us at the new site here:

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Upcoming Important Dates

Nov 2nd – First day to complete your District & Zone Panel

Dec 1-15- Elections through Election Buddy

Dec 4,5- Adjudicator Training

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Issues or Questions?

Contact for the fastest way to get problems alleviated.
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About Us


Our priority is theatre education for students and their teachers. Our policies serve to improve theatre training within the UIL contest framework.

We celebrate differences and include all the varied voices that represent students and the communities we serve.

We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We expect and practice personal and professional integrity.

We commit to open communication and access to information, including governing documents. This instills trust and ensures accountability.

We serve our learning community by bringing our knowledge, experience, and leadership to students and teachers through professional training that instills confidence and provides growth.


Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials, or TTAO, is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit formed in 2014

Originally founded as a standing committee of the Texas Educational Theatre Association, TTAO was previously known as Adjudicator Organization (TETAAO). The current organization is a group of theatre professionals dedicated to supporting educational theatre by training, developing and recruiting qualified adjudicators and contest managers to serve as officials for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) One Act Play contest as well as other theatrical competitions in the state of Texas.

In addition, TTAO works in partnership with the UIL State Theatre Director to review policies and procedures regarding the One Act Play contest and to recommend revisions as needed. We appreciate the support of the University Interscholastic League as well as the leadership of the Texas Educational Theatre Association.

Past Chairs

Dr. Jerry Ivins

Travis Springfield

Perry Crafton

Mark Pickell

Board of Directors

The TTAO Board of Directors is made up of 10 Members with the following roles: Chair, Chair Elect – Adjudicator Training, Past Chair – Awards, Communications Director, Treasurer, Treasurer Elect/Historian, Communications Director-Elect, and 3 Director at Large Positions.

Function of the Board of Directors

  • Review adjudicator and contest manager evaluations
  • Nominate adjudicators to UIL for area/region/state
  • Govern the non-profit’s financial expenditures
  • Conduct the general business of TTAO

Standards and Practices Committee

The Standards and Practices Committee is a standing committee of TTAO with a membership made up of contest managers and adjudicators from different regions of the state. The committee is made up of 12 total members, 4 adjudicators, 4 contest managers, and 4 at-large positions and is chaired by the chair-elect of TTAO.

Function of the Standards and Practices Committee

  • Serve as nominating committee for TTAO Board
  • Approve adjudicator candidates for certification
  • Discuss issues and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors

Board of Directors and Standards and Practices