New system could mean more winners for Po'okela Awards
There will be at least two winners per category, and possibly as many as six, when the Hawaii State Theatre Council announces the winners of the 2006 Po'okela Awards Monday.
2006 Po'okela Awards
On stage: 7 p.m. Monday
Place: Koolau Golf Club ballroom, Kaneohe
Tickets: $40, includes dinner
Call: 733-0277, ext. 306
The popular but controversial awards, created in 1983 to recognize excellence in local theater, were put on hiatus in 2004 as the theater council's board grappled with several long-simmering controversies.
Adjudication resumed at the start of the theater season last August after several significant changes were made:
» The old system had five adjudicators, and each was expected to see every show on the schedule. The new system uses three adjudicators, and each may skip up to 25 percent of the shows.
» Under the old system, each adjudicator could nominate up to five finalists per category. Those with the most nominations became the official finalists, and a maximum of three winners would be selected from those final five. Under the new system, each adjudicator selects two Po'okela winners in each category.
» This means there will be at least two winners in every category, and a potential maximum of six. The old system allowed as many as three winners per category, but in recent years there were single winners in about half.
Theater council President Tom Holowach, who inherited both the controversy and the new system from his predecessors, describes the program as "a grand experiment."
"We'll do it like this once, then see what we need to adjust," he wrote in response to a list of questions.
All of the local stage productions eligible for Po'okela Awards were viewed by at least two of the three adjudicators -- Lee Ann Bowman, Jim Connors and Kathy Macdonald -- who will select the award winners, Hollowach said.
Adjudication of shows on the neighbor islands will resume when the theater council is able to form resident adjudicator groups on each island.
Ticket sales for Monday's awards show have been hampered by the fact that there is no list of finalists to announce, Holowach said. The old system resulted in some expectant finalists going home without a "Pokie," but ensured that most of the finalists and their supporters were there in force. This year's finalists will not even know who they are until Monday night.
Fortunately, it is not necessary to be present to win.
Monday, July 31, 2006
» All of the local stage productions eligible for Po'okela Awards were viewed by at least two of the three adjudicators who will select the award winners, Tom Hollowach, president of the Hawaii State Theatre Council, said. An article on Page D1 Friday provided incorrect information regarding whether all of the productions would be judged.