The 2019 International Thespian Festival (ITF), the nation’s leading high school theatre festival, will kick off with a high-energy show featuring favorite musical numbers from throughout the years at ITF and will feature a closing tribute number written especially for Thespians by legendary playwright, composer, and Thespian alum, Andrew Lippa.
ITF, produced by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), celebrates student achievement in the performing arts. The 56th event, which this year takes place June 24-29, brings together more than 4,500 high school drama students and their teachers for a weeklong immersion in workshops; interaction with colleges, industry leaders, and Broadway professionals; and opportunities to be inspired by the best high school theatre in the nation.
Schools that have presented on the ITF mainstage in the past were invited to audition. Six schools have been selected to perform. Selections from the school versions include:
“I Hope I Get It” from A Chorus Line (Tams Witmark), performed by Floyd Central High School, Thespian Troupe 1794, Floyds Knob, Ind.
“Seasons of Love” from RENT (Music Theatre International), performed by Bradford High School, Thespian Troupe 4982; featuring students from the Kenosha Unified School District, Kenosha, Wis.
“Knights of the Roundtable” from SPAMALOT (TRW), performed by Labette County High School, Thespian Troupe 6290, Altamont, Kan.
“Mega Mix” from High School Musical (Disney Theatrical Group), performed by Pleasant Valley High School, Thespian Troupe 856, Bettendorf, Iowa
“In the Heights” from In the Heights (R&H), performed by Indian Trail High School and Academy, Thespian Troupe 7929; featuring students from the Kenosha Unified School District, Kenosha, Wis.
“Don’t Stop Believin” from Rock of Ages (Samuel French), performed by Mt. Carmel Academy, Thespian Troupe 2075, New Orleans, La.
“Bikinibottom Day” from Spongebob Square Pants (The Musical Company), performed by Bishop Gorman Catholic High School, Thespian Troupe 4347, Las Vegas, Nev.
“We Got the Beat” from Head Over Heels (Broadway Licensing), performed by Floyd Central High School, Troupe 1794, Floyds Knob, Ind.
Performance of these numbers is made possible by the collaboration of the publishers who are giving these students the opportunity to share these works with all the students participating in ITF.
All six schools plus Thespians from all over Nebraska will perform in a special finale. Composer Andrew Lippa is preparing an exclusive ITF version of a song from a new musical as an homage to Thespians and thank you to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for 25 years of hosting ITF.
After reaching capacity in advance of the registration deadline for the last two years, in 2020 ITF is moving to a larger venue at the University of Indiana, Bloomington where, in fact, the first Thespian festival event was held in 1941.