Voter 101 and Frequently Asked Questions

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Applications to be an Ovation Voter are currently open and close May 17th at noon!

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions and Voter 101.

An Ovation Voter is one member of a pool of approximately 275 LA theatre artists each year that collectively vote on which shows and artists should be recognized.

The Ovation Awards, are the only peer-judged awards program for theatrical excellence in greater Los Angeles. This is important because it is working theatre artists of LA voting on what they think is theatrical excellence in Los Angeles.

Voters see shows throughout the season and score the artistic elements.

As a voter you need to see a minimum of 15 shows from 15 different theatre companies in Los Angeles (you can’t go to the same theatre company 15 times). While this seems like a lot, it’s only about 1 show a month, which most of us do anyway. And keep in mind…the individual tickets are free!

After you see the show, you vote on it online. At the end of the season, all the scores are gathered and tabulated to determine which artists, shows and companies win Ovation Awards.

Simply stated: You see an Ovation eligible show, you vote on it. Repeat a minimum of 15 times.

Voters do NOT publicly score or review shows, they are not critics or reviewers, and cannot discuss their scores with other voters. This is because these scores are meant to be anonymous and authentic, not influenced by outside parties. They are also NOT allowed to vote on shows from companies they are involved with, or shows they worked on (because that’s just biased).

Your voice matters. Through your vote, you get to be part of the body of people that determine excellence in LA Theatre. You also get to meet other Voters and be part of a community that cares deeply about LA Theatre.

Plus, you get to go to the black-tie culminating event: the Ovation Awards (another free ticket).

There are a few qualifications and a pretty easy application process.

  1. Have you worked in greater LA theatre for at least 3 years?
  2. Are you currently working in LA theatre?

Great! Then go ahead and fill out the application.


Part 1- Name and Theatrical Resume (to show you’ve worked in LA theatre for at least 3 years)

Please have a current resume – it is important we see you currently work in LA theatre.

Part 2- Practice scoring exercise.

For this exercise we want to see that you can think critically about theatre, understand our scoring system, and you are comfortable giving numerical ratings to art.


You will be voting on an Ovation eligible show that you saw this year, or one that is currently open. Keep the program and be ready to discuss what you liked or didn’t like about the show. We highly recommend that you see a show that you did not love 100% so we can see how you articulate your likes and dislikes for a show. The only people who will see these scores and comments are the person processing the application (LASA Staff) and the few members of the Ovation Rules Committee that potentially interview you (more on this later).



After you apply, the Ovation Rules Committee (a team of 10-13 volunteers that help oversee the Ovations program) will review your application. You will either be brought in for an interview, or asked to apply again next year.  After your interview you will be either accepted as a voter, or asked to apply again next year. Interviews start in late May.

Congratulations!  The next steps are what we call the Voter Activation Process. This happens in July through August and includes:

  • Attending a mandatory orientation meeting (there will be several to choose from throughout parts of LA).
  • Submitting a completed code of conduct (signed at the orientation meeting).
  • Completing an online tutorial (easy little quiz to make sure you paid attention).
  • Pay the annual voter fee of $100

Well, this is a massive annual undertaking that is important to the community. Your fees, and the registration fees paid by producers, help us defray some of cost of the program but nowhere near all of them. Remember that some of the benefits to you are that you get hundreds of dollars’ worth of free theatre tickets, meet other members of the LA theatre community, and go to the Ovation Awards for free.

Voters apply their first year, second year, and then every three years. If you are a first-time voter this year, you will apply again next year, then you will apply again three years later.


Any other questions? Email

Michaela Bulkley

Michaela Bulkley

Michaela is unapologetically passionate about building the performing arts community and culture to be more sustainable. Her BA in Theatre Producing, Masters in Nonprofit Management, and experience in marketing and arts management, all perfectly align in her dream job of working at LA STAGE Alliance. To learn more about her adventures in arts admin follower her on Instagram: @michaela.bulkley