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  • Why doesn’t BIPAC consider shows in Georgetown / Wimberley / Buda / Pflugerville / Manor / Elgin / Lakeway / Salado / etc?
    As an all-volunteer organization, we just don’t have enough people to cover all of the incredible work happening in the surrounding cities. Years ago, we set the Austin city limits as our boundary. This ensures that our group is able to provide the coverage we require internally.
  • It seems like the winners are just a popularity contest, and BIPAC sees everything. Why don’t you just vote for the winners?
    We feel pretty strongly that the community be involved in selecting the winners for one very sneaky reason: we think it encourages people to get out and see more theatre. Scrolling through the ballot and not being able to vote on much makes it really clear that there’s an abundance of excellent work being produced, and is a gentle nudge to support more live theatre. If you produce theatre, it’s easy to put your head down in your work in your silos and lose sight of the greater community. Even if you’re not able to see more work, the act of reading through the names of other organizations brings a greater sense of community. Currently, winners are determined by averaging the votes of the BIPAC Council Members with the votes of the public. We've found that this ensures that productions with smaller houses that are beloved by the Council have a chance of winning regardless of "popularity."
  • How do you ensure that the nominations are impartial?
    We begin by recruiting a diverse group of passionate Adjudicators. If you’ve ever tried to get thirty passionate artists to agree on one thing, you know that consensus is hard-won. We also employ a strict conflict of interest policy. Should a Council Member have a conflict of interest in an eligible production, they must leave the room during any discussion on that production, and may not vote for them in any way. BIPAC defines a conflict of interest as being nominable for the production, drawing a paycheck from the production or the producing company, or sharing a roof, blood, or bed with anyone nominable for a production.
  • What else does BIPAC do?
    We routinely host city-wide cast parties for the express purpose of providing opportunities for the community at large to meet each other and break down the silos into which our community may have aligned themselves. We encourage everyone to attend these events, and, if you’re interested in meeting new people, approach any BIPAC member and ask to be introduced around. Our members attend these functions with the goal of introducing community members who may have similar interests. We do our best not to duplicate the services of other wonderful organizations in Austin, including our friends at ATX Theatre and Austin Creative Alliance, but support them whenever we can.
  • How do I get a ballot?
    Everyone on our mailing list at midnight on August 31st will receive a ballot for that year. You can join our mailing list from the bottom of any page on this website.
  • What are the eligibility requirements to get my show considered for a BIPAC award?
    In order to be eligible, productions must be submitted at Additionally, productions must: Have a minimum of six public performances at time of submission (four for improv shows) Include a majority of Austin-based artists Not have been produced by that production company within the last five years Include performed narrative elements Agree to abide by The Minimum Standard of Care and Artists Bill of Rights
  • What is the process for getting onto the ballot?
    The Council meets once monthly to discuss all the productions that have closed since the previous meeting. Those meetings are organized as follows: Each production is discussed by members who saw it. Any member with a conflict of interest is required to leave the room prior to discussion. Discussion is limited to outstanding elements only, with negative discussion only permitted if an individual council member has specific training or background in a particular element being put forward as outstanding, and that discussion is limited to technical issues only. Members who saw the production nominate elements for addition to the Short List. If seconded, those items go onto a ballot that is circulated among members for voting and inclusion on the Short List. At the end of the year, Members come together for an hours-long Balloting Meeting to reduce the Short List (which, by the end of the year, is rarely very short) to the ballot. Prior to attending the meeting, Members vote on the short list to set a pre-meeting Ballot.
  • How do I become a BIPAC Member?
    We recruit for new nomination committee council members in June of every year, and hold interviews in July and train our incoming members in late July and throughout the month of August. Membership is open to anyone willing to volunteer their time in support of Austin theatre, though we prioritize folks who have specific experience in technical aspects of theatre, hold advanced degrees in theatre, or who come from traditionally marginalized groups.
  • What can I expect as a BIPAC member?
    BIPAC members commit to seeing an average of one show per week, and we meet once-monthly to discuss and nominate elements from all the submitted shows that have closed since our last meeting. In total, this translates to an average of ten volunteer hours per month, and one final balloting meeting that typically lasts around 8 hours.
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