Theatre Under the Stars


Tommy Tune Award Mentors are an approved panel of qualified performing arts professionals assembled to adjudicate participating schools. Mentors are selected due to their extensive backgrounds in professional theatre arts (performance, direction, dance, design, dramaturgy, arts administration, arts education, etc.) and their desire to positively impact the Houston community. 

pROCESS (In brief):

Each school is adjudicated by a team of volunteer mentors. School productions are evaluated based on a 100-point scale rubric with emphasis on enhancing student experience, education, growth and overall artistic development. Scores are tallied and audited by an outside vendor with top scoring participants receiving nominations for the Tommy Tune Award production in the Spring.  The adjudication process runs October through March, and each mentor is expected to evaluate at least three (3) school productions based on availability. 


Mentors are evaluating the singular production witnessed without any previous expectations. Mentors are not comparing schools, but rather challenging schools to take steps forward in their artistic development. 


  • Mentors should be developmentally focused, fair,¬†supportive and¬†collaborative with a desire to enhance the educational value of arts education in Houston.
  • Proficiently experienced in professional theatre, performance, direction, dance, design, dramaturgy, arts administration, arts education, etc.¬†
  • Strong communication skills – verbal and written.
  • Evaluate at least three (3) school performances, if not more.¬†
  • May not be staff and/or family members of Theatre Under¬†The¬†Stars.
  • Must not have been an educator at a TTA school for at least two (2) years.¬†
  • Must attend mandatory¬†meetings.¬†¬†
    • September 15, 2021 (Virtual, Time: TBC)¬†
    • May 11, 2022 (Virtual, Time:¬†TBC)¬†

To Apply Click the Following Link:


What is expected of mentors?

Mentors will receive an email each performance week with specific information concerning the upcoming production(s) to be evaluated. information includes:

  • Participants to be evaluated¬†with contact¬†information.
  • School performance details¬†
  • Scoring¬†rubric link¬†
  • Link to the¬†evaluation form¬†
  • Any other pertinent details¬†(parking, directions, etc.)¬†
  • Mentor contact information¬†

Mentors will review scoring rubric and adjudication form.

If unfamiliar with the upcoming production, research the show prior for a better understanding of what to expect.

Note: Schools are not to be evaluated based on how close their production and performances are to the original production, the movie, and/or other regional productions.  

Mentors should make sure the Mentor Contact Sheet is easily accessible in case you are running late on the day of the show.  Check and re-check your addresses and routes!  

Performance DAY:

Please attempt to arrive 15-20 minutes prior to curtain. Plan accordingly. Running late? Notify your fellow mentors. Lost? Notify fellow mentors and school’s liaison. 

Upon arrival, please find the Liaison at the designated location. Liaison will escort Mentors to the Holding Room (depending on time) or to their reserved seats. 

When seated in the auditorium, take a quick look around. Schools will likely seat you near the most exuberant cheerleaders. Be aware, they are watching you.

Representative: While at the schools, you serve as a representative of the TTA.  

  • No alcoholic beverages allowed inside high school productions.¬†
  • Dress appropriately to be in a space with students and families.¬†
  • Please be mindful of how you act with students, directors, etc.¬†¬†

If there is any interrogation to who you are or why you are a TTA Mentor, please direct people to or


Evaluation forms can be easily accessed on your phone, tablet, or personal computer. Please do not access form during the performance. 

Before discussions begin, ensure space’s privacy. The Liaison should be outside of the room. 

Directors may come into the room to introduce themselves. If there is a question in the Holding Room, please request that the Liaison find the Director/Music Director. 

The Admin’s role is to help move the conversation along, keep time, and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Each Admin has their own style, but the outcome should be the same: a fair, cohesive score for each category.

  • All¬†Mentors¬†in the room must agree on which students they are adjudicating. Discrepancies will be thrown out at audit time.
  • All¬†evaluations¬†must be within 20 points of each other on each category. Discrepancies will be addressed by the Tommy Tune Awards team.¬†

Scoring and Comments:

Step 1Start with the category.Outstanding Performer
Step 2Begin with the first area of adjudication.Acting/Characterization / Technique  
Step 3Select Rubric ‚ÄúBox‚ÄĚ is appropriate for this score.¬†Student‚Äôs performance was excellent, except for one area, which¬†could be improved. The choice would overwhelmingly be ‚ÄúExcellent.‚Ä̬†
Step 4Determine what the score is within the box (see the RUBRIC for details).¬†The ‚ÄúExcellent‚ÄĚ box is scores¬†86-100. Make sure score is evaluating the same category as other¬†mentors¬†and that scores are within 20 points of each other.¬†¬†

Things to remember when viewing and evaluating a Tommy Tune Show:  

  • It is¬†about the High School.¬†Mentoring¬†is¬†about bringing everything that you have learned through your¬†own artistic journey¬†to¬†pass on to¬†students and educators.¬†
  • Look carefully:¬†Extensive¬†budget does not necessarily mean effective storytelling.¬†¬†
  • Be aware:¬†Schools go through a¬†lot¬†to put on a production, especially a musical. Be honest and¬†supportive¬†in your comments–choose words wisely.¬†Err on kindness.
  • Five minutes, Five miles.¬†Outside of the Holding Room, please do not talk about a production until you are five minutes or five miles away.¬†¬†
  • You are there for a reason.¬†You know what¬†you are¬†talking about. If you¬†do not, ask. If you feel uncomfortable, tell us. If there is an issue, communicate as quickly and effectively as possible.¬†¬†