Saturday, November 30th is adjudication night for KWLT's production of The December Man (l'homme de décembre). If you're new to KWLT, that sentence might raise several questions: what's a WODL? What's adjudication? Let's talk about those.
What is adjudication?
A play adjudication is a structured critique of the play. The adjudicator who delivers it is generally an expert: someone who has worked in multiple aspects of theatre for a while, and hence has some standing to ground their critiques.
What kind of things does the adjudicator talk about?
The adjudicator will look at all aspects of the production — direction, acting, and the various technical departments — and give some thoughts on each. Their focus is generally on the choices that were made, and how effective they are: both whether they work theatrically and how well they support each other and the overall themes of the show.
So the adjudication is just a lecture?
Not usually! Most adjudicators like to engage in dialogue with the members of the production, to delve more deeply into the choices they've made.
How long does this take?
Adjudications usually have two parts. The public adjudication happens immediately after the show ends, while the audience is still in their seats. This phase is fairly brief (five, maybe ten minutes) and mostly consists of the adjudicator talking about their overall impressions. Then the audience leaves, and the members of the production stay for their private adjudication. This part can go on for much longer, depending on how deeply the adjudicator and the production members want to go.
How much does the adjudicator know about the play going into the evening?
The adjudicator has been provided with a copy of the play, which they will have read and researched. They're not expected to be familiar with the actors, set design, etc. in advance.
Who is the adjudicator for this production?
Mark Mooney is the WODL travelling adjudicator for 2019-20.
Wait, what's WODL again?
WODL stands for the Western Ontario Drama League. This is an organization whose members are Ontario community theatres south and west of Toronto, including KWLT. Among other things, WODL puts on a festival each year in March; they invite five productions from WODL members to perform for one night each, with awards given out at the end. These plays are selected through the adjudication process.
So The December Man might get invited to a festival?
No! WODL offers two types of adjudications: in-festival for productions that want to be considered for a festival invitation, and out-of-festival for those that don't. The December Man (l'homme de décembre) has been submitted for out-of-festival adjudication; KWLT's next production East of Berlin will have their in-festival adjudication on February 8th, 2020, and will be in the running for an invitation to the 2020 WODL Festival in Cambridge.
Then what's the point?
For one thing, the travelling adjudicator also gets to give out awards; some are available to all adjudicated productions, while for others only non-festival productions (including in-festival plays that weren't selected) are eligible. So The December Man (lk'homme de décembre) will be eligible for these awards. But the adjudication is also valuable in and of itself: expert feedback on the production helps our members refine their craft and grow as artists.
Can I still get tickets to the adjudicated show?
Yes! Tickets for all six remaining performances are still available. Buy yours now!