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As a collegian, I hear at least once a week that these are "the best times of my life." Aunts, uncles, friends, coworkers, professors, even strangers all tell me that the next four (well... I am in denial that a month from now I will only have three left) years of my life will be superlative, unparalleled, and will completely transcend the rest of my life. Typically, this statement makes me a little queezy to think that the best of times are swiftly passing me, but after being at National Arts Advocacy this past weekend I am finally at ease with this statement. One weekend in D.C. with almost 600 other arts advocates helped me disprove this statement, but...
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Welcome to Las Vegas! Where if you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free be free. I had the privilege of spending four days at the Nevada Thespian Conference held at Silverado High School this past week. From "The Addam's Family" to an All-State-performed original opening number, Nevada Thespians were ALIVE and extraordinary. On Wednesday I arrived and helped organize the festival for the big start day on Thursday. This involved a leadership dinner with the fourteen STO candidates and setup for the many, many individual and group events that would occur throughout the festival. To kick off conference on Thursday,...
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The opportunity to attend arts advocacy day this year as presented to me by EdTA and the Hawkins Award is both humbling and energizing. I sat back to rest after a rehearsal in February, and decided to write an essay to be considered as a Hawkins Award contestant. The decision to write this seemed like a long shot, but paid off in the best possible way. Soon, I was notified that I was a winner of this grant, and that I had opportunity to represent my state at National Arts Advocacy Day. This was exciting and terrifying at the same time. I knew I would love to travel and learn from the trip, but also knew that I may not be the strongest advocate in the...
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#AAD15 "Advocacy must be a part of your daily mission," words spoken by Jay Dick the Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs from Americans for the Arts ( AFTA ) in the opening of this year's Arts Advocacy Day. With over 550 advocates from 48 states it was great to see so many people passionate about advocating for the arts. Being able to take this opportunity to travel to Washington D.C., speak with our government officials and advocate for the arts was such a great experience in learning why I love doing what I do as well as continuing to fight to have the next generation to have the same opportunities that I was given. Even though...
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Jo Strom Lane Arts Advocacy Day 2015 BLOG Waiting in the line for the Americans for the Arts conference check-in, a sea of faces represent everything from museums and grant makers to the recording industry and writers, public media and arts agencies to education and publishers. Recognizable national theatre agencies include SAG/AFTRA, TCG, IATSE, AEA, ATHE, and EdTA. All crowd into the room looking for their state. Besides myself, Oregon has one of our own STO as the Region I ITO, Alyssa Jewel, participating in activities during AAD, as well. We find Oregon is grouped with Washington, also with two delegates. The energy is palpable. Looking...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our latest Spotlight Member is Hugh Fletcher, a Thespian Alum and Junior Troupe Director for Troupe 89019 at IS 229 Dr. Roland Patterson Middle School in Bronx, New York. In addition to teaching, Hugh is an experienced playwright, actor, singer and director. Photo via theartsshelf.com Ginny: Tell us about...
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This weekend was the 2015 Nevada State Thespian Conference. As a state thespian officer let me just say wow! What an experience! First the conference ran so smooth there was never a moment where we stressed too much as officers. For that we must thank the amazing thespians that ran for board and assisted in helping making this conference a reality. Wednesday began Opening Number rehearsals and Individual Events. In 12 exhausting hours 50 thespians from all over Nevada put together a show representing the theme of the year for Nevada Thespians. The theme was "Theatre; Life in the Living Color". The show was (in my opinion amazing....and I'm not just...
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The Advocacy Update is where you can find state and national news about theatre and other arts education EdTA NEWS Thespian Scholarship and Teacher Grant Applications Due April 1 : Apply for EdTA’s grants and scholarships now! Grants are available to thespians, troupes, and educators. Applications are due on April 1 . Thespian Festival registration is now open : . “Hit your mark” at Thespian Festival 2015 in Lincoln Nebraska, June 22-27. Registration closes May 1. NATIONAL NEWS Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts Applications Now Open : The College Board Award for Excellence and Innovation...
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by Casting Director David Petro There’s no business like show business like no business we know! Before any actor hits it big, they have to endure some incredible struggles and make major sacrifices. You’ll need to overcome the multiple obstacles that will come your way. I moved back to New York in 2006 with no job, little money but huge plans. In just two short years I had started David Petro Casting and was casting my first television series on Nickelodeon and co-cast my first Broadway show. Broadway Break Thru was created during the most difficult time of my life. Through that adversity, I learned many...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our latest Spotlight Member is Connie Sandoz, troupe director of Troupe 7879 at Lake Mead Christian Academy in Henderson, Nevada. Connie is a frequent contributor, whose helpful advice and optimism are always a welcome addition to our Daily Digests. Ginny: Why do you believe theatre is important? Connie:...
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The International Thespian Officers had the honor to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio last weekend to meet with the extraordinary individuals who make it all happen. After a heartfelt reunion with the ITO, Kimberly Staples, Scott Wilson, and Diane Carr it was time to work. Walking into the mansion on Sunday morning was breathtaking. The house is full of small details such as curved doorway arches, and stunning woodwork designs on the walls. Take a look... After a productive day of meetings we met up with the 2013-2014 Region IV ITO, Katie Ferchen. Katie is a multimedia wizard, and directed the ITO informational video. Are you interested in running...
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The Advocacy Update is where you can find state and national news about theatre and other arts education EdTA NEWS Thespian Festival registration is now open . “Hit your mark” at Thespian Festival 2015 in Lincoln Nebraska, June 22-27. Registration closes May 1. NATIONAL NEWS House of Representatives Voting on “Student Success Act” Friday : On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a Republican bill and a Democratic alternative to reauthorize federal education programs last completed 13 years ago through No Child Left Behind . Americans for the Arts has issued an action alert that...
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Dear Arts Advocate: On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider onFriday three dozen amendments to"The Student Success Act" (HR 5), a bill to reauthorize federal education programs. This is a legislative effort last completed 13 years ago through the No Child Left Behind Act . There is a great need to improve upon that outdated legislation. Through Friday's floor considerationin...
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Happy Birthday Community!!!

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I can hardly believe it, but the Theatre Education Community has already been around for a year. Before we had the Community, I thought I knew a lot about theatre. I mean, 17ish years of experience and a BFA and you start thinking you’ve got a handle on things... Little did I know that I had barely scratched the surface. I have learned amazing tricks and tips, read some fantastic new plays, discovered some incredibly helpful apps, and made new friends by being part of this forum. I learned more about tough issues theatre students and teachers face and read eloquent debates about various aspects of educational theatre. I have felt inspired, entertained...
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This weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio with my fabulous ITO board. With all the snow we anticipated it to be chaos with us just arriving, but God was on our side and we all got their on time and safe. As soon as we hit the ground (possibly a slip here or there because of the snow) we were talking about our weekend of Festival planning. Before all the fun really began, we caught up in our hotels about life and over dinner enjoyed each other’s company. I’m so glad we got to do that the first night because we were put to work the next day! We hit home office the next day and got to meet with all the...
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Home Sweet Home (Office)

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This weekend I had the privilege of being able to be reunited with my wonderful family and get back to doing what we love to do most, work our tails off for Thespians. It was such a joy to see Mrs. Carr, Staples, Swils, Ben, Erin, Ginny, Kat, Julie, Jim, and all the other adults at the Educational Theatre Association who inspire me with their dedication to this art form and students. I am so excited for all the new projects we have in store and can not wait to get to Lincoln! Thank you to everyone at EdTA that met with us and treated us as colleagues and not just kids. Thank you Swils, Staples, Mrs. Carr, and Ben for taking such wonderful care of us! Thank...
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I spent my weekend with some of my very favorite people at the Educational Theatre Association Home Office in Cincinnati, OH. I arrived Sunday afternoon with ITO Chair Alex Minton,got lunch with Ben Ochsner, then arrived at the hotel with the rest of the board, Scott Wilson and Kimberly Staples, our liaisons, and Diane Carr, our fearless leader. After catchup and story time we had a lovely dinner at Bar Louis’ with the group. Earl y morning Sunday we went to explore the home office. We were lucky to have a short tour of the EdTA Home Office before we started planning the ITO leadership workshop held at Festival in Lincoln and the ITO...
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One of the International Thespian Officers’ main goals for the year is to expand the use of Community. We highlight the different state chapter events each month by asking a few questions. We hope this sparks creativity when you're planning your next event! Our latest tour stops included: Arkansas, Georgia, Montana, Minnesota, and North Carolina! ❖ How many people attend? “Approximately 570 Thespians this year!” Morgan Solonar , President of Montana STO board “4,200 students. With Vendors and directors that number rises to a solid 4,500.” Ellen Everitt , Georgia STO ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our latest Spotlight Member is Virginia (Ginny) Schreiber, an EdTA professional member and a middle school drama teacher at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bellevue, Washington. Ginny often poses thoughtful how-to questions in the Community, ranging from dealing with make-up sensitivity to getting paint out of theatre...
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The Minnesota Thespian Conference celebrated its 7 th year this year and is doing a wonderful job of continuing growth. Sunday’s part of the 400-student conference was held at East Ridge High School and Monday was held at the beautiful Guthrie Theatre. After my Valentine's Day flight (yes, I did a candy heart puzzle on the airplane tray table) and an overnight, I arrived at East Ridge with Mr. Jim Palmarini. I met all 12 of the Minnesota STO who had hilarious fundraisers set up for their Send-A-Troupe. The thespians donated money to whichever officer they wanted to see pied in the face, wear a tutu, and other goofy things. During the day...
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