Terms and Conditions

    1. Fees are always a matter for negotiation between the festival organizer and an adjudicator. The fees provide for a public and private adjudication. Should a written report be required by a group an additional fee should be paid.
  • Fees for additional activities (e.g. playwriting competitions, school competitions, etc.) shall be a matter for agreement between an adjudicator and the festival. For information on current recommended minimum fees contact the secretary.
  • Fees for finals are a matter of negotiation, or agreement, with the Festival Committee.
  • Rail and other travelling expenses and subsistence are to be paid. The current travel expense rate is 40 cent per kilometre.
  • Any free night during the festival (e.g. a bingo night) shall be paid for at a fee to be negotiated, subject to a minimum retainer fee of not less than 50% of the adjudicator’s agreed nightly rate.
  • If a festival for which an adjudicator has been engaged is cancelled, the agreed fee is payable to the adjudicator.
  • If an adjudicator has to cancel an engagement, the ADA shall suggest an alternative adjudicator.
  • The association views with disapproval a practice adopted by a small number of festivals of inviting a number of adjudicators to tender for an engagement. Members should respond to such invitations with the information that only a firm invitation to adjudicate can be considered.
  1. Members should request that festival organisers print the words ADA after the name of the adjudicator on posters, programmes, press releases and all promotional material relating to the festival.
  2. All arrangements agreed between a festival and an adjudicator shall be confirmed in writing by both parties.
  3. Members of the association are not permitted to advertise, or solicit, engagements by any means.
  4. Members shall undertake to observe all the rules and conditions under which a particular festival is held. Members should ask festival organisers to provide them with a copy of the relevant rules.
  5. It is the duty of a member where personal interest might be considered to bias judgement to give this information at once to the organisers of the festival.
  6. No member shall be associated with any amateur drama group in any way that might result in a conflict of interest as an adjudicator.
  7. Members should tailor the length of the public adjudication to the time requested by the festival organisers. The private adjudication should last for about 45 minutes for a full-length play and 10 minutes for a one-act play.
  8. While each adjudicator’s style is distinctive, the public adjudication should be structured along the following lines:
    • The play and author
    • Presentation/set, lighting, sound, costumes and makeup
    • Production
    • Acting
    • Summing up
  9. Festival committees may occasionally feel that an adjudicator has given cause for complaint. They are invited to make an official complaint to the association IMMEDIATELY so that the matter may be investigated in the interests of the festival, the adjudicator, and the ADA. Complains will only be accepted from festival committees or through the ADCI, AUDF, or the DLI. It should be appreciated that it is very difficult to deal with delayed complaints.
  10. No member of the association may accept any engagement for adjudication on less than these minimum terms and conditions. In the event of such an offer of engagement being made to a member, it should be referred to the executive committee. The permission of the committee for any departure therefrom shall only be given in exceptional circumstances.


Details of the conditions of engagement are covered in the previous section. However, organisers, particularly those setting up a new festival, or those new to festival organisation, will find the following notes helpful.

  • Organisers of festivals are asked to print “ADA” after the name of the adjudicator on posters, programmes, press releases and all promotional material relating to the festival.
  • Adjudicators appreciate being met on arrival and it is helpful if a member of the committee is appointed to liaise with the adjudicator throughout the festival, in order to see to any requirements which may arise: such as conducting them onto the stage for the public adjudication, introducing them to the director or leader of the group after the performance, and arranging for the adjudicator to inspect the stage and the lighting and sound equipment before the first performance.
  • The adjudicator must have complete copies of the plays (showing clearly any cuts or additions a group may propose to make to the text) at least two weeks in advance of the festival. In order to comply with ADCI and AUDF rules, photocopies of plays in print and available are not acceptable. Photocopies are acceptable for unpublished plays and for plays out of print. It is essential in all cases that all pages including the frontispiece be included. The adjudicator will return scripts to groups during the private adjudications, or on the final night of the festival.
  • The adjudicator’s seat should have an uninterrupted view of the stage, be provided with a table that allows sufficient room on which to work and accommodate papers, have a shaded light that can be easily turned on and off without distracting players or audience (a torch is not acceptable); ideally, a seat should be left vacant on either side of the adjudicator to avoid crowding and afford the adjudicator some privacy.
  • A programme should be provided and adjudicators should be advised of any changes to the cast of any production before its performance (All Festivals), or the running order of plays (One Act Festivals).
  • A list of awards should be provided on the first night of the festival at the latest.
  • The adjudicator should be provided with an official marking sheet and a copy of the rules under which the festival is being run.
  • Hotel Accommodation with Breakfast and an Evening Meal should be arranged for the adjudicator reasonably near the festival venue. If there is no hotel within reasonable distance of the venue other suitable accommodation may be arranged. It should be appreciated that the adjudicator both lives and works in the hotel room for the duration of the festival, so it is necessary that the room be adequately heated, equipped with a work table and desk lamp, and electrical points for word processors, etc. Arrangements should also be made for the adjudicator to have a meal on arrival.
  • Most adjudicators are happy to be interviewed on local radio about the festival – as long as it is not too early in the morning!
  • Groups rarely request written reports. However, should they be required, a fee must be paid to the adjudicator. It is the festival’s responsibility to collect this from the group and pay it to the adjudicator.
  • If there are extra activities associated with the festival such as play-reading competitions, schools festivals, etc, fees for these are a matter of negotiation between the festival and the adjudicator.