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Column Awards Eligibility Guidelines

Show Classification

THE COLUMN Awards are divided into two distinct classifications, Equity and Non-Equity.

To be eligible for EQUITY classification, the production must have at least one (1) Actor's Equity Association contract. The contract can be either acting or technical contact (i.e. Stage Manager).

If there are NO Equity contracts and NO equity performers in the production-then that production will be listed in the NON EQUITY classification.

The Column Awards selected the distinction in an effort to honor ALL theater companies. The Column Awards Board of Directors and Executive Director strongly believe that the same passion, dedication and commitment goes into both classifications of shows. Thus we strive to include and honor our smaller companies as well, not just the larger Theater companies.


Voting Eligibility

ONLY people who are registered subscribers to THE COLUMN are eligible to vote. NO EXCEPTIONS. Yearly deadline for the following year's award is Dec. 1. Our internal system shows everyone's "official" date they joined THE COLUMN. This guideline helps reduce fraudulent use of voting rights.


Nomination Eligibility

Any Theater Company in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is eligible if the following guidelines have been met:

  1. The production must be performed within a calendar year (Jan. 1 Dec. 31) of the Awards year. A production opening on Dec. 31 is eligible for THAT years awards, NOT the upcoming year. i.e. show opens Dec. 31, 2010, it's eligible for the awards in 2010.
  2. The production must run in the theatre companies regular season. It CANNOT be performed as a part of a festival, stage reading, special series, benefit shows, or one night only events.
  3. The production must run at least five public performances.
  4. The production MUST be listed as part of the theatre companies season including, websites, brochures, and other assorted publicity material. These tools are used as verification by THE COLUMN Awards Board of Directors and the Executive Director.

All the above has been cleared and verified by the Board of Directors for this year's eligible productions. During these last six months, theater liaisons have been in constant contact with their appointed theater companies.

The person at the Theatre be it the Artistic Directors, Producers and/or Director assign ALL eligible performers/designers/production staff in categories on the ballot.

These people had SOLE control of where to put down individual performances. The Board of Directors and Executive Director have NO SAY.

However, in productions with large casts (i.e. ensembles), not everyone should be listed. In reference to ensemble / chorus members, the Artistic Director, Producer and/or Director decides which (if any) ensemble members are eligible in the "Featured" categories.

Ballots not turned in by the yearly deadline results in that Production and/or Theater Company not allowed participation in that years THE COLUMN Awards


Original Costume Design Eligibility

Whereas the purpose of the Original Costume Design category is to honor the artistry and work of the designers for that specific production, to be eligible, 90% of the designs must have been built for or specifically designed for said production. Productions which rent entire costume plots will not be eligible in this category.


Original Scenic Design Eligibility

Whereas the purpose of the Original Scenic Design category is to honor the artistry and work of the designers for that specific production, to be eligible, 90% of the designs must have been built for or specifically designed for said production. Productions which rent entire sets from design/rental houses will not be eligible in this category. 


Special Awards

The Column Awards gives out special awards each year to celebrate greatness in the DFW theater community. Awards in volunteer service, youth, and to those that continue on in difficult situations. Click here for more information about these special awards and elegibility requirements.


Educational Theatre Eligibility

The Column Awards respects the training Colleges and Universities provide and believes competition at that level distracts from the emphasis of training.

The Column Awards encourages Colleges and Universities to participate in the American College Theatre Festival.


Children's Theatre Eligibility

The Column Awards respects the training Children and Youth Theatre provide and believes competition at that level distracts from the emphasis of training.

The Column Awards encourages High Schools to participate in the University Interscholastic League of Texas.

Theatres producing shows using youth / child actors as an extension of a school or training program are NOT eligible to be on the Ballot.

Professional Theatres producing works for young audiences using adult actors are eligible.


Mainstage / Secondary space

All shows produced by a theatre company should meet the 5 performance guideline to be placed on the Ballot. If a theatre has a secondary space and produces shows in that space for the required 5 performances, it is eligible under the primary theatres name or a new name for the secondary space.


Puppet Theatre

The Column Awards believes Puppet Theatre to be a respected and viable form of entertainment. For purposes of The Column Awards, productions using puppets must have actors onstage and seen manipulating the puppet to be considered a production eligible for placement on the Ballot.



Productions that are revived must have a 7 year waiting period, from first production, before the show is eligible for placement on the ballot. Shows that are revived are NOT eligible until the 8th year of production (as a point of clarification, this includes Christmas shows.) A revival, for purposes of this guideline, is defined as a show produced by the theatre with the same OR different cast or production staff.


Original Musical / Play with Music differentiation

Shows considered to be Original Musicals must meet ALL the following requirements. Should ALL requirements are not be met, the show becomes eligible in the Play category.

  1. Original Musicals must have six (6) or more original songs / numbers specifically written for the book of said musical. Three (3) of the songs must be solos specifically composed to express emotions / subtext / characterization of one of the roles within the piece.
  2. Original Musicals CANNOT contain songs / number s from previously published or composed musicals including but not limited to Music Catalogues from recording artists. All songs / numbers must have been specifically composed for the piece.
  3. Original Musicals must have six (6) or more choreographed dance numbers, INCLUDING two (2) solos and two (2) full company numbers. All dance numbers must be specifically created solely for the piece.
  4. Original Musicals must meet the five (5) performance requirement established for all shows for eligibility. Show styles NOT considered Original Musicals include but are not limited to: Dance Concerts, Dance Recitals, student directed shows / projects, benefits / fundraisers, concerts or musical workshops.
  5. Original Musicals for consideration for placement on the ballot must be attended by at least one (1) member of The Column Awards Board of Directors for verification of eligibility. Should no member of the Board of Directors attend a performance, the theatre has the right to produce a DVD / Video copy of the piece for review by the Board of Directors. Deadline for receipt will be the first day of December (Dec. 1.) A decision to the theatre will be made no less than 2 weeks from receipt of copy.



NO. That is a DEFINITE no. Not a single person that serves on the Board of Directors OR the Executive Director/Producer has ANY access whatso -ever into the official voting ballot. We are very determined to keep your voting PRIVATE. So again-they have NO access into the system to see how you or anyone else voted.

Everyone is assigned a "voting code" when voting-which means your actual name or email address is NOT visible whatsoever when voting.

Thus your voting selections are kept completely confidential.



ROUND ONE voting is when every ELIGIBLE name, show, etc. is listed on the ballot. It's the first ballot that contains EVERY actor, designer, show, etc. that was provided by the Theater Companies.

The ballot for ROUND ONE is lengthy due to the overwhelming array of choices you have to choose from. So be prepared.

After the cut off date for ROUND ONE VOTING concludes, that weekend the Ballot Design team will tabulate ALL the votes.

The SIX (6) individuals, shows, etc. in EACH category that has the HIGHEST amount of votes will then become OFFICIAL nominees for the 2008 Column Awards.

It's just like the Academy Awards. They get a ballot in the mail with all the eligible films, performances, etc. for the 2006-07 calendar year. They vote on that ballot. Then Price-Waterhouse Accounting firm
will tabulate those ballots, and the five individuals/movies, etc. that have the highest amount of votes become the final five nominees for the Oscar. THE COLUMN Awards are the same.

At this point the Tabulating team will meet with the Executive Director/Producer and two Board of Directors in a closed meeting to let them know who the final nominees are are.