June 24 EdTA Update Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Schools, Travel, and Gatherings

By EdTA News posted 03-11-2020 09:18

  

Your health and well-being and that of your students is our first priority. Know that in this difficult time, your EdTA national office staff and your chapter leadership are here to support you. The nature of theatre is a communal activity, and we need each other more than ever.

Updates as of June 24, 2020:

EdTA Releases Guide for Reopening School Theatre Programs

The Educational Theatre Association has released its Recommendations for Reopening School Theatre Programs guide. Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is intended to help schools nationwide decide how to best restart their theatre programs safely in the fall and into the future. Written by a team of EdTA staff and vetted by the organization’s Chapter directors national Board,  and  Advocacy Leadership Network, the Recommendations guide suggests protocols, specific advisories, and resources regarding live and virtual performance, curriculum, instruction, and resources, and includes an extensive list of documents that also offer guidance for restarting arts programs. Read more.


Updates as of May 14, 2020:

Ask Congress to include $200B in funding for state education budgets: Contact your legislators now!

We all know how challenging the current environment has been. Due to the measures that have been taken to fight the spread of the coronavirus, states and cities across the country are struggling to maintain even the most basic services. Everyone has seen the effects of the battered economy, but as educators, the full impact of COVID-19 has not yet been made clear. There is, however, some broader indicators of what is to come: According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the combined estimated shortfall for state budgets – not including additional costs incurred by the pandemic – will be approximately $650 billion. States are already looking to revise their budgets for the current and next fiscal years, and many are seeking to cut millions of dollars, including from education budgets.

The Educational Theatre Association believes that Congress must appropriate at least $200 billion specifically for education to help states avoid drastic negative consequences; many other education organizations are advocating for the same or similar amount. Without this funding, the inclusion of theatre as part of our students’ well-rounded education will be in serious jeopardy.

We are asking you to reach out to your members of Congress to request $200 billion to backfill state education budgets in the next legislative relief package. EdTA is partnering with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) in a coordinated outreach to Federal legislators throughout the country.

The link below will guide you to NAfME’s Grassroots Advocacy Center, which contains a pre-written letter and a tool that will identify your Senate and House legislators to whom you will send the letter. This process is easy if you follow the prompts provided. You can also add your own personal stories about how theatre has helped you and your students cope with these trying times.  Together, we will get through this and ensure that our students and schools will too.

Contact your legislators now!


Updates as of April 20, 2020:

Resources

More Ways to Award Thespian Points

Going hand-in-hand with the just-announced extension for inducting Thespians until September is the need to be able to award students points when the usual ways to earn them—rehearsals and performances—are not available. This is especially true for graduating seniors and 8th-graders. Here are ideas, curated from the Theatre Education Community, to inspire you, and your students, for earning Thespian points as everyone stretches their imagination and ingenuity during COVID-19 quarantine.

May Issue of Teaching Theatre Moves Online

The May issue of Teaching Theatre is headed to your inbox! The next few issues of the print magazines will be in a digital-only format to increase accessibility and save resources. Members will get an email when the May issue is ready to read. During this unprecedented time, EdTA also is making the magazine publicly accessible as a service to the entire theatre education community, so share the link with colleagues who would benefit from its content.

Virtual International Thespian Festival—Rates, Schedule, and More

The best of high school theatre is coming to a screen near you. Here is updated information about what you have to look forward to June 22-26 including a Main Stage Marathon, list of colleges giving auditions and scholarships, special celebrity appearances, and more.

Member Support

Notice of Vote: Change Code of Regulations to Permit Electronic Attendance at EdTA National Board Meetings

At the present time Section 4.14 on attendance permits electronic participation in meetings for members of the Board. However, it also stipulates that in-person attendance is mandatory two times a year. In light of the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a proposed change to this requirement. As required by the Code of Regulations, in 30 days all EdTA members will receive a ballot via email asking for your vote on this proposed change. Ballots will be distributed around May 22 and voting will be open for seven days. Read the wording for the proposed change here.


Updates as of April 9, 2020:

Member Support

EdTA Webinar and Facebook Live: Let’s Talk Teaching Theatre Online – A 2 Part Conversation

Let's Talk Teaching Theatre Online, Part I: 7 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, April 22, 2020 
Join a panel of educators as they share tips, techniques and lessons learned after one month of online teaching theatre classes. Ask the panel questions and share our collective knowledge. EdTA Members may register to join the live audience and interact with the panelists on EdTA’s Zoom. The webinar will be streamed free to the field on EdTA’s Facebook page. Members link for the Zoom on TE Pro: https://learn.schooltheatre.org/products/lets-talk-teaching-theatre-online-part-one

Let’s Talk Teaching Theatre Online, Part II, 4 p.m., Eastern, Friday, April 24, 2020
Julia Cuppy of the LaJolla Playhouse moderates a conversation between representatives of several regional theatres and community arts providers who are creating online theatre content during this time of COVID-19. Listen in for tips and techniques as well as a showcase of rich online theatre content. EdTA Members may register to join the live audience and interact with the panelists on EdTA’s Zoom. The webinar will be streamed free to the field on EdTA’s Facebook page. Members link for the Zoom on TE Pro: https://learn.schooltheatre.org/products/lets-talk-teaching-theatre-online-part-two


Resources

USITT is now presenting free webinars on Zoom and their Facebook page, two times a day, Monday through Thursday, at noon and 4 p.m. Eastern time. The classes and product demos are listed here; the link stays the same each week. https://www.usitt.org/education-training/usitt-webinars

National Endowment for the Arts has posted the applications guidelines for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds almost a month earlier than planned. The Federal Guidelines are available here.

Updates as of April 7, 2020:

Member Support

Deadlines Extended for Spring 2020 Thespian Inductions

Along with putting on productions, one highlight of a Thespian’s school career is induction into the International Thespian Society. With COVID-19 limiting school theatre activities, EdTA is extending induction and payment deadlines so no student’s achievement has to go unrecognized.

“In this difficult year marked by show cancellations and school closings, we want to ensure that troupe directors are able to give as many Thespians as possible the honor they deserve,” said Julie Cohen Theobald, EdTA’s executive director.

Normally July 31, the induction deadline will be extended to September 15 for graduating seniors and eighth graders. In addition, EdTA is offering a grace period to schools that can’t submit payment due to COVID-19 closures: Troupe directors may submit inductions online as usual; they may select “pay by purchase order or check” and will have until September 15 to submit fees. The extended deadline will also apply to orders for honor and spirit items and apparel. Troupes with the ability to follow standard ordering and payment processes should continue to do so.

Induction materials, including membership cards, certificates, and pins, will be shipped to the troupe director after payment is received. For assistance with these induction or payment options, please email members@schooltheatre.org or call 513-421-3900, ext. 1.  READ MORE


Updates as of April 2, 2020:

Member Support

Educator Resources at Theatre Educator Pro’s Click to Teach/Click to Learn Section

Looking for online content to teach? Need a unit that can last through several days of instruction? Check out the TE Pro’s Click to Teach/Click to Learn section.  We’ve done the research for you.  Each lesson plan comes with all you need for a web-based project including links to high-quality content, suggested tools, a rubric to guide student learning and best yet they are all standards-based.  Perfect for homework assignments or to work on together during online sessions. Lessons in performance skills or tech theatre are adaptable for high school or middle school-aged students.

Student Resources at Dramatics.org

While TE Pro provides resources for teachers, Dramatics.org provides the complementary content for students, with full series on playwriting, acting techniques, stage management, and more. Check them out yourself and share with your students.

Trophy Home Delivery at No Extra Charge

Celebrating your students is so important! While schools are closed and cannot receive shipments, Trophy Awards, the official provider of ITS awards, trophies, and plaques, will ship your order directly to your home at no extra charge. During your order checkout process at EdTA’s online store just change your ‘ship to’ address. In addition, they are waiving priority turn-around fees to ensure your items arrive as soon as possible. The shipping fee for your entire order is only $3.95.

EdTA and ITS Virtual Backgrounds Now Available

Get unique Zoom backgrounds for all your virtual rehearsals, classes, and meetings. From professional to fun, we’ve got you covered. More options in the resource libraries on schooltheatre.org. Click on “EdTA Zoom Backgrounds or “ITS Zoom Backgrounds.

CARES ACT Update

EdTA’s Director of Educational Policy, James Palmarini participated in an Americans for the Arts Stimulus Package update on March 31.  It addressed questions about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding and loan eligibility for Small Business Authority Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program for arts related organizations and individual artists. What is still not clear is whether small state-based 501(c)3s organizations, such as EdTA Chapters, are eligible to apply for funds. Palmarini advises EdTA Chapters and other small theatre arts organization to review the Department of Treasury Guidance on loan eligibility. READ MORE


Virtual International Thespian Festival

EdTA has been producing the International Thespian Festival since 1941 as a live event. It’s one of the best things we do as an organization, it fuels our energy and inspires us for the entire year! Now we are turning our own disappointment into an opportunity. An opportunity to reinvent ITF in a matter of weeks.

Our goal with Virtual ITF is to honor, inspire, and engage theatre students and teachers. We’re excited that going virtual will open up this opportunity to so many more –including those for whom ITF was previously out of reach.

There are, of course, lot of questions and we are working through them. Here’s what we do know:

  • We are committed to honoring our students who were selected in the best productions in the country – through the main stage and chapter select. How it looks for each school could be different.
  • We plan to offer college and scholarship auditions.
  • We will host adjudications digitally for the Thespys, culminating in a Showcase broadcast at the conclusion of ITF.
  • We will host workshops and masterclasses and bring some of the best artists in the country to work with your students.
  • It will take place during the same week in June as planned.

The Educational Theatre Association and International Thespian Society remain open for business. Feel free to reach out with questions about student points and inductions; our member service team stands ready to help. Call 513-421-3900 or email  members@schooltheatre.org

Updates as of March 27, 2020:

International Thespian Festival
EdTA announces the first-ever Virtual International Thespian Festival to feature adjudications, auditions, the inaugural International Thespian Excellence Awards Showcase (aka the ThespysTM), performances, workshops and masterclasses, and more. Virtual ITF is open to all Thespians and theatre students; their teachers, parents, and families; and colleges, industry leaders, and artists. Many more details will be announced soon.

Updates as of March 25, 2020:

Member Support
The Educational Theatre Association and International Thespian Society remain open for business. Feel free to reach out with questions about student points and inductions; our member service team stands ready to help. Call 513-421-3900 or email  members@schooltheatre.org.

International Thespian Festival
EdTA continues to monitor developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact upon schools, travel, and gatherings. The health and well-being of theatre teachers and students is our first priority. As school districts across the country restrict travel we are exploring options to participate in International Thespian Festival online.

Online Resources You Can Use Now
Curated Resources for Creating Online Learning : EdTA’s Theatre Educator Pro has added both resources for online learning experiences for students and resources for project-based learning aligned to standards. In service to the theatre education community, these resources are being made available to all, compliments of EdTA’s Theatre Educator Pro.

Licensing Updates: Streaming Rights, Postponements, and Cancellation Options
Broadway Licensing Livestreaming Approved for 400 titles


Updates as of March 17, 2020:

International Thespian Festival

  • All plans for International Thespian Festival scheduled for June 22-27 remain on track at this time.
  • EdTA is in close touch with our ITF site hosts, Indiana University, who also are tracking this evolving situation. On March 16 IU announced it  is extending spring break by one week and will begin remote teaching on March 30 that will last through the end of the semester in early May. For more information see: Indiana University update pageMonroe County Health Department | Indiana State Health Department
  • Please reassure students who were planning on participating in Thespys™ at any cancelled chapter event that they may participate in the ThespyTM Program at International Thespian Festival (ITF). The chapter qualification requirement will be waived for this year only and apply only to chapters that cancelled or postponed their event due to COVID-19.

 Licensing Updates: Streaming Rights, Postponements, and Cancellation Options

In addition to playwright Don Zolidis, who has granted permission for his work to be livestreamed, playwrights Jeff Grove and Jonathan Dorf has granted permission for his work to be live streamed and playwright D.W. Gregory has granted permission for Radium Girls  to be livestreamed or presented as a webinar. See the thread in the EdTA Community Open Forum.

More resources for updates on streaming rights, postponements, and cancellation options:
Dramatists Play Service has a page with FAQs about their works

Playbill on March 16 published an article compiling information and updates about livestreaming rights for schools.


Updates as of March 13, 2020:

Member support

  • The EdTA office is open, with staff working in the office or at home utilizing our remote-access system. EdTA membership and event staff will continue to respond to phone calls and emails as usual throughout this disruption of normal routines.
  • Membership induction packages will continue to be shipped daily.
  • We want to give every opportunity to students during this time of event and performance cancellations. Don’t let those losses prevent you from honoring deserving students — we encourage you to be flexible in awarding Thespian points for cancelled activities. Your students (especially seniors) may appreciate the recognition now more than ever.

International Thespian Festival

  • All plans for International Thespian Festival scheduled for June 22-27 remain on track at this time.
  • EdTA is in close touch with our ITF site hosts, Indiana University, who also are tracking this evolving situation. On March 10, as a precautionary measure IU suspended in-person teaching for two weeks following their spring break from March 23-April 5. Classes, and large events on campus, are expected to resume April 6. For more information see: Indiana University update pageMonroe County Health Department | Indiana State Health Department
  • Please reassure students who were planning on participating in Thespys™ at any cancelled chapter event that they may participate in the ThespyTM Program at International Thespian Festival (ITF). The chapter qualification requirement will be waived for this year only and apply only to chapters that cancelled or postponed their event due to COVID-19.
  • If your school is restricting travel, students may attend with their own chaperone.

 Licensing Updates: Streaming Rights, Postponements, and Cancellation Options

  • Music Theatre International (MTI) reports: “At this time, we can offer a limited license to stream certain shows for amateur productions that were licensed before March 12, 2020. Complete an MTI Emergency Video Recording/Streaming License form.” See MTI’s website for more details.
  • Concord Theatricals reports: “Requests for recording or livestreaming are being handled on a case-by-case basis. Requests will be shared with the author’s representatives who are the ones who make the decision.” View Concord’s FAQ.
  • Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) reports: “Please be in immediate email or phone contact with your TRW licensing representative [regarding changes or cancellations]. The rights administered by TRW on behalf of the authors and copyright owners do not include broadcast/transmission/streaming and therefore we are unable to license or authorize this usage.” Read more.
  • Playwright Don Zolidis, author of some of the most popular short plays, including 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, and The Audition, has granted permission for his work to be livestreamed. See Zolidis’ March 9 post in the EdTA Community Open Forum.
  • Many companies, from costuming to ticketing, are offering flexibility. Reach out to those companies directly for solutions to your specific circumstances.

Online resources you can use now

  • EdTA’s Theatre Educator Pro: Explore resources for teachers and students. If you are in a community shifting to online learning, take advantage of the tools here for distance teaching and remote lesson planning.
  • EdTA Community: Connect with peers and colleagues from across the country and around the world who are going through the same challenges you are.
  • org: Stories offer valuable resources for onstage, offstage, and backstage topics; again, use these materials to support your remote teaching.



Updates as of March 11, 2020:
The Educational Theatre Association is closely monitoring developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), and its impact upon schools, travel, and gatherings. Your health and well-being and that of your students is our first priority.

All plans for International Thespian Festival scheduled for June 22-27 remain on track at this time.

We are in close touch with our ITF site hosts, Indiana University, who also are tracking this evolving situation. On March 10, as a precautionary measure IU suspended in-person teaching for two weeks following their spring break from March 23-April 5. Classes, and large events on campus, are expected to resume April 6. For more information see:  Indiana University update page | Monroe County Health Department | Indiana State Health Department

For ITF, EdTA will comply with all Indiana local and state advisories.

Please continue to check our website for ITF updates and the Centers for Disease Control and your state government health websites for the most current information on the coronavirus. 

0 comments
651 views

Permalink