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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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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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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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Arkansas Thespianage 2015.

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Special Spy Mission: To enrich lives through theatre education. Mission Location: Russellville Arkansas Agents: approx. 700 Thespians Mission Day 1: Thursday, February 12th. I arrived in time to plan for the Opening Ceremony Spectacular--a light show set to a medley of songs and a student-choreographed dance. I was included in the dance and had so much fun strutting my stuff onstage in a sparkly purple hat and glasses. The team of six STO and the representatives from various Arksansas high school presented the opening remarks following this dance and kicked off the 2015 All-State show titled, "I Want to Make Magic", a very heart-warming...
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What can be achieved in 60 seconds? Making a pot of coffee for rehearsal, brushing up on our lines for the next scene--how about raising an average of $868.33. It began in New York City... as most success stories do. The ITO were in the Big Apple to discuss fundraising with EdTA's Director of Development, Mr. Marion Combs. We got on the topic of how we could increase support for The Lincoln Experience, a collection of all the various financial aid packages that bring individual students/troupes to the Thespian Festival. We decided to focus on fundraising for the Send A Troupe to Festival grant and as we looked below at hustle and bustle of New York...
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The Advocacy Update is where you can find state and national news about theatre and other arts education EdTA NEWS EdTA kicks off JumpStart Theatre Pilot Project in Cincinnati : JumpStart Theatre, a collaboration between the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), and New York City-based companies, Music Theatre International (MTI) and iTheatrics, began accepting applications from Cincinnati-area middle schools in February, with the goal of launching the program in three schools in fall, 2015. The three-year pilot program will train educators to develop sustainable arts programs at underserved that do not currently...
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From the moment that I walked into the Raleigh Convention Center to the moment that I was sent on my plane home from North Carolina's conference, I felt so welcomed and accepted! I was also really excited to be attending my first three day conference, so I knew it was going to be a super experience. Oh yeah, the festival was also Superhero themed! Day 1: I arrived just in time for the opening dance (curse Connecticut weather), and it was just a wonderful way of kicking off the festival. It was very low stress and great for getting to know new people at the festival with out much stress about IEs or the One Acts until the next couple of days. Here's...
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This past weekend I got the wonderful opportunity to attend Georgia Thespian Conference for the third time and this last time has truly left a mark on my heart that I will never forget. Being a STO and an ITO I got the opportunity to really delve into the conference from behind the scenes. I got to see what all the teachers saw and what all the students saw. I got to see everything. Georgia is unique in so many ways. Here, we have really made an even plane on the importance of all aspects of the conference. No one thing is greater than the other. Everything is held to the same HIGH standard. We've managed to make the perfect balance of competition and fun...
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