Eligibility Criteria and Assessment Guidelines

In registering a work for consideration by the Green Room Awards, the company or individual must first establish the work’s eligibility, and then opt for consideration by one of the seven artform panels. All panels reserve the right to add and exclude the range of awards on offer for a given year, depending on the work viewed and judged across that year.

Show registrations should be submitted at least three weeks prior to your first performance.


You are eligible to be considered for a Green Room Award if your work:

  • is presented in Metropolitan Melbourne (generally within 15km of the GPO)
  • is presented by professional artists
  • offers the professional artists industry award payment, or has made a profit share arrangement where the distribution of profits is clearly defined
  • is produced by Australian artists, or produced by non-Australians engaging Australian artists where the work of the Australian artists can clearly be considered;
    Exception: Works made in Australia engaging international artists and creatives will be eligible where the respective GRA panels deem that there is a significant contribution to the work by Australians, in particular Award categories.
  • is a remounted production that has been substantially reworked, or engages new artists in key roles – or that has not been previously been considered by the Green Room Awards



The Cabaret panel views work that is musical and philosophical in its artform. This artform particularly lends itself to hybridisation, and random manifestations of fabulousness. Central to the form is the relationship between the performers/performance and the audience - there is no 'fourth wall’, or if there is, it is dismantled during the show. However, not all shows with elements of cabaret will be considered. Your show will not be considered if it is a concert or a musical. Areas commonly awarded are: performance (Ensemble, Artiste); musical direction; writing; original songs and overall production. Variety shows will be considered as long as the line up does not change substantially from night to night, and the show can demonstrate a thematic and/or formal dramaturgical intention and coherence.

The Cabaret Panel is seeking to encourage a greater diversity in the artists, groups and communities who register their performances for award consideration. Given the changes that were rendered necessary by Melbourne’s lockdown conditions in 2020, there will no longer be a minimum number of shows that must be presented for your event to be eligible. We will now accept registrations from one-off events and very short seasons as long as a video can be made available for judges who are unable to attend the event.

As of 2020, the Cabaret panel now also accepts registrations of digital presentations of substantial cabaret works driven by cabaret artists professionally within Metropolitan Melbourne. Such productions must present at least 4 public performances or be recorded and made available for the judges to view on demand. Such digital works will be considered in the context of theatre practice, evaluated against the same judging criteria as live in-theatre productions.

We encourage you to consult us if you are unsure about your eligibility, or if there are other barriers - including financial - to your registration that we may be able to address.

Finally, Cabaret artists are, and will continue, embracing and making the most of new ways to come together with audiences in a post-pandemic world. We welcome the opportunity to recognise and reward their excellence where it arises..

Contemporary & Experimental Performance (CEP)

The CEP panel views work that is interdisciplinary, unconventional and innovative. It will be work that is experimental in form, style and content including site-specific events, circus, live art, visual and physical theatre puppetry, performance installation, performance art, and digital and online performance. This panel may also view interdisciplinary work that crosses over with specific artforms covered by other panels (such as Theatre, Dance or Opera). Areas commonly awarded are performance, circus, puppetry, overall production and experimentation. The CEP panel are able to view works with only 1 public performance if enough notice is given to the panel. All works must be viewed by at least 2 panel members to be eligible for consideration.


The Dance panel views work which wholly or predominantly use dance or movement as its language of communication. Musicals and burlesque are not considered under this panel. Works can only be considered if they present at least 4 public performances and must be seen by a minimum of 3 panel members.

The Green Room Dance Panel is open to receiving Registrations of digital dance works by practitioners based in Melbourne.

Independent Theatre

The Independent Theatre panel views work that is presented by one of the broad range of independent artists, groups or companies (including small to medium companies that may have a board, but do not produce three or more seasons of work per year). Works can only be considered if they present at least 4 public performances and must be seen by a minimum of 2 panel members.

As of 2020, the Independent Theatre panel now also accepts registrations for work presented on digital platforms that is made by theatre artists who typically work professionally within Metropolitan Melbourne. Such productions must present at least 4 public performances, or be recorded and made available for the judges to view on demand. Such digital works will be considered in the context of theatre practice, evaluated against the same judging criteria as live in-theatre productions.

Music Theatre

The Music Theatre panel views work which wholly or predominantly use the disciplines of music, song and dance (or staged movement) as its language of communication. It will be work where a combination of sung and spoken dialogue drives the narrative. This panel does not consider ‘plays with music’ (in which language of communication is predominantly spoken text or dialogue). These works may be referred to the Independent Theatre Panel or the Theatre Companies Panel. Works can only be considered if they present at least 4 public performances and must be seen by a minimum of 3 panel members.

The GRAA Music Theatre panel acknowledges, and are empathic to, the inherent live performance difficulties of this pandemic period. We stand together and admire the positivity, creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity that the MT performing community have exhibited thus far. The GRAA Music Theatre Panel will embrace submissions that are either live or digital performances in 2021

Opera Panel

The Opera Panel views work that is wholly or predominantly sung with classical technique and in which singing and instrumental music drives the narrative. Performances must be seen by a minimum of 3 panel members.

Theatre Companies

The Theatre Companies panel views work which wholly or predominantly uses text-based material as its language of communication, and if it is presented by a formally constituted theatre or performance company governed by a Board of Directors or Committee of Management that produces a season of works or a new work annually. Works can only be considered if they present at least 4 public performances and must be seen by a minimum of 5 panel members.

From 2020 the Theatre Companies Panel is excited to acknowledge the extraordinary work being made by theatre companies in the digital space. Digital works submitted would be considered for eligibility on a case by case basis upon submission. Works submitted should align with the existing panel eligibility criteria. Digital works would not necessarily be considered against previously awarded categories or compared directly to ‘in-theatre’ presentations. Rather, outstanding work within this field would be assessed and acknowledged by the panel on a case by case basis.
NB: From time to time, panels may determine that a registered work is better suited for consideration by another panel. In this case a change of registration will be negotiated between the relevant Panel Chairs and communicated to the company or individual by the Green Room Awards Secretary.


Each of the Green Room Awards’ seven panels is comprised of industry specialists, artists and practitioners. The following guidelines outline how each peer assessment panel approaches and views the work that has been submitted for assessment by that panel.


The panel looks for innovative, provocative work that demonstrates authentic storytelling and is fearless in its presentation of contemporary ideas, philosophies and politics. It has been said that cabaret hates rules! We recognise that cabaret is an ever-evolving art form and that this is what makes it alive and exciting as an artform.

In our assessment, we also look for work in which:

● The performer or ensemble has a direct relationship with the audience.
● The audience’s presence is recognised and essential to the event. Cabaret breaks the fourth wall.
● Performance of or to music is an integral element. The panel considers the inclusion of music as one of cabaret’s primary energetic drivers. This may include the performance of original or interpreted song, dance, comedy, drag, burlesque and other forms with a musical focus.

Contemporary & Experimental Performance (CEP)

The panel is responsible for genres including but not limited to live art, circus, puppetry, theatre for young people or youth theatre, and experimental sound performance.

The panel looks to acknowledge outstanding practice in:

● Works which are technically outstanding.
● Works that experiment, blur or rethink the genre.
● Works that are original and forward looking, challenge the status quo, push the boundary of the relationship between performer and audience, between performance and life, and between symbol and actuality.
● Works that embrace multi and cross artform, that merge live action with animation, art installation, physical theatre, puppetry, and/or use fresh spaces, forms and structures.


The panel looks primarily at artistic merit in its assessment including the:

● Artistic and conceptual rigour of the registered work, as a whole and in terms of its individual elements.
● Execution of the work as a whole.
● Power of the ideas the work expresses,
● Execution and craft of the choreography, design and its performance, taking into consideration the context and resources available to the artists.

Secondary criteria
In addition to the above primary criteria, the panel can take into consideration:

Whether a production, or any of its individual elements, makes a significant contribution in terms of innovation, i.e. use of form/scale/technical achievement.
Whether a production achieves a significant outcome in regard to audience engagement, i.e. attract a particularly broad audience and or positively promote dance as an art form.
Whether a production demonstrates a significant contribution to the diversity of dance practice in Melbourne, both artistically and culturally.

Independent Theatre

The panel considers the following broad criteria when viewing work:

Is the work bold, inventive and courageous? Does it strive to illuminate something bigger than itself?
Realisation (the creation of the work)
Are the elements of the work brought to vivid life, regardless of the resources at the artists’ disposal?
Does the work speak to the here and now? Does it endure?
Cohesion (the integration of all aspects of the work)
Do the creative and technical elements contribute to the work as a whole?
Craft (the skill with which the work is brought to life)
Is this a work in which the artists’ skills are applied with rigor, integrity, and dexterity?

Music Theatre

The panel is committed to seeking out excellence across all disciplines charged with telling the story of the production submitted for consideration. The panel wants to be transported, excited and moved by the Music Theatre artform and all its contributing elements. The panel looks for excellence in casting/hiring, cohesion of unified idea, skill, innovation, vision and realisation, ‘hidden’ achievements, and use of technologies.

Questions the panel ask in our deliberations may be (but are not limited to):?

● Are all disciplines working towards a singular vision for the piece being considered?
● Does the production include the audience as ‘the other person in the room’?
● Do all disciplines deliver excellent, warranted contributions to the story being told?
● What is the story’s currency? Is it relevant to our times? Is it relevant as a piece of Music Theatre History? Should it be a musical?
● Has the production of the work advanced the form?
● Has a new Music Theatre audience been encouraged and nurtured?

The panel acknowledges:

● That much of the Music Theatre repertoire has been written overseas (sometimes many decades ago). The panel appreciates that these works are part of the foundation lexicon of the Music Theatre repertoire.
● That some productions (new or old) are ‘bought’ with the International creatives and concepts as part of an entire franchise package.
● That much product has been built (at the creative level) with entirely Australian practitioners.

The Music Theatre Panel, 2019 and beyond, is committed to being challenged by the variety of product presented to us. The Panel will ‘morph with the form’. Our categories for nomination will reflect those changes. Every year is unique.

Opera Panel

The panel use the following criteria when assessing outstanding practice:

● Tone, weight of voice, projection, diction, flexibility, accuracy of language.
● Musicality (including accuracy, ensemble, pitch, adaptability, creativity).
● Acting: Intention, movement, interpretation (especially if the performer brings something new to the role), dedication to the role or the director’s vision.
● The weight given to any of these criteria will change depending on the role. Sheer vocal splendour can sometimes overcome acting subtleties and vice versa.

● Is the design successful? Does it add to the production? Does it bring something new to the work? Is there consistency? Does the design work with the music or perhaps cleverly subvert it?
● Does the design feature clever decisions to help get around budget restrictions? Is there design innovation or originality?

● Does the direction work? Is the story told clearly and effectively? Are singers able to sing in the right direction and be heard? Do lovers in love duets look like they are in love? Do the chorus actions match the text?
● Does the direction work with and enhance the music?
● Does the direction bring anything new to the work? How has the director dealt with dated or misogynist elements in the work?
● How has the director overcome budget restrictions?

● Accuracy, ensemble, balance, allowing singers to sing at their best, beauty of sound.
● Is the interpretation musically successful? Does the conductor bring something new to the score?
● Does the conducting match the production? How is the singing of the chorus (tone, diction, language and cut-offs)?

● Does the production succeed in as many of the above categories as possible?
● Was the overall effect a powerful and moving night in the theatre?
● Did the company do the best they could with the resources at hand?

Theatre Companies

The panel looks for qualities in each production that strike us as outstanding in the field. These can include but are not limited to:
● Depth of skill
● Innovation of form or ideas
● Execution of detail
● Originality of interpretation
● Breadth of vision
● Complexity of the task
● Engagement with audience
● Collaborative cohesion.


At every quarterly meeting the panel discusses each show and creates a longlist of recommendations. This ensures that shows seen early in the year are given the same consideration as ones that occur closer to the time of selecting final nominations. All nominations are considered though a process of round-table discussion.